Bayonetta, Sexuality, Decoration and Celebration

The inimitable, incisive .tiff checks in on the hype about the main character in Bayonetta being an example for female characters in video games:

I don’t buy it. Bayonetta is pure camp to me, which well explains the extremities of everything from her disproportionate body to her saucy one-liner dialogue. Because of this campiness, I can’t even begin to think she is a character of “substance” to any degree. Sure, there’s the fact that she can beat the living daylights out of any angelic demon which of course makes her totally kickass to play as, but at the end of the day what’s clear to me is that her sexuality in the game is used most explicitly as decoration as opposed to celebration. Sexuality as a weapon is nothing new in terms of women characters in gaming. We’ve seen this countless times before, and the only way Bayonetta is any different is that there are a lot more combo moves, rose petals, and photoshop flares sprouting out of her kicks and twists. This is artistically in parallel to the game’s High-Def Rococo approach to everything, and that being said, functions in the same way. I guess that it could all be interpreted as a joyous explosion of girl-shaped confetti in a celebration of female sexuality, but I really can’t see this as an empowerment of the female sex when it’s all for show.

Read all of .tiff’s take here: Bayonetta – Sexuality as Decoration vs. Celebration.






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