Fan Service: Let’s Tone Down the Sexiness, Please

According to Mel, fandom isn’t sexy but doesn’t know it.

By Mel Turnquist. Posted 04/13/2012 10:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Mel Turnquist's Fan Service masthead column

Welcome back to another edition of Fan Service where the best of fandom gets their props and the worst of fandom gets their knocks. And since this edition of Nintendojo is all about the Complaint Department, what better way to commemorate that than to rant about something that has been bugging me ever since I even started getting into fandom in general.

Now keep in mind, I’m not trying to dictate the ways of fandom. I’m well aware of a lot of rules of the internet which apply to fandom , but this is just a pet peeve of mine that has been going on for too long. I know I shouldn’t let my own annoyances get to me as much as they do, but the thing is that whenever I try to search for any worthwhile fan art on Deviantart of certain Nintendo characters, my eyeballs end up getting assaulted with not the Ps and Qs of fandom, but the Ts and As.

In other words, let me just ask you this question: Ever wanted to see a sexy gender flipped humanized Bowser?

While I’m not 100% sure that exists (though, I’m sure it will eventually), the basic thing is this — whenever I type in anything — especially women — there’s always fan art where they’re looking so ridiculously oversexualized. Now I’m a supporter of First Amendment rights. Even if I don’t agree with it, I will fight for someone’s right to say or make it. That doesn’t mean that I won’t have my complaints. I will.

The thing is that whenever I’m trying to find some fan art, usually it’s something I’d want to have for wallpaper or something funny to share with a friend. Unfortunately, whenever you type in anything, there’s at least half of the results on the page will involve either a girl character wearing either the most skin tight clothing or the skimpiest clothing…sometimes both. And if it’s not a girl character, it’s a guy character wearing next to nothing. Of course, this isn’t as troubling to me, but I am more of a believer in fairness than in catering to what I want over anything else.

Granted, I’m fine with some things being “hotter and sexier” given the source material and what the target audience usually is. Like Final Fantasy, Fire Emblem, or other RPGs — I suppose I can let it slide. I’ll even grant a little bit towards the Zelda series. That one is borderline, but there’s at least some understanding that goes into it. Hell, I’ll even cut Star Fox a little slack. While I may not be into it, there’s folks who enjoy it and they have their right to do so.

What I’m mainly talking about are games that have no sexual content in them to begin with. The games that are usually aimed for family audiences or kids in general. Like Super Mario Brothers, Kirby (trust me, there’s some out there and it’s more disturbing than one can imagine), WarioWare (nobody wants to see a sexy Warioto begin with), and other franchises which have no right to be sexed up. These are games that should at least try to remain without tons of disturbing artistry trying to ruin the childhoods of everybody with a Wifi connection.

I’m not asking to get rid of the overtly sexualization of video game characters, since that’s just am impossible request to begin with, but at least just tone it down a little and try to keep the children characters out of it. Nothing skeeves me out more than a child character being made over as all grown up and in skimpier clothing.

Random Aside: But enough complaining for today. Now onto some form of props that I’ve been meaning to hand out. Since it relates to Fan Art, though in webcomic form, I believe that it’s right to give some kind of shootout to this one webcomic which has returned after a month and a half long absence. Brawl in the Family, which is pretty much a love letter to all things Nintendo (especially Kirby), came back with a simply fantastic 400th webcomic, which is in fact a webcomic set to music. The song, which was written by the creator Matthew Taranto, details the history of Nintendo and is simply a pleasure to listen to. To me, this is an example of fandom done right. Funny, clever, and well drawn. If you haven’t checked it the webcomic by now, then by all means, I recommend you to check it out.

Until next time, this has been another edition of Fan Service. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

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