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Are Game Magazines Turning Into Men's Magazines?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the slashdot-games-readers'-wives dept.

Games 147

KaiEl writes "I was skimming through the latest issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly (April 2004) the other day when I began to notice a recurring theme: pictures of scantily clad women, both virtual and real, kept popping up. Usually it's not surprising to find one or two skimpy outfits in an issue, but this one seemed crawling with them. I decided to chronicle a list of the semi-nudity in a post on my weblog. What does this surplus of sexy pictures say about the direction of the videogame industry? Is it a reaction to the success of 'male' magazines like Maxim and FHM? Is it a reflection of the video game industry's seeming fascination with the barely clothed female form (see: Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball)? Or am I just a prude who's getting worked up over nothing?"

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147 comments

Rule #1 (5, Insightful)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8583957)

Know your audience.

Re:Rule #1 (4, Funny)

Khasmo (659750) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584014)

All I know is that after reading thios article, I really want to go out and get that magazine.
.
.
.
For the articles, of course.

Re:Speaking of Articles - Playboy game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585111)

Wait until the Playboy Game starts getting covered by the Mags. You think they look like a Men's Magazine NOW?

Wait 2 months.

Penny Arcade and Playboy (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586675)

After the Strawberry Shortcake strip, I think we're all curious to see what Gabe and Tycho do with Playboy.

Re:Rule #1 (4, Funny)

Decaffeinated Jedi (648571) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585493)

Does anyone remember the now-defunct PC Accelerator magazine from the publishers of PC Gamer? Although the magazine folded back in 2000, but it was essentially marketed as a Maxim for PC gaming set. Along with the standard news coverage and reviews, it also included features like "The Women We Love to Play" and photo shoots featuring women like Eidos' Lara Croft models and Stevie "Killcreek" Case. PCXL did its best to emulate the humor -- and even the design elements -- of men's magazines like Maxim and Stuff, but the girls/games connection just seemed a bit forced at times.

On the other hand, I thought their gaming coverage was quite good. Thus, in summary, I read PC Accelerator for the articles. ;)

Re:Rule #1 (2, Interesting)

UltimaL337Star (641853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586632)

I remember pc accelerator, gawd I miss it. If anyone's curious, I'm quite sure it was shutdown not because of it's much more adult-male oriented content but because of lack of subscriptions. Man it would've had some good articles on dead or alive and bmx xxx... And yes, it did have quite good coverage and cleavage...

Re:Rule #1 (2)

figjamjam (121274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8587577)

I guess they didn't think rule #2 through then

1. Know your audience.
2. ???
3. Profit

Re:Rule #1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588055)

(Score: -1, Idiot)

Get a new joke, dude... Seriously

Re:Rule #1 (1)

Q-Mont (761460) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585573)

Gameplay and story have taken a backseat to pretty pictures, bigger explosions, and more T&A. It won't sell any video games to me, but I guess its what the target audience wants for the most part. Gee, I wonder why?

Re:Rule #1 (0)

zonker (1158) | more than 10 years ago | (#8587071)

something he didn't mention in his article (though i breezed through it) was all of the pages in that issue of ads with scantily clad woman. there are quite a few of them...

i remember reading a gaming magazine a while back (around 97ish), i think it was cgw, but i don't remember exactly, where they said that they would no longer run ads for games or do reviews of games that were lude in any way. i'd guess that they wouldn't take that sort of stance any more...

Let me see... (5, Funny)

DaveJay (133437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8583967)

"Or am I just a prude who's getting worked up over nothing?"

Considering you chronicled the semi-nudity on your web site, I think you're a smart person who knows that nudity (even the semi kind) will get you a posting on Slashdot and a lot of web traffic to your blog. ;)

And since I seem to be a very early post, I suspect a lot of people are RTFAWSN (Reading the ----ing article with semi-nudity.)

Re:Let me see... (3, Interesting)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584064)

Actually, what you point out is just what the poster is talking about.

There are pictures of semi-naked women which will both catch eyes and excite men looking through magazines and deciding on which to buy.

The exact same mechanism is at work.

Re:Let me see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8587814)

"The exact same mechanism is at work"

Wait....you get this sort of thing _at work_!?! Man, am I in the wrong job.....

Don't bother guys (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8583972)

The blog doesn't have any of the pictures from these magazines. Man, what a damn tease. I'm sorry I clicked the link.

Re:Don't bother guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8587732)

Except that if you follow the link to the "America's Sexiest Gamer" article [egmmag.com] and click on the image you'll get a HUGE (1200px) photo of her, cute as she is. Not sure why it's that large, maybe they want people to make desktop wallpaper, or maybe they're gluttons for punishment and want me to link it to Slashdot... ;)

How is this shocking? (4, Insightful)

readpunk (683053) | more than 10 years ago | (#8583986)

The same people who have a ton of money to blow on the endless and for the most part terrible games that the video game industry releases, are also the same people who view the other sex as objects. Why not start "reviewing" women in the magazines as well?

Re:How is this shocking? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584020)

Why not start "reviewing" women in the magazines as well? Because the phrase "she really sucked" has a completely different connotation with applied to reviews of women, and gamers might get confused...

