With the recent release of the Wii U exclusive, Bayonetta 2, there was somewhat of an uproar surrounding the game. Some claimed that the depiction of the protagonist was over-sexualized and demeaning to women, while others disagreed, stating that it was empowering having a female lead be so in charge of everything surrounding her — including her body. Personally, being the comic nerd that I am, I tend to agree with Emily Rogers’ opinion on the subject:
I don’t see a problem with Bayonetta being sexual. Poison Ivy used sexuality as a weapon/strength in Batman comics. Bayonetta feels similar.
— Emily Rogers (@Emi1yRogers) October 13, 2014
However, I have to question something else about this situation: would Bayonetta 2 have been such a hot topic if it had been released on other consoles, such as PS4 and Xbox One? How do I get to this question? Well, let’s look at some of the content surrounding titles found on the other systems.
Why is it that titles such as Grand Theft Auto V avoid these types of discussions when they portray women in a very demeaning light (if you don’t believe me, just do a search for anything related to Trevor, a character in the game). Or, while we are on the franchise, what about the other controversial content found in various iterations of the franchise — extreme violence, a passive way of promoting criminal acts, stealing, murder…the list can go on. Now, I played GTA V and enjoyed my overall experience with the title, so this isn’t a judgment post.
How about other content, like the violence and gore found in titles like The Evil Within, or the non-chalant nature surrounding war in games like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare? Again, I am not writing this as a judgment post. I plan on trying many of the titles that can be considered controversial, and I enjoy many mature-rated games. My point is this: there is controversy to be found everywhere within video games, so why was Bayonetta singled out?
I want to hear your feedback: answer the poll below, and (if you’re so inclined) leave a comment explaining your opinion in the comments (or follow @Nin_Objective and leave a tweet).