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December 6, 2006

What I Think About Final Fantasy XII

Filed under:Final Fantasy Series, Personal, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 4:18 pm

I’m back in my game. I got Final Fantasy XII for my birthday, and it’s been absorbing my life.

I really like FFXII because it has the gameplay style much like an MMORPG: fast-paced battle right in the field, challenging bosses, huge maps, and freedom to explore and side-quest. It stirs some Final Fantasy XI nostalgia in me (that game was my life when I was a freshman in college). Missing from FFXII is the monthly fees and dealing with racist and sexist and heterosexist players.

I’ve been taking a bit of a mental vacation by gaming lately, but that doesn’t mean I’m looking at the game entirely uncritically. I can’t help but notice every main character is blond, and the only memorable person of color I’ve encountered was a horny old pan-Eastern man with one hand in the black-market and the other on his hookah. I know this game is coming out of Japan, so the race portrayals confuse me more-so than they do in mainstream American narratives.

Although the male characters are statistically better fighters, for the most part the license system lets you take whatever characters you want down any job path. When you’re outside of towns, you can also swap out the requisite whiny teenage protagonist, Vaan, and lead with any character you’d like. I usually play Ashe, the sword wielding princess, as my party leader.

I like playing Ashe well enough. It’s nice seeing the princess as a leader with a lust for revenge. But I also find her kind of boring, along with most the cast. Maybe I’m just getting old and cynical.

fran

Personality-wise, Fran (left) is my favorite character, but I have a hard time taking her seriously when the camera pans across her bare butt. Yeah, Vaan’s outfit is skimpy, too, but he doesn’t have a strip of narrowing fabric pointing to his genitals. Vaan isn’t sexualized. His abs show off his fitness.

The international politic stuff was interesting for a while, but now I can’t really keep the names and places straight. I think the story needs a little something else to keep me interested, but I love the gameplay so much I’m willing to sit through the cut-scenes.

end

38 Comments »

  1. \”Although the male characters are statistically better fighters\”

    I think that it\’s worth mentioning that just because the male characters are statistically stronger, that doesn\’t necessarily make them better fighters. In FFXII there are a lot of weapons which attack strengths are affected by more than just the Strength and Defense stats. The Katanas, for example, derive their power from both a character\’s strength and his/her magical strength (also have a high combo rate).

    You\’ll like Reddas. He\’s voiced by the Green Lantern.

    Comment by DNi (2 comments) — December 6, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

  2. Whoops, didn’t realize that was how quotes worked.

    Comment by DNi (2 comments) — December 6, 2006 @ 5:18 pm

  3. Now that I’ve actually started playing the game, I’ve been able to branch out with the characters’ specialties a bit. I still can’t help but feel like I’ve met these characters before, all of them, some of them more than once. At least it’s pretty to look at.

    I thought that perhaps Fran counts as a person of color, but the fact that she’s so exotic and sexualized and even wild/feral, and the fact that I haven’t yet seen her act as much else than Balthier’s hot sidekick, hasn’t led me to believe any great strides are being made, either.

    Comment by Becky (6 comments) — December 7, 2006 @ 6:56 am

  4. Reddas, I agree that the weapons and license choices make it pretty easy to make a character into what you want, but I at least like to make each character the best at what her base stats allow, so I’m still finding myself having Fran and Panelo as casters.

    I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about the viera and seeq and whatever else the other races are called in FFXII. If they’re our people of color, I think that’s pretty problematic, since they’re not even human/humes.

    Comment by Lake Desire (208 comments) — December 7, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

  5. I picked up this game and I’m not really concerned with the guys/girls thing, especially cause every guy in the game looks like a women. Heck some of them are prettier than the female characters. I am finding it hard to transfer over to the new fighting system, everything happens so fast that I find myself dying quickly in situations where I am surrounded by lots of enemies. Anyone else find this game harder than past FFs?

    Comment by Faith (7 comments) — December 8, 2006 @ 11:11 am

  6. I’m also finding it harder. I like the challenge, but it is time consuming raising the funds to keep up with. I recommend purchasing all of the monographs from the bazaar (check out this FAQ under “basic”) and unlocking all the mist abilities as soon as you can. I just now did that 35-40 hours in, and wish I would have a lot sooner.