Re:How is this shocking? (2, Funny)

LittleBigLui (304739) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584099)

The same people who have a ton of money to blow on the endless and for the most part terrible games that the video game industry releases, are also the same people who view the other sex as objects.


You mean the way to get rich is to view women as objects? Didn't know it was THAT easy :)

same w/ retail... (0, Offtopic)

kisrael (134664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8583997)

I've noticed kind of a similar thing w/ electronic stores and video game stores...borders are getting fuzzy. EB starts selling used games, Funcoland starts selling new, both start selling DVDs and hobbyist toys, Best Buy sells laptops and PCs, CompUSA starts selling big TVs and stereos....sometimes it feels like it's going to become one big store type...

I have a simular problem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8583999)

"I was skimming through the latest issue of Playboy (April 2004) the other day when I began to notice a recurring theme: pictures of videogame characters, both virtual and real, kept popping up. Usually it's not surprising to find one or two CGI characters in an issue, but this one seemed crawling with them. I decided to chronicle a list of the game characters in a post on my weblog. What does this surplus of computer generated pictures say about the direction of the porn industry? Is it a reaction to the success of 'gamer' magazines? Is it a reflection of the video porn industry's seeming fascination with the unrealistic female form (see: Anna Nicole Smith)? Or am I just a pervert who's getting worked up over nothing?"

Average age of the gamer (4, Insightful)

soramimicake (593421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584015)

I think it reflects that a large part of the audience who grew up with computer games has, er, grown older, and this is the kneejerk reaction of the industry to try to attract them.

kneejerk? (5, Funny)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584186)

I think it reflects that a large part of the audience who grew up with computer games has, er, grown older, and this is the kneejerk reaction of the industry to try to attract them.

Um, I don't think the knee is the part of the body being jerked in this case...

GMD

"Or am I just a prude..." (3, Insightful)

paulcammish (542971) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584019)

Or am I just a prude who's getting worked up over nothing?

Yes.

And DOA:X is actually a rather good 'social game', with some rather fun subgames tacked on, even bar the semi-nudity.

Re:"Or am I just a prude..." (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584075)

And DOA:X is actually a rather good 'social game', with some rather fun subgames tacked on, even bar the semi-nudity.

True, but the part where Tecmo lost me was the actual volleyball gameplay. Yes, it can be simple and fun, but it's nowhere near as exciting as an oldie like Super Spike V'Ball (Best. Volleyball. Game. Evar!), which is another 2-button volleyball game.

I still gotta hand it to them for creating some damn impressive polygon characters though. Between DOAX and Ninja Gaiden, Tomonobu Itagaki certainly knows how to make some visually amazing games.

Re:"Or am I just a prude..." (1)

paulcammish (542971) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584414)

Yes, it can be simple and fun, but it's nowhere near as exciting as an oldie like Super Spike V'Ball, which is another 2-button volleyball game. Agreed, but its less about the volleyball, but more about the social backstory and collecting. Personally I found the subgames such as the hopping game and casino quite fun and distracting.

Also, something of note, is that the game may only use two buttons by default, but it uses the presure sensitivity of the XBox buttons to make those two the equivalent of 4 - a hard press gives you a hard serve, etc.

Re:"Or am I just a prude..." (1)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586969)

And you can even set the game to play with 4 buttons in the options, if I recall correctly...

And I agree completely with your opinion of the game.

Re:"Or am I just a prude..." (4, Funny)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584694)

And DOA:X is actually a rather good 'social game', with some rather fun subgames tacked on, even bar the semi-nudity.

Riight, and you just read playboy for the articles too, huh?

Re:"Or am I just a prude..." (0)

biotoast (536392) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585752)

No. Though many here on slashdot, and many who read those magazines, are adults and capable of making the decision of how much sexuality is enough, people on slashdot forget that they aren't the only people in the world. despite gains in adult gamers, a huge portion of gaming is still done by young people, mere children.
i am not saying that they should be removed from the shelves, but it is ok, even good, to be bothered by the rise of sex in gaming. it happened to comics too, and both are still very available to children. we should protect children from exposure to sex as much as possible (they will see stuff, yes, but the less the better). exposing children to sex has many consequences, not to mention that kids don't have the ability to make an educated choice about sex (hence laws that protect minors).
i don't know, i just get tired of people being called a prude because they (i) don't like to see sex cheapened and used to sell something, and they (i) hate even more to spoil children's innocence (it will be, but must we rush so headlong into it??)

Re:"Or am I just a prude..." (1)

eliza_effect (715148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585833)

Education works better than abstinence.

Re:"Or am I just a prude..." (1)

biotoast (536392) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585909)

abstinence: 100% education: varies abstinence is sure-fire, especially while you educate (they are not mutually exclusive, nor are they equally appropriate at all ages)

Re:"Or am I just a prude..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8587747)

abstinence: 100%

Riiiiight, that's working so very well [cbsnews.com] .

Re:"Or am I just a prude..." (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586353)

Game magazines turning into men's magazines? If you can show me a game where a buff, good looking, good guy is the hero of the game (maybe Duke Nukem Forever if it even comes out?) and it doesn't get publicized as much, then yes. Until a "female orientated/focused developing group" (no, The Sims doesn't count) publishes a (good and/or successful) game, saying that game magazines are male orientated is like saying chocolate cake is too chocolately.

