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Metro Last Light and the objectification of the female body

by Han Cilliers (Lola)  Posted Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:43:58 AM

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Metro Last Light launched in North America with reviewers mostly giving it a score of 7 and up. The storyline is being described as mature, the environment as gritty and the graphics as spectacular. One thing the reviewers agree on is the over objectification of the female body.

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Erik Kain from Forbes Games described the way women are treated in the game as "childish and a poor fit".

"Indeed, women are largely treated poorly in Metro: Last Light. I’d argue they’re presented in a way that goes beyond the (perhaps) intended realism: that such a world would undoubtedly be unkind to women goes without question; then again, I doubt breast implants would be terribly common here either.

Even Anna, a hardcore sniper who at first discounts Artyom as a noob, a rookie, is treated to a sex scene largely featuring her half-exposed, physics-defying, breasts.

There’s nothing wrong with sex in a game, but the sex (and stripping) on display here is childish—a poor fit for an otherwise pretty interesting game. It’s not a fantasy comic game where everyone is simply drawn to absurd proportions—it’s a serious shooter that trades in pretty interesting themes and ideas. It’s too bad that, sexually at least, it comes off as so juvenile."

Philip Kollar from Polygon agrees that the sex scenes are awkward…

"Amongst the despair, violence and bloodshed of a radiation-ravaged Moscow, Metro: Last Light also finds room for a little bit of sex. Two short but bizarrely tone-deaf sequences in the game — one optional, one not — feature full-on female nudity, including a graphic lap dance. Both instances of sexuality in the game are brief enough, but they felt awkward and out of place."

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The sex scenes had Kirk Hamilton from Kotaku peering through his fingers.

"Amongst the despair, violence and bloodshed of a radiation-ravaged Moscow, Metro: Last Light also finds room for a little bit of sex. Two short but bizarrely tone-deaf sequences in the game — one optional, one not — feature full-on female nudity, including a graphic lap dance. Both instances of sexuality in the game are brief enough, but they felt awkward and out of place ife in the Metro isn't a holiday for the fairer sex, and neither is Metro: Last Light.

This is a world filled with men and sexual violence, and almost every female character is either a prostitute, a stripper, or a potential rape victim. I don't mean to suggest that a post-apocalyptic underground society wouldn't reveal this sort of barbarism, but the game doesn't handle any of it particularly deftly. One of the only exceptions to the prostitute/stripper/victim-rule is a female sniper who eventually becomes a love interest, in a rushed storyline that culminates in a stilted first-person lovemaking scene. (Aside from the frequent loading screens, Artyom never actually talks, so any potential for warmth is immediately torpedoed by his creepy silence.)

The scene felt jarring, as did an earlier lap dance from a dead-eyed stripper that had me peering through my fingers in mortification."

So here is my question:

  • do you think the inclusion of sex in video games are adding to the realism of the experience,
  • or do you think it is taking it too far?

Check out the spectacular launch trailer.

Will you be picking up Metro Last Light when it releases in South Africa on Friday?

Han’s Twitter | Blog / MWEB Gamezone Twitter | Facebook

Other News from Around the 'Net:

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd  



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