    Comment by Lake Desire (208 comments) — December 8, 2006 @ 12:37 pm

  7. I think Fran is really HOT! ^@^

    Comment by Devin B. (1) — December 23, 2006 @ 4:24 pm

  8. I was going to write a lot of my opinions in reply to this blog, but I think I might not have thought all of this through enough. So instead, I’m sort of going to write half of what I would of (which is still too much). Basically, I really love Final Fantasy XII, and I don’t care about the fact that I grinded my levels too high early on in the game, I don’t mind the fact that the game is fairly long or even difficult (it’s engaging enough for me that I believe I’ll replay it numerous times before I finally put it away) and I really don’t care how “HOT” the characters are. However, I consider the game’s people and the many regions to be very geniune to their environment and when I do care about the clothing (a very rare occurence) it seems to be something of a culture thing. The clothing for the main characters is laid back for most of them and I suppose it is designed to show the characters’ fit bodies. With Penelo and Vaan I feel as if they might wear exactly what a typical teen in Ivalice would wear. While Fran has a majestic and graceful look about her, not unlike the elves of popular lore and novels. Fran’s warrior Viera counterparts appear similarly dressed while the citizen Viera are moderately and perhaps appropriately dressed for their roles in the Viera community. Perhaps creating a whole world with various cultures and intricacies is somewhat pretentious and maybe too many liberties can be taken in creating such a world, but isn’t that what fantasy is about? FF12, too me, is a good fantasy.

    Comment by Rich (6 comments) — January 3, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

  9. I also found the world building in FFXII very immersive. The locations were amazing. I did feel like I was there through much of the game. Still,I would have done some things differently if I were in charge: more people of color, less sexy everyday clothing on the women, more female characters overall.

    Comment by Lake Desire (208 comments) — January 3, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

  10. I am happy that of the playable characters, there are 3 men and 3 women. I think it’s more fair that way, there are even instances where the guests are female, though not enough of those instances occur (I actually haven’t completed the game). Maybe if there had been more main characters, the races and the different colors of Ivalice would have changed somewhat?
    The land of Ivalice is politically led by men, which isn’t very progressive at all, but I believe one of the judges is female, right? That’s certainly something to consider though there could of been more female judges.
    I found the Viera village quite amazing (though a bit too much of the circular pathways going on, very disorienting) but it would of been nice to see some more lands with actual women of importance.
    Have you ever checked out Vagrant Story? I think you might have something to say about that game unfortunately I can’t really remember much of it.
    Maybe you could find a way to, even slightly, influence the Final Fantasy XII sequel, Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings. You know, write the developers a letter requesting more appropriate clothing or something to that extent. If I had a good reason to change a game like Final Fantasy, I’d definitely try.

    Comment by Rich (6 comments) — January 3, 2007 @ 5:58 pm

  11. I never played Vagrant Story. I meant to pick it up back when it was new, but never got to it. Do yout hink I’d like it?

    Aye, there was the one female judge. I felt like she was an example of a “token” character: she was there so there’s still be a woman, but she was the only one, and she was quickly killed off. Too bad, she seemed interesting.

    I was happy that half of the playable party was women.

    I’d say that Revenant Wings is probably too far along in production, and there is the language barrier, but writing game companies is a good idea. I’d be happy to offer my opinions to any North American game developers who are trying to be more inclusive of women.

    Comment by Lake Desire (208 comments) — January 3, 2007 @ 6:25 pm

  12. It’s been ages since I played Vagrant Story, never actually finished it, but it did get good ratings and it was a pretty interesting game as far as game mechanics go. I do remember that there was a lack of key women in the game and I figured that’d be fuel for fire for you. Other than that one note of interest, the game is tied in with Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII in some interesting ways.
    I think if her part had been beyond protecting Larsa there would of been a lot more of her. When you first meet her, she does seem pretty influential, so there was promise in that regard but alas she died something of a martyr, huh?
    I do a lot of game searching, so whenever I hear of a possible chance for you to write a company I’ll definitely try to mention it. Though, I’m thinking you’ll probably already know.