Nearly Naked Nubiles Nothing New (5, Insightful)

Gorgo the Slow (718830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584028)

I wonder if the author has looked at much of ANY magazine, TV show or movie in the past 20 years. There isn't much of anything that isn't sold by attatching hot nearly naked women to it. Powertools to alchohol to videogames to vacations in Jamaica- all brought to you by the power of your own biological urges. This is nothing new. Videogames have rounded the bend on graphics enough to give us rendered juggy characters. Entertainment Weekly often has nearly naked women, so does Interview, so does Wallpaper, so does Vogue, so does pretty much any magazine aimed at anyone over pubescent age. Ever wonder why so many "classic" paintings from the renaissance are of nude reclining women?

Re:Nearly Naked Nubiles Nothing New (5, Funny)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584234)

There isn't much of anything that isn't sold by attatching hot nearly naked women to it. Funeral homes? Churches? Depends undergarments?

Re:Nearly Naked Nubiles Nothing New (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584962)

Big-tittied whores for Christ? I'm there.

Big-tittied whores who shit themselves but don't mind. Well, it's funny in a gross kind of way.

Leisure Suit Larry? (4, Funny)

tanksalot (762778) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584066)

I just wish that they redid the "Leisure Suit Larry" games with today's graphic capabilities.

Re:Leisure Suit Larry? (5, Informative)

stubear (130454) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584151)

Your wish is coming true. Liesure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude [gamespot.com] will be availabe for the the PC, XBOX, and PS2. It appears to be a 3D version of previous LSL games though one major difference is the main character, Larry Loveage, nephew to the previous games main character Larry Laffer.

prude - nope (5, Insightful)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584200)

Or am I just a prude who's getting worked up over nothing?

No, I think you have a valid concern. I can be a porn hound with the best of the them but when I want to read about computer games or car modding it narks me that I'm bombarded with 'glamour' pictures. You should see the shit you get in car modding mags these days.

I think it has as much to do with the sudden power of the editors and other staff members. It's like the sad state that guys go through as soon as they get a bit of money to spend on the art budget. You also see it in music videos. Sad no-name rap group gets told they can spen $X on a video and get some women bumping and grinding, like it's some sort of badge of honour. Gee well, done guys, you got enough $ to hire a pretty girl to stand near you for a change.

If you really want a computer game magazine you should buy Future Publishing's Edge [edge-online.com] . It's written for and by adults in an adult style and doesn't go for the prurient. Stear clear of the sad wankers because if the need to show you some tits to make you buy their mag then their editorial must be shite.

Re:prude - nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584600)

Did you ever read PC-Accelerator? They had half-nakid chicks and was the only PC mag I bought more than one of (all but one, in fact).

It was a great mag.

Re:prude - nope (2, Interesting)

Rallion (711805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584756)

Stear clear of the sad wankers because if the need to show you some tits to make you buy their mag then their editorial must be shite.

Now, I don't know the mag in question, or many mags at all, for that matter, but your logic is faulty. The above quote is fine, but you make an assumption -- that they need to put in the hotties to sell issues. Maybe they were doing fine as it was, and decided to add some nudity to boost sales even more.

I just hate it when people say things like that.

Re:prude - nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584909)

No, I think you have a valid concern. I can be a porn hound with the best of the them but when I want to read about computer games or car modding it narks me that I'm bombarded with 'glamour' pictures. You should see the shit you get in car modding mags these days.

This is nothing new. About seven years ago, I remember being unable to buy some gaming mag until I explained it wasn't some dodgy magazine (I was a young-looking seventeen at the time). I even had to open it up to show it to the till woman.

Re:prude - nope (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586666)

If you really want a computer game magazine you should buy Future Publishing's Edge. It's written for and by adults in an adult style and doesn't go for the prurient.

I dunno. I just went to their website, and one of their four cover stories is "E121: Digital Women Inteviews".

Re:prude - nope (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 10 years ago | (#8587405)

I'd generally agree with you, as for the most part Edge is the one games magazine that treats its audience as anything other than teenage boys. But the last 4 or so issues in a row have had at least partial nudity in them.

I for one... (5, Funny)

cilix (538057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584255)

...welcome our new Nude overlords.

What can I say, it's been a slow day.

Re:I for one... (1)

Shwag (20142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585496)

wonder how did that whole overlords joke get started?

Re:I for one... (1)

gr0ngb0t (410427) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585567)

Ever watched the Simpsons? Did you see the one where Homer was an Astronaut? Remember how he opened the packet of Ruffled chips and it exploded into the weightlessness of the space craft? remember how he did that floating dance to eat the chips and then he crashed into the ant farm? And then, after all that, there was a live cross to the "Average-naut" to TV, and a big arse ant passed by the camera, and Kent Brockman said "I, for one, welcome our new ant overlords" blahblahblah... Thats where this tired, tired joke comes from.

Not a bad episode, but yeah - the endless repetition of "I, for one, welcome our (topic of the day) overlords" are becoming very very tiresome...

cheers, GB

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8586049)

very very tiresome...

