As the video game industry grows, it is exposed to more people, and as a result, it is the target of more scrutiny than ever before. The biggest stories of the year were centered around the controversy of over-sexualized women in video games, but that didn't stop the rest of the world from continuing to celebrate the female form.
New patch for Dead or Alive 5 transforms the game into Xtreme Beach Volleyball 3 - The year began with Team Ninja releasing a patch for Dead or Alive 5 that added skimpy impractical swimwear and a beach stage to the game. Team Ninja is well aware that it would be a financial disaster to create another Xtreme Beach Volleyball game, but they are still trying to give players the same experience by adding beach-themed content to DOA5.
British tabloid promotes Crysis 3 with a blonde popstar in body paint - It is not clear whether EA decided to advertise Crysis 3 in Britain using a hot blonde wearing body paint, or if British tabloid The Sun decided that a Crysis nanosuit would look awfully flattering on a woman's body. What IS clear is that Ashley Roberts, a former member of the Pussycat Dolls, looks stunning in nanosuit bodypaint.
Street Fighter popularity poll reveals information about Japan's taste in women - A popularity poll revealed that America's most favorite Street Fighter characters are muscular men, and Japan's most favorite Street Fighter characters are schoolgirls or women wearing skimpy attire. Evidently, in Japan, much of the appeal of a fighting game comes from how youthful the female characters are, and how little clothing they are wearing.
There's actually nothing wrong with the Sorceress in Dragon's Crown - One of the biggest stories of the year was the controversy surrounding the Sorceress from Dragon's Crown. Her heavily exaggerated proportions were criticized for being "juvenile", and she was even accused of repelling women from video games. Supporters of the Sorceress argued that video game character designs should not be censored or policed.
Fire Emblem Awakening features raunchy content that is censored outside of Japan - On the subject of censoring sexy artwork from Japan, the developers of Fire Emblem Awakening included some suggestive dialogue and saucy imagery that was deemed just too lewd for American and European audiences.
Sexy Mass Effect-themed latex body suits - A group named Anatomic-Latex produced sexy latex body suits based on the form-fitting designs of the female characters' clothing.
Square-Enix is trying to give Lightning more sex appeal - In one of the more offbeat stories of the year, the developers of the upcoming game Lightning Returns publicly stated that they have increased the bust size of the game's main character, evidently to make her even more appealing.
Voice actress defends busty characters in video games - It took a long time, but eventually, voices began to be heard which defended the trend of buxom female characters in video games. Most notably, Erin Fitzgerald, a voice actress who has lent her vocal talents to countless popular game characters, made several blog posts explaining why it's not sexist to give a female character a large bust.
Killer Is Dead proves that games can't be reviewed without mentioning misogyny - In addition to all of the aforementioned controversy, the release of Killer is Dead created a brand-new wave of debates about the game's gigolo mode. The mode, which all about ogling pretty women, was called "sexist", "dirty", "trashy", "gross", and "deeply misogynistic". It was nearly impossible to find a single review of Killer Is Dead that did not discuss whether or not the game should be considered misogynistic.
Ken Levine is disturbed by fan-made porn of Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite - Adding to the chorus of voices decrying the objectification of female characters in video games was Ken Levine, director of BioShock Infinite, who publicly expressed that he is disturbed by fan-made porn of Elizabeth, the game's female lead.
If 2013 was any indication of what the future holds for the game industry, then 2014 will be another year rife with controversy and debates about how to portray female characters in video games - and your Los Angeles Video Game Babes Examiner will be here to cover every story!