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Pet Sins August 2000

Dead or Alive

Dead or Alive and its sequel game Dead or Alive 2 are created by Japanese company Tecmo. When the game is advertised, "beautiful women" are always mentioned. Even US Tecmo's official promotion line for Dead or Alive 2 is "Our Girls are Better than their Girls".

What's wrong?

Some Japanese characters has a black-haired form and a blonde, blue-eyed form
Ayane Both characters in the picture are Ayane, a Japanese woman. You can see her blonde form with her purple-haired form in the picture. A blonde option is also available for the character Katsumi, who is present in Dead or Alive and Dead or Alive 2.

This reflects the unfortunate East Asian fantasy that they could pass for white with some color changes, a symptom of internalized racism. Other Japanese video games with the same sort of blonde/East Asian character modes are Bloody Roar and Soul Calibur.

Some female characters have an animated breast bounce

Now we wonder what kind of target audience that feature was created for. The male characters do not have any bouncing body parts. Another Japanese video game with breast bounce is Rival Schools.

You can select a thong bikini costume for a female character

I am not aware of any such option for the male characters. The female characters are often already scantily clad even without the bikini option. This is a clear case of objectification of women, unfortunately the norm in popular video games.

It is not inconceivable that children playing these games will internalize the sexism and racism inherent in these images.

1999