Along with:

  • beowulf clusters
  • soviet russia
  • ??? profit

Other Slashdotisms (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586657)

* Natalie Portman, naked and petrified
* Hot grits down the front of one's pants
* First post

Re:Other Slashdotisms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8587579)

Actually, the one I really want to know about is the "BSD is dying" troll.

Serious game mags have failed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584293)

Remember Next Generation magazine? That was the last seriously credible game review mag - and I was pretty upset when they folded.

Everybody I know uses online game reviews no (eg: Gametab [gametab.com] and Metacritic [metacritic.com] ). I'm not sure that a pure game print mag is able to survive anymore. Those that are left are probably still alive because they've resorted to using sex to try and help sell themselves.

Re:Serious game mags have failed. (2, Funny)

KyolFrilander (730272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585949)

Except Next Generation had, as I remember, _laminated_ covers. I remember accidentally knocking a drink onto one and being pissed that I wrecked it, when it just needed to be wiped off. They had plans, I know they did. ;)

I wish I hadn't thrown away my issues, that was a fun point in time, gaming-wise.

you were right the last time (0, Insightful)

PaganRitual (551879) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584447)

games are good. hot chicks are good. if you can combine them both, thats great. dont start that shit with us. youll alert stupid concerned groups that are getting bored with manhunt and vice city.

Re:you were right the last time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584741)

Why is that whenever you see no reason to mod, you have points? You see one, and your points have disappeared. Figures.

Re:you were right the last time (2, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586637)

games are good. hot chicks are good. if you can combine them both, thats great. dont start that shit with us. youll alert stupid concerned groups that are getting bored with manhunt and vice city.

Steak is good.

Chocolate is good.

If you can combine them both, that's not good.

I don't think people are interested so much in *censoring* magazines as they are in not funding content that really isn't what they're interested in. If the person reading the magazine is a heterosexual female, a homosexual male, or someone that's gettign a sufficient amount of sexual activity in their lives, they may not be *interested* in funding and paging through a bunch of stuff that's really....pretty stupid except for the sexual content. "What's your favorite position when playing video games?" I mean, come on. That's *stupid*, unless you're looking for the sexual titillation from reading some words that some attractive girl spoke. From the complainant's point of view, it's as if there was a ten page interview with the Teletubbies inserted right into the middle of your favorite magazine. You just don't *care* about the content, and you'd feel a little silly reading it.

The same thing is the reason why you're going to have a hard time finding someone wanting to watch a porn flick if they aren't interested in the sexual content. Sure, you could *make* a masterful adult film, where sex plays a significant and real role in the plot and is balanced with all other elements. You could make a "Saving Private Ryan" or "Shawshank Redepmption" and include adult material. The problem is that usually, when content producers get the opportunity to use sexually charged content, their ability to make the content solid in other ways goes right out the window.

I think the biggest problem is that gaming magazines are not doing a good job of identifying themselves to their proper audiences. It would be *much* better if, instead of battling in the same arena, game magazines could effectively "split up" the market. As someone else pointed out, Nintendo Power (hold the criticisms of the magazine for a moment, please) aims at the young market, and EGM aims at the male teen market. What if you want to *make* a magazine aimed at a different market. Do *you* know of one? Well, there's probably some kind of strategy gaming magazine, and that might reach a different demographic, but basically some magazine needs to come along and say "we aren't aiming to produce a sexually charged magazine".

If I were EGM, I'd make a deal with another magazine to recommend other magazines in each issue (recommended for ages 8-14 Nintendo players, recommended for males ages 14-25, recommended for ages 25+, etc) based on a couple of simple demographics. These magazines would, in turn, recommend EGM using the same set of demographics. Readers would tend to go towards the magazine best-suited to them, and there'd be fewer complaints.

Re:you were right the last time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8587884)

Steak is good.

Chocolate is good.

If you can combine them both, that's not good.
Rubbish. [pastrywiz.com]

It's Just EGM (4, Interesting)

Kanpai (713697) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584449)

Electronic Gaming Monthly did a poll at least two years ago to find their target audience, and found that it was males between the ages of 17-25 or something like that. They conciously made the move to a more male/sexually-oriented format, and actually told their readers about this. Inspection of other gaming mags will show you that they're not all made this way. Like the first person to comment, they're just knowing their audience. 12 year olds read happy Nintendo Power, and big boys who like their nudity read EGM. It doesn't have much to do with games at all.

However, DOA:X is a good illustration of how the gaming market <i>is</i> becoming more sexually oriented. Mmmm....decline of society...

Prude? It depends... (4, Insightful)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584527)

Or am I just a prude who's getting worked up over nothing?

It depends on what, in particular, about the images of scantily clad women got you worked up. If you were just annoyed because you felt that you paid for a gaming magazine and got something else, then, no, you aren't a prude. Nor are you a prude if you were annoyed that the magazine publisher basically ignored their female readers. On the other hand, if you were upset that a semi-nude female form was in plain view, then, yes, you are a prude.

Ironically, I have to wonder if the reason for the phenomenon you point out is prudishness. Think about the absurdity of the U.S. Senate holding hearings because a breast (with the nipple covered) was shown on network television. People in Europe must think that Americans are complete, sexually-repressed, idiots. And it may be the "forbidden" nature of sex in the U.S. that makes pseudo porn (the images you mentioned, FHM, Maxim, etc.) so appealing. If U.S. beaches were topless and network television showed nudity, how much of a draw would it be to put images of "hot babes" in gaming magazines?

