When I first saw the teaser picture for the new Hitman trailer I was excited. I’m not a Hitman fan but female assassins? Sounds awesome. However, when the trailer was released yesterday, a lot of people were not happy. Sarah Ditum was just one of those people and her piece on CVG explains her gripes with it.
Now I’m a bit fickle when it comes to sexism in games, probably because there’s a very thin line between what’s funny, what’s sexy and what’s just plain gratuitous. For example, many would argue Bayonetta is sexist but it’s not. It’s done in a funny way and doesn’t take itself seriously – that’s when characters like her are acceptable. It’s also why they get away with it in fighting games. But Hitman is a game that does take itself seriously and nun in tight PVC? Really Hitman? For a start that’s unrealistic, PVC and being an assassin…have the men who created this ever worn PVC? Didn’t think so. It’s the same with those ridiculous stilettos.
In fact the ridiculousness is probably worse than the actual sexism. I like to play as sexy female characters in games, don’t get me wrong but make them believable, make them smart and don’t make them look like ex-porn stars. A few game-loving celebrities on Twitter such as Charlie Brooker and Robert Florence have said they’re going to boycott the game. Brooker went as far as to call it a “piece of shit game” and if anyone sends him a copy he will “throw it out the window”. Strong words. So it’s not just a few women who are a tiny bit upset by this, grown men themselves are tired of games PR nights being held in strip clubs and seeing female characters become nothing more than a bit of eye-candy.
Unfortunately, Hitman will still sell millions of copies. It’s a much anticipated game and few gamers aren’t going to decide not to buy it just over that one trailer. The problem is though, this will continue to happen until we do something about it and as we know, the majority of games journos are male and many of them do not have a problem with sexism in games. Hell, some females journos don’t either but this needs to change. All we can do, is tell games companies times have changed and we want the industry to change. Besides, I don’t about you but seeing male, over-muscled men is just as boring as seeing another big-boobed lady in games. So it’s not even about sexism, it’s about realism and I’m pretty sure the next-gen will demand realism.