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Female Game Characters and How Boobplate Will Probably Get You Killed

Why ladies armor not only looks silly, but might actually get the character killed.

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Ladies' armor in video games (and movies as well) has always been a bit of a joke. It’s there if you’ve ever played Soul Caliber and watched your warrior move onto the battle field in a bikini, or really any other game where your female character is basically naked. Chain mail bikinis and armor plated breasts are extremely common for female characters.

But what about the breast shaped armor? The armor that looks like it might actually protect the wearer, but still manages to show off the feminine form? Surely that’s better.

Disregarding that armor isn’t meant to be physically attractive anyway (these are fantasy games we’re discussing) there are actual problems with “boobplate” armor, as covered in this recent article by tor.com. The extra shapely chest is actually a good way to do yourself more damage. If you take a fall during battle or get struck extra hard (for example, by one of those giant sword wielding demi-gods that seem to be so common in fighting games), you can fracture your sternum or breast bone, which can “[destroy] your heart and lungs, instantly killing you.”

 

Boobplate armor is a step above the armored bikini, but the version you often see in video games is clearly designed with the display of breasts in mind and can break character. There is nothing wrong with a flattering ladies armor, but the armor depicted seems to be used for the sole idea of “lifting and separating” like it was purchased at a Victoria’s Secret for medieval knights.

Ladies' video game armor should hopefully come to a point where it is a little better than laughable. Take this example from League of Legends—the character Sejuani. She’s a battle-pig-riding tough warrior (in a cold climate nonetheless) but she’s depicted as wearing what I can only assume is a “battle bikini.” Thankfully a redesign took place, but it’s still boobplate.

I don’t mean that strong women can’t also be sexy, but it would be nice to recognize that there’s more to beauty and sex appeal than the boobs. There are some great examples on this Tumlbr community.  

Originally Published May. 7th 2013

Associate Editor

Former rugby player, social media person, and occasional writer.

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Comments
  • 42
    Amazon Eliza Steel 1 year ago
    Contributor
    Love the term. As someone sporting chainmail in Guild Wars 2, I've been pretty happy with the way Norn female warriors armor is done.

    Do keep in mind that plate armor is only the outer layer. Traditionally, at least heavy padding or leather or a layer of mail was worn underneath the plate.

    In addition to providing comfort, padded was extra protection AND absorbed blunt trauma from impacts. Believe it or not, most full plate armor sets were only about 45 lbs. - about as much as a modern army pack.
  • 13
    John Smithu 2 years ago
    Featured Contributor
    Sex sells, honestly. The only reason Riot redesigned Sejuani aesthetically was because of a fan backlash that originated from the first sketch of the character Lux. Before and after: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Ji1cEU9wBWs/TLlCUtYCYgI/AAAAAAAAF_8/fqIJQyycLGo/s1600/LuxReimagined.jpg

    They now design all of their female characters with this new idea in mind. That being said, this is a recurring issue in the industry itself, totally agreed. Even Bioshock Infinite, so revered for its deep issues, had Elizabeth's chest popping out of her corset whenever you talked to her.
  • 9
    JediSange 2 years ago
    Featured Contributor
    LOL. Best title.
  • 60
    Amanda Wallace 2 years ago
    Associate Editor
    I found the term while I was doing research and knew it was perfect.
  • 57
    Rothalack 2 years ago
    Staff Editor
    Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones. The only women warrior type character from any medieval kinda set universe that I can think of that does not fill this format.
  • 60
    Amanda Wallace 2 years ago
    Associate Editor
    I've seen a couple of examples, but they're mostly from film (Joan of Arc, I think the Queen Elizabeth movie where she actually wears armor, and Kristen Stewarts character in Snow White and the Huntsman) and from MTG.

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