Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Occasionally I like to peruse my husband's PC Gamer magazines. There's not a lot in them I can relate to, not being a gamer myself (except for Peggle, which rules). However, I enjoy the geek banter and the fantasy art.
What continually cracks me up is how computer games portray their female characters. I call it "the BB Phenomenon," which stands for "Bronze Brassiere." Whether they're battling demons in hell, post-apocalyptic zombies, or orcs, these chicks always face danger fearlessly wearing nothing but a bronze brassier and a chain mail miniskirt. I'll bet women in the Armed Forces find this even funnier than I do.
But heck…this isn't war, it's fantasy. If you're going to be staring for hours at a shapely female battling giant spiders on your monitor, why wouldn't you want her to look hot? (Which reminds me to ask the question of any male gamers who read this. Do you always play a female character in third person POV games? Davie does, not because he's secretly a cross-dresser, but because he wants to spend the game looking at a hot female. Makes sense, really.)
Well, back to my point for the day--it's easy to poke fun at the ways men picture their ideal women, because we can see with our own eyes how far they are from reality. But honestly, aren't women just as guilty? The reason we're not so blatant about it is that we idealize character rather than appearance. But cripes, the preposterous characters we come up with! You're more likely to run into Red Sonja than some of these guys. Let me provide a few examples.
Mr. I'm-Evil-Except-with-You. The most common version of this guy is the vampire or other dark character, some fellow who commits heinous acts toward everyone else nightly, but for you is transformed by love into a paragon of devotion. Sure, it plays in fiction. But in real life, if a guy is nasty, cranky, a user, etc., he does so quite consistently. Only fools (and we can be fools, I admit) will think such a man will be different with one woman. And even if that were true, who wants to be with someone who is nice to you but the rest of the time kicks dogs?
The Brooder. Now this is the guy who isn't even that great toward you. And yet, you want him: you want him to share his terrible secret, to take solace in your arms, to just keep doing that really sexy pout. The tortured soul gets us every time. He seems so needy, so interesting. But in real life, Heathcliff isn't romantic, he's just annoying. He never wants to cheer on your favorite team, watch "Seinfeld" with you, or read "I Can Has Cheezburger." Not actually so sexy.
The Superhero. This kind of character would actually be great in real life, but like Red Sonja, is just not, well, plausible. Not only will you be hard pressed to find a guy with Superman's powers, you probably won't even find one with his ethics. And in spite of our knowing this, a lot of women (I'm a prime example) go through life sure there must be a real superhero. Intelligent, strong, talented, sensitive, self-sacrificing, honest, faithful, all one-hundred-percent of the time? Nope, not even Davie. And yet we persist in searching....
The Pirate. Ah for a lusty adventurer, swashbuckling through life, wielding a sword so as to rip our bodices with aplomb! He's rough and ready, a man's man, with testosterone to spare. Throw into this category any of those uber-masculine type guys, like crab fishermen and ice road truckers. What woman can resist? Well, again, works better on paper...also smells better, may have better teeth, and definitely has more free time. Face it, ladies, any guy who is preoccupied with duties that tax his manhood to the brink daily is going to have more on his mind than romancing you.
Yep, without doubt we women do our own version of the BB Phenomenon. Our men are all rock stars, poets, vampires, tycoons, and princes. They swim with sharks, travel in space, and can kill a man with a Colt .45 at fifty paces. They do this and more, all the while staying clean, saying witty things, and taking us out to dinner at least once a week.
It makes sporting a bronze brassiere look like child's play.