    Comment by Rich (6 comments) — January 3, 2007 @ 6:48 pm

  13. You can always write, too. People who are part of the dominant group can use their “louder voice” to call for change.

    Comment by Lake Desire (208 comments) — January 3, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

  14. Alright I have been playing FFXII for a couple of days now and have been doing so far all the sidequest I find. I have to say I am impressed with the vast areas beatiful graphics and awesome gameplay I rather like the gambit idea. I hated FFXI because online play never suited me but I am glad to see the things that make FFXI good were brought over to FFXII. Now I do have a few problems with the game first no 2 weapon ablitiy or equip which I would have loved, the second is the Zodiac spear how people found what it takes to do it I don’t know but if you play like a normal person you can’t get it I only found out about when I went looking for the Marilith mark location and came across it, the game drag I have had where I am doing Gil Toss and it waited for a minute before doing it while people just attacking got to go and not a minute later Gil toss worked fine no wait beyond normal, and my last one is the Map system when I was looking for Mt-bur-omaice or however it is spelled It said east I looked east but what they meant was Southeast the World Map doesn’t give the names like Jagd or others and it never tells you it gives new location as a black mark with a question I found that out by accident when looking for the Mt. Otherwise a good game the plot needs to be thickened up a little in a few areas but otherwise good. As for the sexulity of the characters beyond Fran they are not Vaan is a well to do street rat his clothes reflect that they are like a nicer version of Aladdins if you look same for Penolo all the other characters fit there clothes except Basche but eh he picked his clothes out a dumpster so there you go. As for the Coloration and Nationalite you Do see a lot. Remember for the most part it takes place in the same country with only a few times going outside. The live in desert which the Sun unless you have black hair bleaches blond over a period of time so that explains the blonds but there are Brown(Ashe) and Black hair. As for Color(I have no better words to describe sorry for the offense) Reddas the Sky Pirate and some of the people of his port are colored. Vierra are dark skinned to Black and even the Moogles are different colors. So it is very differce. As for the Judge Lady Drace her role was to show Gabrath’s humanity and willingness to serve and the Fact there are true Judges and Not Excutioners in the Empire. Before Drace we got the impression of all Judges are Evil bad things that we fight but they are not and Drace showed that made them More human. Though I wish we got to fight all of the judges though it would have been cool. Also the need to give us a Gilgamesh Sword I wanted his Sword he dropped But NO you don’t get it.

    Comment by Revanninja (1) — January 26, 2007 @ 9:52 am

  15. Fran’s is my favorite. She’s hot!!!;)

    Comment by Jun-Tao (1) — March 21, 2007 @ 6:27 am

  16. Thanks for your politically savvy comments about Final Fantasy XII. I personally LOVE the game, but I am also really befuddled by the racism in it. Someone may argue that I’m looking too deep, but it’s still telling when you see that most of the important characters are white. The other “races” are humanoids! In fact, I tried doing a social analysis and though I’m sure Square Enix didn’t plan on this…Viera = Native American, Seeq = black, Moogles = Asian, Bangaa = Latino/a. I don’t quite know how the Garif fit in…though they could be the male counterpart to the all-female Viera.

    This is just a long “thank you” for showing me that there are serious video gamers who are also fed up with the racism, sexism, and heterosexism in the online gaming community!

    Much respect.

    Comment by Christian (1) — April 12, 2007 @ 5:50 pm

  17. Christian, thank you for the positive feedback. I believe there is no such thing as reading into something when analyzing pop culture. Saying otherwise just shuts people down.

    I hope you stick around and comment on future posts.

    Comment by Lake Desire (208 comments) — April 12, 2007 @ 8:32 pm

  18. Fran is my favorite character in FFXII. I love the way she talks & her sexy walking animation had me controller her more often than the others!