Sexual repression and the woman (4, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586583)

You know, I hear a lot about sexual objectification coming from women's advocacy groups.

However, my guess is that sexual objectification is a pretty much necessary result of the fact that content related to sexuality is frequently suppressed. Public nudity is not okay. Social norms reduce the degree to which men and women expose flesh. Sexual activity is something done strictly in private. Society goes to incredible lengths to try and delay knowledge children learn of sexual activity.

There are two reasons I can think of for producing such an environment. The first would be to the benefit of males -- avoiding a "cuckoo's egg" situation. Men do not want their wives fooling around when they might have to expend lots of resources raising a baby that might not contain their genetic material. Anything to avoid that situation is good. The second, and I think the more predominant, is to the benefit of females -- decreasing the availability of content relating to sexuality increases the bargaining value of each female's sexuality. This is not the '40s, and emphasis on women marrying to reach a certain economic point is not what it used to be, but it is still definitely an element of society -- I remember reading a study finding that women placed much more emphasis on the economic and other practical state of a potential spouse than men did. To some extent, I think that one could say that the sexual objectification of women is an artifact of a social phenomenen that (whether women were "responsible" for it or not) primarily benefits females.

Re:Prude? It depends... (4, Interesting)

Vexware (720793) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586693)

People in Europe must think that Americans are complete, sexually-repressed, idiots.
Living in France, I would not go as far as that, but I have to admit you really aren't far off the truth. Here in France, breasts on television at any hours of the day is a common happening (especially in all the shampoo adverts). When I say 'any hour of the day', I am not hyperboling and you can beleive me, that really is from morning time to prime time television, even when the smaller children come back from school. I think this is what has 'normalized' the view of breasts enormously, and seeing some continually on television when the young children are watching isn't something shocking or surprising at all here. When we heard of the whole 'Janet Jackson's breast' affair, it was something quite comic over here, and when we heard America's legislation to ban live television, the States' population's fear of a breast became something of a joke over here.

What surprised me, more than anything, were the reactions on Slashdot. Some were comparing the situation to a televisual 'Goatse' -- though in my opinion there is a bit of difference between being taking by surprised by a gaping anus and by a breast (with a sun around the nipple, goddamit!). I don't know if the same numbers apply to the USA, but over here most boys have seen a pornographic film by the age of around 8. I just do not see how seeing a breast on television could be so shocking. Anyway, isn't the Superbowl broadcast in the evening in America? Shouldn't kids who aren't old enough to have seen a pornographic flm yet have been in bed already?

So, to say it frankly, it is true that most French people think of you Americans not only as warmongers but also as prude maniacs. Though you say this could be the general opinion throughout Europe, I beleive that the United Kingdom does have a lower tolerance of what appears on television than in France or in Germany. In the United Kingdom, the "F word" is censored even at 10 PM, whereas in France we are allowed to hear it as soon as 5 - 6 PM. That is one of the aspects of our liberal censorship policy that I like less of, as I do feel there should be certain regulations to protect what our children car hear on daytime television. I'm 13 and I swear constantly, but perhaps my language would be more elegant had the television not repeated some language so much.

Re:Prude? It depends... (1)

Hittite Creosote (535397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8587040)

In the United Kingdom, the "F word" is censored even at 10 PM

That depends on which channel, and what programme. A film on ITV1 or BBC1 that might get a lot of kids staying up to watch it may well be censored (especially ITV - watching people gun each other down while screaming 'forget you' is just silly). But if it isn't going to have a large amount of kids staying up to watch it, then they won't censor.

Re:Prude? It depends... (1)

JustJon (731538) | more than 10 years ago | (#8587975)

Anyway, isn't the Superbowl broadcast in the evening in America? Shouldn't kids who aren't old enough to have seen a pornographic flm yet have been in bed already?

In the U.S., the Superbowl is a special case. It really is the most viewed event every year. Many parents will allow children to stay up later to at least watch the first half of the game.

They expect a violent game with a lame song and dance number in the middle. Usually, the Superbowl is targeted as an all ages event. Unfortunately, this year, we had commercials that warn about four hour erections and Janet's boob. (Personally, I didn't need the former and preferred the latter)

Re:Prude? It depends... (2, Funny)

Matrix272 (581458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588463)

Unfortunately, this year, we had commercials that warn about four hour erections and Janet's boob. (Personally, I didn't need the former and preferred the latter).

I disagree. I could do a lot more with a 4-hour erection than I could with Janet Jackson's boob.

Re:Prude? It depends... (2, Informative)

narratorDan (137402) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586720)

I agree with most of what you said, but if the broadcast bare breast that you are referring to is the Janet Jackson breast, the nipple was NOT covered. Her nipple(s?) is/are pierced and what you saw was a stylized "sun" that was held in place by the bar through the nipple. And the nipple is clearly seen sticking out in the center of the "sun." So for all tends and purposes, the breast was fully exposed. I personally wish that more breasts were broadcast, but the US is too much of a prudish nation to allow that to happen.

NarratorDan

UGO (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584560)

My favorite gaming news site, Blue's News [bluesnews.com] , has advertisements from UGO [ugo.com] that has advertisements with women as well. Same with IGN [ign.com] . It is not just the hardcopy magazines.

