Stop sexualizing women in video games

Danny Biniecki, The Mentor Editor-in-Chief

If you play video games, there’s a high chance that you will encounter a woman that looks like she could be in a pornographic show. These women normally have a very “affectionate” personality and want to have a relationship or be close to the protagonist, who is usually male, or they’re just extremely clumsy and stupid.  

These behaviors and outfits are a problem. It insults women gamers, who may stop playing games altogether because of how they are perceived in these worlds. These over-sexualized characters also further men’s sexist behavior in real life. 

Through my time playing games, I can think of plenty of examples that fit into this category of women. I even hear boys talking in the halls about rating these female characters on the internet and making comments saying, “Dude, she’s so hot.” “She’s got a nice rack.” and “She’s so sexy. I’d do her.” These derogatory comments directed at these female characters only contribute to the larger problem, which is that the representation of women in video games is just awful and for some it’s hard to see. 

While many video games have this problem, some don’t, and those make great games where the women aren’t parading in basically nothing. However, the sexualization of women in video games is a very real and evident problem. 

I see this problem, and yet I still play the game. Well, the fact is, I love the games. Normally, they have a good plot with lots of character engagement. For example, on Dec. 7 Fire Emblem Heroes released their seventh book (which is just a term for another story featuring the same cast of characters and a guest character that keeps the plot going). This book’s guest character is named Seidr, the goddess of hope. Seidr’s attire defines her big chest and thighs with string around them that show how big they are and definitely cut off blood circulation. She clumsily gets lost on the way to her destination with the main cast of characters and then embarrassingly enough has to let the man of the group, Alfonse, lead the way. 

She’s not the only oversexualized female character in the game. The main villain in book 7 also has this same problem. In the trailer, you can see the new villain for the first time and wouldn’t you know it, she caresses the male protagonist’s face as she mischievously banishes him back in time. 

When I first saw the trailer, all I could think about was, “Why?” Well, Fire Emblem Heroes has had a trend that deals with sexualization with women. In each book, there has been one or more examples of the criteria that fits with oversexualization. In book 2 Loki, the goddess of mischief seems more focused on the protagonist than her mission. In book 3, Eir, the princess of death, needs the main cast of characters to continue pushing her forward as her determination never seems to be completely focused on her goal. In book 4, Plumeria, the fairy of lewd dreams… which speaks for itself. In book 5, Nott would turn on her entire kingdom if a man told her too because she’s so desperate for love. In book 6, Ash is a clumsy half cow half god, and finally, book 7 with Seidr. 

Now why is Fire Emblem so interested in exploiting women? Can they not write strong and independent women characters? Yes, they can. In 2019, Fire Emblem released a game called Fire Emblem Three Houses which introduced us to Edelgard von Hresvelg, the Imperial princess of the Adrestian Empire. Edelgard hatches a scheme that shakes the continent as she becomes the emperor and declares war on the Central Church of the continent. No matter what happens along the way, she strives for the future she sees fit and fights on the front lines for her country even though her retainers and followers protest for her safety. Edelgard is the opposite of a compliant, over sexualized woman. She is completely covered in armor and wields the magic axe, Amyr. Edelgard proves that Fire Emblem can write strong women. So why do they continue to create these oversexualized women? There can only be one answer, profits. 

According to, Fire Emblem Heroes earned $108.93 million in 2021. The difference between Fire Emblem Heroes and Three Houses, and how Heroes is generating so much money, is that one is a mobile game and one is not. Fire Emblem Heroes is actively being updated and has been continuously updated for about seven years. Heroes also has a gacha system, which is basically getting a certain number of items for a 3% chance of getting your very own oversexualized woman. 

It’s extremely strange. Each character has their own unique skills and style to incorporate in your team, but there are special events where you can get the same heroes in different seasons. In the latest summer event, you could get Edelgard in a swimming suit. It’s very similar to a different game with the same oversexualization issue, Genshin Impact. Both games have a gacha function where you can attempt to get new characters or new outfits for characters. Oh, and a shop where you can purchase the materials to attempt to get these characters with real money. According to the four highest selling banners in the 30 million USD range each were characters that are women. 

With these numbers in mind, how are we to stop the sexualization of women in video games that continues to be a problem in our society? We talk about it, and just like how these perverted men rank these women, we are also part of the audience and we have the ability to rank these games and give feedback to the developers and the men who think that their behavior is ok. It’s our job to hold these corporations accountable for what honestly should defy the laws of physics. Real women don’t act the way they make these characters and it’s time for them to see it.