    Comment by Gamer4Lyfe (1) — May 2, 2007 @ 2:28 am

  19. The game-world, Ivalice, was designed to look like Europe, people. And Spira was based on southern Asia. Quit searching for racism where there is none.
    ———————
    (Although, you could certainly make a case for Barrett of Final Fantasy 7 being nothing more than a bad black stereotype.)

    Comment by Hologram (1) — May 20, 2007 @ 3:47 pm

  20. Hi Hologram. Don’t tell me what to do or not do on my own blog.

    Comment by Lake Desire (208 comments) — May 20, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

  21. I love all of final fantasy games but i like XII even more becouse of the style of play. I found Fran to be my most played party member. As soon as i got her she was my party leader. I also wish you could duel weild. They brought back a few old spells that have been mia for years. Although I would have love to see blink and dia brought back aswell.
    As for the races, well i enjoyed seeing all of them from ffta. Wish you could have played as all the races but alast you couldn’t. As for the zodiac spear it kinda blows. I mean its strong yes but no combos. As for the clothing of all the races of ivalice i think it wounderfull how each had there own style. Did you find horne? His a little moogle lol. I found his name very funny. Well anyways have fun all.

    Comment by Vamps (1) — September 6, 2007 @ 2:03 am

  22. i got ffxii recently and all my friends saidd that it wasnt as good as the others but i think its well amazing. i play using vaan the most cus im not sure just do im level 67 and at the pharos bit iv managed to get about 1.7mil clan points and i cant stop playing it though school rely interupts my gaming scedual.

    Comment by HobNobs (1) — November 25, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

  23. i really dont think that ff12 was at all racist or sexist. vieras just dress like that because that is their culture. (you recall most of them are isolated from men) it’s the same with all of the races. not to mention most of the male characters look like women anyway. the only black character is a pirate but how is that an insult to blacks? every one in ivalice wanted to be a sky pirate. you can find racism and sexism in anything if you look for it. but you will never know if that was its intention.

    Comment by jack davidson (3 comments) — May 8, 2008 @ 4:24 pm

  24. I can find sexism in any media because sexism is ubiquitous and interwoven into human interactions and the art work, like games, we create. Look at the example you point out of one black character in FF12… that character has the responsibility of representing of an entire race, meanwhile the whiteness of the cast normalizes that white is a default, neutral, “unracialized” race.

    Comment by Lake Desire (208 comments) — May 9, 2008 @ 8:02 am

  25. by the way, it was YOU who characterized reddas as being “a horny old pan-Eastern man with one hand in the black-market and the other on his hookah.” for one, i never saw him touch a woman. and secondly, he was one of the biggest heros in the game. everyone loved reddas. (before sacrificed his life to save thousands) indeed he was the only black character, but he wasn’t portrayed the way you described him.

    Comment by jack davidson (3 comments) — May 12, 2008 @ 4:25 pm

  26. It’s been a year since I’ve played FF12, but I don’t think I was talking about Reddas, I was talking about this old man in the undercity I did a quest for.

    Comment by Lake Desire (208 comments) — May 12, 2008 @ 4:47 pm

  27. sexism is ubiquitous in you

    Comment by jack davidson (3 comments) — May 19, 2008 @ 1:46 pm

  28. Eh, well, okay. I don’t you don’t mean it this way, but yeah, I’ve internalized a lot of sexism–body image, put the men in my life first–and it kind of gets my self esteem down, you know?

    Comment by Lake Desire (208 comments) — May 19, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

  29. First of all I just want to say how happy i am about this blog :D becuz i LOVE this game!
    i LOVE the storyline! yes i said it haha so many ppl complain about storyline and I love gameplay! I am in love with this game and I was surfin the internet and i was surprised to find how many ppl dislike the game. well i dnt care what other ppl think i absolutely love this game and im rly happy about your blog finally i found positive comments about ffxii so thnx for the blog!

    Comment by juan aveiro (1) — December 1, 2008 @ 7:26 am

  30. [...] What I Think About Final Fantasy XII Final Fantasy XII [...]

