Sunday, January 10, 2010
Reading Philippe Perrot's article, I'm reminded of an article I read last year about how Fashion and aesthetics is imposed upon female gamers by Seraphina Brennan. Brennan argues that the aesthetic of female characters in video games are unjust imposed upon the fictional characters that they play. Furthermore, these female characters tend to be dressed in a manner that is degrading to women even when they represent a strong status in the video games. Essentially, female characters are designed to be weak despite their importance in the video game. Brennan also argues, that male characters in video games are never depicted in such a way that is degrading for male players, where as female players are constantly forced to see unrealistic depictions of their characters. I was reminded of this article because in Perrot's article the idea that Fashion was imposed in order to maintain status was discussed. Perrots notes how historically there were "'sumptry laws' and 'Vestimentary ordinances'" which dictated the way a person would dress. Additionally, these laws were important for keeping "social ranks visible". What I found interesting in these two articles is that they both discuss how fashion is imposed upon people, where people are not allowed the freedom to design their identity. Thinking back on Brennan’s article it may be that the video game industry is more focused on male than females, hence it will impose a more male view of fashion. This ultimately reflects females in a less powerful, or more degrading perspective, than males. In this sense, I guess you can view video games as a nation and fashion or aesthetics are used to maintained the male centered audience.
Philippe Perrot. "Introduction," "Toward a Hisotry of Appearances," and "Clothing's Old and New Regimes."