Aren't Games For Kids? (5, Insightful)

Benedick (737361) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584627)

Yes, I know that many videogamers these days are older. Heck, I'm still a gamer at 42. But one thing I like to do is share the joy that is video gaming with my children.

The problems with all the emphasis on sex in video games is that makes them 1) less likely to be allowed by Mom and 2) less appealing to female gamers.

I stopped getting video game magazines when I realized that every issue had a partially revealed hottie on either the front or the back cover. I couldn't even leave the magazines lying around.

Eventually, the hobby will mature enough to support videogame magazines aimed at different markets: young videogamers, female videogamers, mature videogamers, and (the largest segment) horny young male videogamers. For now, though, it's just that last group being served.

Re:Aren't Games For Kids? (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585974)

Computer games are going the way of music, tv, and movies. The get more vulgar every year.

Eventually, there will be a back lash and more family friendly games will come out.

They may sell well but the developers will still make 90% of the stuff they sell vulgar because they can i guess.

Look to G4TV and read your answer (3, Insightful)

AnamanFan (314677) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584730)

You need only to look at the about page [g4tv.com] for G4TV to understand what video game press is geared towards. The only missing word is male, but being that obvious would get them into a lot of trouble. Watch the channel and you will know that the word 'male' is implied. Had they include both genders, you wouldn't have shows that feature titles such as graphic adventures which have a higher gender mix than other titles.

Right now the industry is approching a crossroads. Had I have time to be detailed, I would make certain paralles with electrionic gaming and early history of the film industry where the market wasn't realized until after the Hollywood monoploies were broken. Since this is a /. post, I don't feel I need to be too detailed.

What I will say is the industry is at a point for easy money makers, similar to the 30's and 40's for film that the B-film was made for. Churn them out, get high returns with low investment. You can make a very sucessful title that for a general audience that will make mad-money (IE: The Sims, Myst, Flight Simulator), but these titles appear to be hard to make sucessful. So, we get tons of product that fits in the easy market: 12 to 34 male.

Re:Look to G4TV and read your answer (1)

svallarian (43156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586366)

Or just watch TechTV and see what the did to the used to be fine X-Play show.

It used to be soooooo much better, then they dumbed it down to a 12 year old level.

Steven V.

Ask Slashdot: (1)

Mr. Darl McBride (704524) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584858)

Is Slashdot turning into a girly website?*

(* Hint: It is a 'blog' beneath its surface, and most bloggers are girls aged 13-17.)

I Noticed the Same Thing... (3, Interesting)

cyberMalex (713793) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585118)

pictures of scantily clad women, both virtual and real, kept popping up.

I noticed exactly the same thing.

I used to be a subscriber to EGM, but I eventually dropped the subscription because I felt it was taking unfair advantage of the ease with which my hormones are manipulated by random people. It seemed they were beginning to shove out the real gaming-related stuff in favor of more "lowest common denominator" stuff - such as images of the female form in various stages of undress, and I just decided I wasn't getting what I was paying for anymore, so I quit paying. ;)

Today I cancel my subscription (2, Interesting)

samjam (256347) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586833)

Today I cancel my subscription to PC Pro.

Its a clean UK magazine tarnished only slightly by the odd graphics card advert but this month it comes with a flyer for a "Mens Magazine" complete with samples of the kinds of pictures I can get.

Well d*rn, I dont buy mens magazines cos I don't want my mind tarnished by the decietful images, and I don't buy deceitful magazines that try to tarnish my mind on the sly like PC Pro.

I doubt PC Pro will miss my single subscription fee, but I won't miss PC Pro. I own my mind and I try to control what goes into it.

Sam

Re:I Noticed the Same Thing... (2, Informative)

superyooser (100462) | more than 10 years ago | (#8587350)

About two years ago, MaximumPC started putting scantily-clad models in its articles. It definitely wasn't pornographic. It was just an awkward shock to see seductive women in a geek hardware/game magazine with benchmark graphs and technical articles. Also, it smacked of flagrant manipulation. It was so transparent what they were trying to do from a marketing standpoint, it was insulting and patronizing. They think that inserting sex into the magazine is going to make for more loyal umm "readers"? Sorry, while your readers are mostly young and male, they're also too media-savvy to fall for that.

But the pictures weren't the main offense. It was the filthy tone of some of the writing and the frequent allusions to porn-viewing. In one article, a writer was trying to hype some new video card. When he said that he was "creaming" over it, that was the last straw for me. Grossed me out, especially when I was eating. If I wanted to read that kind of content, I would Google for some dirty web sites. Why do I have to be subjected to some guy's masturbation fantasies just to find out about the new video cards?

I let my subscription run out. I'd been waffling on the issue for a few months, because I really liked the magazine. But it had finally gone too far.

Other readers weren't happy about the magazine's foul direction, either. Some of the complaints sent to the editor were published in the magazine. The editors responded to the complaints in the Letters section. They answered directly, and essentially said: "Yeah, we hear you, but we're not going to change. Screw you." Fine. They lost my business. I meant to send a letter explaining why I was not renewing my subscription, but I never got around to it. I hope they're reading this.