    Pingback by Jade Reporting » Saturday, December 09, 2006 — February 28, 2009 @ 9:43 pm

  31. same here… my freshman year was totally absorbed by this game. i just couldn’t stop playing it. and you’re SO totally right about that whole FRAN thing. ugh! i just love her soooo much but not too much respect for the way her butt and tits hang out like that!

    Comment by Ashe10 (2 comments) — April 7, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

  32. hey and thanks so much for expressing how you feel about this game. i mean i thought i was totally over my head… but i guess there are a ton of other people who would care to post their feelings too! oh, and just for the record, men totally Not first part of your life. you’re right self esteem can get in the way of that ego their carryin around! just don’t let them hog the control when you’re playin…lol! ^_^!

    Comment by Ashe10 (2 comments) — April 8, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

  33. Hello! An interesting topic and posts. Long post this is, but I hope it can help.

    Well one thing about Fran’s outfit, unsurprisingly it gets a lot of hate; and though I don’t see beautiful women as a negative I can’t disagree with them fully, since walking around different lands wearing something like that all the time isn’t correct for realism, guess it’s part of the fantasy? (Joke there.) xD But it would of been a cool option if she and the others had other outfits to choose from.

    Although even when a female character or an actual real women is clothed to be honest you can get a negative knee jerk reaction from people. Reminds me when my friend saw these random articles on Gamasutra about: “is Laura-croft sexist?” How can she be? She’s billionaire, saved the world from ancient evils, and is very intelligence; they just assume she is for simply being attractive. Even general Japanese woman don’t have problems with huge breast or being sexy, it’s considered good, but they do have problem with the image of ultra cute school girls.

    Well particularly with U.S culture, maybe in some parts of Europe too, generally most people tend to assume if a woman is beautiful mostly “negative things.” There this cultural assumption because shes attractive” she must be a whore or stupid, or oppressing woman so it offensive to people, that’s generally where the knee jerk reaction “are you offended by this?” comes from. (Doesn’t apply to males though,) given how Spandex muscular heroes are celebrated.

    Take for example a man with a perfect muscular body and sexy – no one assumes he’s any less of a man or inferior in anyway of form; now a woman who has a somewhat large bust – people assume she’s stupid and a slut. (Like that doesn’t happen in every culture;) there is no objective logic being physically attractive doesn’t mean anyone sleeps with 10 people or any relevance to intelligence; just when a Woman or any female characters are involved people tend to assume “less of her;” It’s a product of a Western form of male empire social dominance and glorifying anything masculine, roles and everything, that’s why Western woman are push to be masculine, or trap between the traditional “Devil Whore” or the “Girl next Door” images.

    Japanese culture is a masculine dominated empire as well, but men do not condemn women for being female or sexy like they do here, reasons being they lack the history of those who were religious puritans which when it comes to woman they are held to more rigidity social standard than man including control of sexuality.

    Like we know there is a whole layer of natural social semantics that separate human qualities (personality, intelligence, empathy and so forth, not always though; people empathize with Bettie Page and Marilyn Monroe, but if you look at their image of beauty it was from a different time; there is deep contrast as well because we look on that idea of beauty more romantically than the one we have now, for good reason too since there not so machine commercial perfect thin like in the modern 90s. Those old pinups usually had more personality from that era, their campy, comical, not overtly sexual; it humanizes the character even though she’s sexy and portraying aspect of sex to some degree; while like modern image is more about being like Brittney Spears as close to a skank as possible to sale on TV or being dirty as possible.

    Well last but not least, to some degree all cultures including ones where woman held power are more conservative about sex as is, so it doesn’t have to do with them being oppressed at a fundamental level. First there is a Biological reason since woman are the one who have children so they have to be more selective about sex, because if something messes up then they get stuck with the child usually. Women also are the glue that hold community together in matrilineage society the base of power in a culture is the community, not individualistic capitalism, so they’ve got good reasons to be more conservative.

