It is clear that Final Fantasy XV is one of the most eagerly awaited video games of 2016, and was one of the star games previewed at the Tokyo Game Show last year. But even before its release, the game has already sparked controversy concerning the way females are portrayed in the game and their role in it.
The game was demoed back in April last year, and many observers couldn’t help but notice that a car mechanic named Cindy looked more like a swimsuit model than a grease monkey. She was also showing a bit too much skin for the puritan-minded, but game creator Hajime Tabata just dismissed the whole affair, and said that “she’s actually not meant to be an erotic character”.
But is Final Fantasy XV a sexist video game? The game does look like the typical teenage male fantasy, as protagonist Noctis and his male chums explore the game’s open world in their car, performing macho heroics and getting to know a variety of drop dead gorgeous women.
And no matter how much Tabata insists that the car mechanic character Cindy is not “an erotic character”, she’s clearly the kind of sexualized female character one frequently sees in Japanese RPGs, with a curvaceous body and charm to please the game’s mainly male audience. Although at least she’s not as sexist a character as Hideo Kojima’s controversial Quiet in last year’s Metal Gear Solid V, which many thought was the most sexist (and admittedly sexy…) female video game character to date.
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This is also not the first time a Japanese game has been controversial due to sexism, as the Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 video game won’t even be available in the West, as its creators thought that western audiences might reject the game due to its sexist portrayal of women.
And going back to Final Fantasy XV, at least game creator Tabata stated in a recent interview with examiner.com that women will “perform a lot of different roles in the story” and that “there will be a number of powerful female characters on the enemy side as well”.
So it’s great to know that not all females in the game will be sexy blonde bimbos for Noctis and his pals to fall in love with like the controversial mechanic Cindy, and that some girls in Final Fantasy XV will be strong independent women who get to kick butt from time to time. And hopefully Final Fantasy XV will turn out to be a great entry in this long-running series, one that offers an entertaining experience for both male and female video game players to enjoy.