Re:I Noticed the Same Thing... (1)

hambonewilkins (739531) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588158)

I meant to send a letter explaining why I was not renewing my subscription, but I never got around to it. I hope they're reading this.

No, they aren't. That's the whole point of sending the letter. If you are upset by the magazine's content, you should let them know directly. It may not make an impact on the magazine, but the editors will know they have screwed up.

Re:I Noticed the Same Thing... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588593)

Young male readers are supposed to be too savvy to fall for boobies? Explain to me then why any copies whatsoever of DOA beach volleyball or BMX XXX were sold. Young guys are exactly the target of ads featuring nudity and objectification of women. Of course, they're also the guys they put in the underwear ads in mens and womens magazines alike, I'm getting tired of opening Maxim so I can see hooters, and ending up with an eyeful of young manpackage instead.

Hah! (1)

kundor (757951) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585325)

Anyone can tell this is just an excuse for /. to link to FHM and Maxim.

degenerate place, this.

thought about this when I got my last XBox Mag. (1)

aka_big_wurm (757512) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585501)

Last month my issue of XBox magizne and it had a long review on the upcomming MechAssult. On every page and the cover they had a picture of a woman in a tight see thru shirt. Did they need to add that to make the game better? If I want to see half naked woman I play DOAXBV. when I play MechAsslut I play for the Mechs and distruction. I all for Adult titles I think there should be more. Just keep it in its place. -BigWurm-

Nothing to see here (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585583)

Pick up just about any magazine from the shelves in your local newsagent. You'll find slim, scantily clad women in photos. Be it cosmo, womens day, auto, PC Gamer, whatever you get, they'll be using pretty women to sell copy.

And they were doing it years before today. I have some original Zap!64 magazines at home (for the commodore 64). You bet, there are chicks in there too.

The fact of the matter is, and the marketing guys have known this for a long time, women are more pleasing to the eye than men (even to women). Therefore, women sell magazines and cars and PC games and cosmetics. Go look at the covers in your local agency. You'll find around 90% of the magazines have a woman on the front.

Forniphilia (3, Insightful)

Michael.Forman (169981) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585694)


The EGM article unambiguously exemplies the sexual objectification [wikipedia.org] of women. What I find particularly disturbing are the invasive and almost abusive questions asked in the EGM America's Sexiest Gamer article. [egmmag.com] For example, in the article the interviewer asks "What's the best game to use as foreplay?", "What's your favorite position...to play games in?", and "Are vibrating controllers sexy?". Based on her asexual responses, I would be willing to argue that the sexual nature of the line of questioning was nonconsensual.

I submit that you are not prude, rather I believe you are simply taking offense at the blatant objectification.

Michael. [michael-forman.com]

Forget objectification, this is just silly (3, Interesting)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586494)

Ignoring the whole issue of whether it's ethical or not to objectify someone...can anyone really enjoy these? I mean, don't get me wrong. I like looking at good-looking underdressed girls as much as the next guy. However, isn't there a point where reading the article, you start to feel silly just because the marketing involved is *so* blatant? I mean, how can you *read* those without looking at yourself and saying "what am I *doing* reading this?"

Besides, it's not as if anyone who wants porn can't get it. Frankly, given the Internet, it's probably quite possible to obtain porn faster than you can conceivably look at it. Why bother with some random half-assed sexual innuendo in a gaming magazine?

Re:Forget objectification, this is just silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8586616)

yes. lets ignore the whole issue of ethics and instead write a post which asks why one would even choose soft core pornography when hard core pornography is so easily available.

as long as your at it why dont you ask your mom or sister what position she likes to play games in for me and post it here. tell them too about your difficulty in understanding why people waste their time worrying about the objectification of women (or undressed girls as you put it) when they should be worrying about bigger problems like why people waste their time with soft core porn when hard core porn is so easily available.

Re:Forniphilia (1)

pocopoco (624442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8587518)

> I would be willing to argue that the sexual nature of the line of questioning was nonconsensual.

Insightful...more like absolutely clueless. This is an interview with someone who won, sexiest gamer, a contest which involves how intentionally sexy and provoking they can be strutting around and sending in hot pictures (also note both males and females competed so his "of women" crap is out of line as well ;p)...and now sexual questions in a post interview are nonconsensual!?

It's sad how all these claimants of our society's degradation have to blatantly twist situations around in a desperate attempt to prove their point. Just because politicians will make an issue out of nothing to blind side the dumber voters into reacting without looking doesn't mean such methods should be considered insightful reasoning when mimicked.

Re:Forniphilia (1)

Michael.Forman (169981) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588344)


Being recognized for being attractive or even sexy is possible without objectification. Like intelligence it's a quality we all posses in some amount. The contest was seeking a woman and man who are both avid game players and are sexy. During the interview, the reporter asks three questions which allude to intercourse (2) or masturbation (1). Additionally, these questions were only asked of the female (the male was given no interview).

These two facts demonstrate two things. The interviewer's questions were sexual (not sexy) in nature. These questions were asked only of the female. This is clear sexual objectification of women. It wouldn't be either if the questions didn't involve references to intercourse and masturbation and the man was asked the same questions.