    Interesting post by Christian too, in this context can’t objectively say for sure unless one knows the developers of the game whom I could tell got their inspiration of story from actual concepts in real life, and I can argue Japanese developers do get their ideas by mixing resources from all parts of the world, (but they lack the deeper understanding of them,) so calling it actual act of “racism” would be a bit bold of a move since Japanese tend to be naive about the deeper matters of their resources, although If you look at most Japanese Anime characters they idealize a sorta White European/Asian idea, but generally from what I understand of people in Japan it’s not because of the same form of discrimination that you see here often in the U.S that’s history is an old byproduct of wars; with Japan it’s Xenophobia and also their incredibly strict social-system and social-behavior norm to keep to themselves, although general Japanese (do not have any specific ideology of hate though,) it’s just most people there never dealt with people who is from different cultures, like most of their history is that way too. Can’t say for sure about most people of Japanese government though, not enough info out there that isn’t from secondary sources.

    Comment by BoomFlash57 — April 21, 2009 @ 10:50 pm

  34. Ah here I am again. Back with more words of help.

    Thanks to quickly typing that in the lateness of the night, I missed out on my last comment about one thing when I typed: “Japanese culture is a masculine dominated empire as well, but men do not condemn women for being female or sexy like they do here,” their form of sexism involve giving the image of women as cute-as-kiddy coupled simply interested in men, it isn’t an image born out of wanting harm, but Japanese women despise it since it holds back better freedom, and tend to like the image of sexy and powerful women.

    All and all about sexism what I said or say in my posts do not hold true for everyone in the U.S; of course not all men are sexist, or I’m saying all men’s desire is to control female, etc. It all depends on the demographic, where you live, all sorts of dynamics.

    Well last words hoping to help: careful to avoid thinking (too) hard, especially consisting of matters like this, (like that old saying “too much of anything isn’t good,”) over-thinking normally leads people down the road of paranoia and over-subjectivity, eventually morphing them into depression, life being about balance and all – it’s good to focus on deep research, how to find why something is the way it is; reasons I say this is in our culture’s society low value of woman roles and strict social control applied to female behavior in general coupled with hyper-competitive materialistic culture, lack of social systems that deal equally with male and female interest as a group, systems that tend to only deal with men or men of a power and wealth; that being a few of the many of primary reasons why most women have such low self-esteem over here thinking humans are evil, etc. It can make a mess of anyone’s mind if they focus on it alone, then why it is the way it is, how to deal with it, etc, there’s always people for everyone, it’s just a matter of finding where to look in the world or your demographic.

    For every negative there is a positive… Well so never give up! (Yeah I’m sorry that sounded corny. xD)

    Comment by BoomFlash57 (3 comments) — April 22, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

  35. Alright last post/freakin’-wall-of-text by me. =p

    After some research regarding Christian’s old post since it bothered me, well to be honest from what I looked up I do not think the game itself is racist, but since the developers had a huge interest in history, (so do I, which is why I like this particular game,) well, they took the actual fictional races in this FF game series and applied parts of realistic settings to them, well just parts (a lot in it is well made fantasy and that’s a thing to keep in mind,) but speaking of the realistic parts – take for example:

    The Archadia empire is racist against other races in Ivalice, because they believe they are superior due to wealth and power of resources, and also being a mostly male war driven society; well racism is a product of war, not stupid people, or it’s “natural to all animals” as I’ve heard before. It’s a product of cultural stratification and a class system, generally when you want to want to conquer or dehumanize another group of people during war, human beings use racism; racism is an institution, though it’s expirenced on individual levels people talk about in terms of who holds power in the society.

    Got racism in a society with one group in power not surprising the other group in turn resent and hate them that how conflict works.

    Wanted to make that clear since people tend to generalize this with any random conflict or discrimination people have, racism is a very specific human system that goes hand and hand with wars.

    Like Rome, Europe, America, Japan, etc, what is the reason those demographics are so wealthy or great in tech? They were from being successful in wars and having the resources to create for war and profit for themselves, while the conquered suffered from poverty and slavery because of it, this was research and applied to FF12 game how the Archadia empire vs other lands, and what the fictional races represent from oppression from Archadia, it’s not about poking fun of Black or Latino poeple in real-life, FF series always dealed with inhuman characters also have to keep in mind.