A good test of inappropriate questions are:
Would you pose this question to a female family member (grandmother, mother, sister)?
Would you pose this question to a female in a position of power (boss, judge)?
Would you ask a man that question?

Michael. [michael-forman.com]

Re:Forniphilia (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588573)

If you're being objectified in the first place, after all it's america's sexiest gamer, not most skilled gamer, then you should expect questions which objectify women. Put another way, if you appear in Penthouse you should expect some questions about your chachas. This is just softcore porn, right? Otherwise it would be an article about her amazing skill.

Furthermore, given that people are all different and there are a lot of us, there must be girls who are turned on by games. I know there are plenty of girls in the habit of sitting on a dual shock controller...

Looked at any "womens" magazines recently? (2, Insightful)

Muggins the Mad (27719) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586010)


Most of the womens magazines are just like this too. Full of skimpily clad supermodels. The difference is they are also full of articles telling women how imperfect they are physically and why they *could* achieve a perfect body if only they weren't so lazy.

At least the ones targetted at men usually have articles about cars or sport or computer games.

- MugginsM

Not a new trend (1)

ChibiTaryn (646855) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586356)

It's not a new trend to see so much scantily clad women (be they digital or real) in a videogame mag. I remember a few years ago one even had a "game girl of the month" in one of the mags I had, which featured a full page scantily clad glamor shot of a model dressed as say, Lara Croft, or such. In the style of say, FHM.

But back then, there was a higher percentage of content than there seems to be now.

Now if I buy a magazine, I know I'll get to see lots of semi naked polygon girls, anime girls, real girls, etc, but I'm pretty sure I won't find out anything interesting on the games....

Missing the point (2, Interesting)

stryck9 (670369) | more than 10 years ago | (#8586702)

Most of these comments are missing the point. If you take a look at the magazine industry, Maxim, a newcomer to the scene, went from 0 to a 6 million circulation per issue in roughly 7 years... this = lots of profit. EGM and Game Pro on the other hand have about 700,000 circulation per issue. EGM has been around for 15 years and the has less than 1/6th the circulation of a magazine that is less than half its age. This equals significantly less profit. Now, the brilliant minds over there probably took note of the meteoric success of Maxim and its ilk, looked at the demographics and saw a pattern, i.e... most people who buy Maxim are in the same demo as the people who buy their magazine. If they make it more like Maxim then perhpas they can get a piece of the 5.3 million more readers Maxim has. This equals more profit. End result, EGM looks more like Maxim. The net effect maybe that hardcore gamers are alienated by the more Maxim like coverage; however, this positions the magazine For the maxim crowd.

The other misconception here is that games are a male dominated industry, if you take a look at the sales numbers you will see that the top selling game is the Sims. The Sims, sells predominately to a female audience at roughly 70 to 30 split. While Killathon 3 , may get more hype, make no mistake, as games move towards the mainstream, there are and more women gamers. Make no mistake, there isn't a major publisher out there who isn't working on a strategy for women. Industry wise games have to go down that road otherwise they risk imploding and having what happened to the comic industry happening to them.

In the end the Maxim-ization of EGM not only does a disservice to the industry but to the gamers who got them where they are today as well as the women audience who are expanding the market. EGM should focus on what it does best, cover games, rather than chase a subscriber base that belongs to someone else.

"Boy's Magazine" - "Men's Magazine" (1)

Domini (103836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8587054)

If they were ever aimed at both sexes I would be surprised... only now the age limit has shifted.

(There were exceptions, but they were few)

If you buy shit... (1)

KBV (732207) | more than 10 years ago | (#8587932)

You get shit, I havn't bought a EGM magazine in years, just cause it's lost all it's "appeal" to me. If I want half naked women I'll buy Playboy or just surf the nett.

The only two gaming mags I buy now is Edge and GamesTM. Great magazines. ;)

Gaming magazines that aren't trash (1)

dangermouse (2242) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588150)

I spend more than my fair share of time at a local Joe Muggs [joemuggs.com] , drinking passable coffee and reading through stacks of magazines from all over the store.

The only gaming magazine I've found that's worth a damn is Polygon [polygonmag.com] . All the others look like-- and more importantly are, in my experience-- juvenile crap. Their substance of badly written, uninteresting articles is all but drowned out by the flashy crapfest that Kyle partially describes.

So, my question is: What gaming magazines out there are actually good? Which ones are well-written enough, or at least well-designed enough, that they would be at least a little bit interesting to someone who hasn't been 15 in a good long time, or who doesn't have a completely unbalanced interest in games? I've read that 1UP [1up.com] is good-- are there any other worthwhile gaming zines?

Short Answer to the Topic Question: Yes. (1)

FeetOfStinky (669511) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588476)

They're just trying too hard, and it's painfully obvious. I had noticed that over the past couple of years, in EGM in particular, the innuendo level was rising steadily in not only the pictures of scantily clad women, but the content of the articles.

Two things finally did it for me. One was a half page feature a few months back on "lines from Star Wars that sound dirty but really aren't". Unfunny, lame, and came across as almost desparate. The other was a condescending editorial from Shoe to a parent about how EGM is "a magazine for adults", etc. Uh huh.

Personally, I'd like to read a game review without a weak attempt at sexual humor in every other paragraph, but that's just me. Although I doubt I'm the only one.

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