    Now what bothers me is a Western rasist-activist (reason I say Western is because activism and it’s ways is descend from historical christian crusades upon other countries, nothings universal there, and also more importantly I’m not talking about that poster Christian or anyone I have seen in this blog but people I’ve met in the past) well those might take this and believe oh this is just racism in the media, take for example FF12 Moogles, now of the game’s story it’s explained in order to survive from the wars they became good at technology to shelter their people from harm since their so small and harmless, but you will find people thinking: ‘OH THAT’S RACIST AGAINST ASIANS!’ Without any regards to context, but rather taking a context and thinking they can take it out of where it belongs and apply it to a foreign much bigger one, like that doesn’t happen in every culture, in fact the whole idea Asians are naturally good with tech by evolution is fantasy, it was because they were (good at war) like the West, war which most technology is a byproduct of. The average home PC originally was only a missile targeting system, originally most tech inventions aren’t of man to help others as an advancement of evolution, I wish that were true, lol.

    Like the way people react I’ve seen, it’s like every one thing stands for a whole of the people, still have to find out why, but I assume it might have to do with the American thing of political correctness where every single individual and/or matter stands for the most biggest matters you can think of, morels and everything, (although that isn’t true in reality, we do not have control of what every move other people do, or things that randomly happen, or the random mistakes we make.) Also political correctness makes publicly talking about history unless it’s in a school, other then that (a huge taboo,) that might be another reason why…

    Well anyways any countries that are so wealthy and great isn’t about “superiority” of evolution junk that’s heard often, the model of cultures that survived to this day was design to do a very few things well: war and conquering; it was not designed to deal with human psychology and human behavior, those are complicated things, and those societies got wiped out by empires.

    West Africa before slavery was one of them; not East Africa though, East Africa was war driven violent that’s why they didn’t get enslaved, they fought back. And you hear all kinds of silly things about West Africa like they made mask only to call down rain, or their mythology characters they develop is about “Satan” now that’s old time racism from war there, like why don’t they say Greek mythology is about worship of Satan too? Nope, greeks were an empire too, more to be admire from another empire’s view, not some non-war driven society like West Africa. West Africa people is where the power of women and men where balanced, they used sciences and spirituality as one, and understood things about the human mind that modern days we are barely coming to understand and still heavily studying, but they just didn’t write down a thing so most of what they discovered is lost for now, reason they didn’t use writing systems was to avoid a dogma use of knowledge though, stuff like this your never going to get off of wiki, might be since it would rise disturbance from Western academics, that’s a fact all human societies were and are equal in terms of being complicated just different qualities that were focused on, even racism here in the U.S is just abundant as ever, just made to show in much different ways and forbidden to show (directly) publicly by laws.

    Well here I am just typing about empires, history and whatever goes with it… It’s not just because of talking about if a game is racist or not, but because this says a lot about sexism as well – I mean logically it natural for man to be attracted to woman, like that’s basic wisdom there, but devaluing women because their attractive or for being a women, like that comes out of those all male war-driven cultures, it’s a mentality of stealing woman destroying your neighbor and conquering. Europe long ago was one of those cultures one of the most violent and turned the use of science into very mechanical thing and into a tool for war; so we gotta live with the problems caused over here, that’s where the knee jerk political correct and religious reaction of linking anything attractive to men = “it’s Evil” or “it’s a weakness” comes from.

    Like I don’t trip about it, nothing is black and white or simple, and things been set in motion long time ago, like no one can change a culture, lol. Just deal with whatever best one can.

    Comment by BoomFlash57 (3 comments) — April 30, 2009 @ 10:30 am

  36. Okay, so I haven’t actually played this game, but I’m writing a book, and I was procrastinating a bit. So I looked up ‘characters’ or something like that on google images, looking for some semblance of my characters and I stumbled upon final fantasy’s beautiful and clear images. I was like, wow, that’s amazing. These are sci-fi characters just like the ones I’m writing about. I wonder if there’s more?

    So I look, and I find a ton of images and post them on my story board (just because I’m cool like that). I always view most anime as primarily sexist, what with all the woman having to be busty and clear-eyed beauties. Hello! There are such things as us normal fokes! So, I wasn’t so surprise as I stumbled onto a few of those pics, but I was able to find a few good male ones. For my characters of race, however, I could find no sensible coresponding picture. All of the pics with black men or people of race in them gave them a huge gun and some sort of malicious expression. This disturbed me, and I was greatly disgusted by the amount of racism I could spot just skimming through pictures for final fantasy. While I was so excited to find all these characters and thinking I’d buy this thing up right away, as a short, curvy, modest woman of color I am frankly disgusted by the program. So there’s my rant. I was just giving you a stranger’s POV. ;) This was the first thing that came up on google when I looked up ‘final fantasy racist.’

    Comment by Kay (1) — July 2, 2009 @ 7:29 pm

  37. People don’t seem to realise that just the black character in the game isn’t very stereotypical or stupid, whatever, the very fact that they’re the ONLY black character (or other ethnic groups for that matter, like Hispanic or Asian – by Asian here I mean Indian, Bangladeshi, etc). When was the last time you saw a FF game (or perhaps any) where half the characters are black? Or, God forbid, a black population with the odd white character? Nope, it’s mainly white with maybe one black character (who is always male).
    As for women, while there’s no problem with them being atrtactive, it seems ludicrous for example for a queen to be running about in a skirt that’s barely thicker than her belt. A beefcake man might show a bit of chest for his muscles, for his strength whereas the woman shows skin for her sex appeal. Even if you excuse Fran’s outfit on the grounds of her having lived in a women-only society (which she did leave 50 years ago) then there’s still the fact the camera always pans over her backside. I was very glad though to see that Drace (the female Judge) wore the same armour as the males (as opposed to a little bit of metal over her chest on crotch as is sometimes the case in games.
    That said, sexism works both ways, and portraying men as constantly fighting, war-mongering beefcakes is stererotypical too. I liked Balthier’s look, because it’s rare to get the guy in tight-fitting clothes instead of just the women (though the fact he’s meant to be a womaniser is another frequently used stererotype for male characters).
    Don’t even get me started on the heterosexuals-only theme in pretty much ALL games, not just FF. It seems like a long way off ’til they feature homosexual characters (and not in the camp way they do portray those few male ones), and probably even further off when they’ll feature bisexuals.

    Comment by MewMoo (1) — July 15, 2009 @ 8:58 am

  38. It’s indeed very cultural this view of a woman being extremely attractive = “sexism.” As women with these body types really do exist. “Uncommon” would be a more truthful description.

    Example of the issue with the definition of racism, (wherein it isn’t uncommon for a person to be labeled a potential racist for simply mentioning the word race in many contexts,) sexism too the definition is constantly changed with every individual and interactions, along with this social stress to apply it to so many cases we see a male or female in interaction with each other, job or hobby, as well as looks. It is disturbing the negative results that can be of no solid definitions, can cause knee-jerk reactions to almost anything that isn’t to a degree formal.

    If you define sexism as an imbalance of power and thinking of a gender’s different values and roles as lesser of worth than the other, that is what true-sexism is.

    Now when it comes to the issue of looks – notice how it isn’t sexist if this context is placed on men about looks, women apply these standards for looks of other woman (or female characters) for a number of reasons.

    What this issue is really about at the core is woman from within a puritanical patriarch culture who are focusing on the proper place of other woman – from a social biological stand – there are many reasons other then the argument of female competition taking place in patriarchy. Apparently puritan and conservatism is enforced on woman because woman as a group within this environment get more from withholding sex from men, so mothers and grandmothers enforce informal sexual norms on woman individually at the expense of the group. It tends to be the older generation of woman in particular who try to restrict the younger generation, due to fears of campaigns of rape and/or domestic violence.

    So woman of these environments seem overly concerned with images sold to men because it’s giving away the sex commodity within this demographic which explain the constant need for both female conservatives and liberals to try to crack down on female sex images within the culture.

    Comment by LadyMomo07 (1) — July 25, 2009 @ 1:33 am

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