10 years later, gaming has finally caught up with ‘Lollipop Chainsaw’

10 years later, gaming has finally caught up with 'Lollipop Chainsaw'

The relationship between femininity and play has been tumultuous for a long time. For most of the public, the image of the capital “G” Gamer is that of a colleague playing Obligations either aura online and yelling through voice chat. Being a woman and a player has long gone hand in hand with bullying. While the industry has moved toward inclusion, the treatment of a group that makes up 41 percent of all gamers remains a huge issue. The early years of the 2010s marked a specific time in gaming that seemed geared towards fulfilling male fantasies. A cult classic from that era is about to return.

Pacifier chainsaw was released a decade ago in June 2012, and around the game’s 10th anniversary, original producer Yoshimi Yasuda teased on Twitter that the game will be making a return one way or another. And so it’s time for a cultural reassessment of the female representation portrayed in the game.

So let’s talk bimbos.

welcome to the peep show

paddle chainsaw is a game covered in glitter and blood, asking the player to objectify the protagonist.

paddle chainsaw was developed by Suda51’s Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. studio, the same company behind the No More Heroes series. marvel studios Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn served as a writer on the project. The game is a zombie hack ‘n’ slash, but that wasn’t the main selling point. Promotional material and trailers for paddle chainsaw centered on the protagonist, a barely legal cheerleader named Juliet Starling.

The way the trailers focus on Juliet’s skimpy miniskirt and “perfect” body is downright voyeuristic. The camera zooms in on Starling’s lips as she sucks on a lollipop. There is even more of an upskirt angle. Suggestive language makes some meta jokes about the player in her room. paddle chainsaw He was never shy about announcing the actual product that gamers wanted: Juliet herself.

Story-wise, it’s Juliet’s 18th birthday. (Yes, we’re literally talking barely legal territory!) She’s nervous because she’s bringing her boyfriend Nick home for the first time tonight to meet her family. Unfortunately, when Juliet arrives at school, she discovers that there has been a zombie outbreak and that poor Nick has been bitten. To prevent her from turning, she decapitates her boyfriend and casts a spell to keep her head alive. Turns out Juliet and her family are zombie hunters. What follows is a hack ‘n’ slash adventure through the school to stop the outbreak and make it to Juliet’s birthday dinner alive.

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The game mechanics were uninspired, even at the time. It just couldn’t stand action titles like the Devil can cry franchise. The only thing the developers added to combat was a plethora of effects for Juliet’s attacks including glitter, pink hearts, and rainbows. The continuous learning camerawork accentuated the shortness of her skirt and the tightness of her sports bra. They can rightly be called money shots.

Juliet’s pervasive objectification even affects how characters interact with her. In her review, IGN Writer Mitch Dyer said, “For every zombie Juliet Starling decapitates with her chainsaw, someone calls her a whore, talks to her about masturbating, or comments on her giant breasts.”

lolita fantasy

Sexualized characters in games aren’t uncommon, but characters like Bayonetta don’t occupy the same territory as Juliet Starling.Nintendo

Defenders of paddle chainsaw at the time of its release, he argued that Suda51’s games were always rude, always weird, and yet always had a deeper meaning. These (typically male) advocates would say that Juliet’s bubblegum-pop look and over-sexualization was “The Point.” she was a comment on sexual objectification.

There is a joke that if you ask a man why he loves boobs so much, he will give you a speech about the nature of sexuality, beauty and the meaning of the universe. Ask a queer woman or non-binary person why she loves boobs and she’ll tell you something like “soft boob, warm boob, safe boob.”

This is what contemporary analysis of paddle chainsaw it feels like.

Juliet is created from the minds of men to perfectly flip a switch in every straight man’s head that she is a hot piece of meat. Juliet is a Lolita fantasy, a thinly veiled recreation of Britney Spears in “baby one more time.” Juliet literally says, “Wow, I did it again.” She exists in the pinkish gray area between bubblegum childhood innocence and youthful hypersexualization.

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The difference between Juliet Starling and an equally sexualized character like Bayonetta is an interesting thing to look at. Bayonetta’s appeal is that she is a hot woman in heels who would step on you and not give you the time of day. She tortures men and has a deep relationship with Jeanne, one that is largely read as romantic by fans. This power fantasy isn’t necessarily appealing to male audiences who want to feel like they can exert some kind of control over the female lead.

long life babe

The passage of a decade gives Juliet Starling agency in her own identity.Interactive Entertainment from Warner Bros.

A word that was mentioned in several reviews of paddle chainsaw it was “bimbo”. It was used to negatively describe Juliet Starling’s characterization.

“Juliet is an idiotic and unconscious fool,” says the IGN revision.

New York Daily News he called Juliet “a typical high school dumbass, a cheerleader from San Romero High and a dumb, stupid, painfully one-dimensional blonde.”

But what does bimbo mean? urban dictionary tickets for bimbo during the time of paddle chainsaw defines the term as “a very unintelligent blonde, with giant boobs” and “a stupid and sexually careless girl or young woman, usually but not always blonde, and usually but not always big boobs”. Oh!

10 years have passed since paddle chainsaw, and in that decade the conversation about female identity and sexual politics in the games industry has evolved. 2013 saw the beginning of a year-long campaign of harassment in the games industry known as game gate. A concentrated effort by misogynistic parties within the gaming community at large sought to preserve what they saw as true gaming. They believed that the way to do it was by sending death threats to critics and developers to leave the industry by any means possible.

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Lo and behold, Gamergate never really ended. It’s still not 100 percent safe to be a woman in video games, but the discussion around issues of misogyny allowed much of the community to work for change. At the same time, the broader culture has gone through phases of feminine identity. For a time, there was girl boss, the ideology of pinning femininity to the hustle and bustle of work. Women can change the world if they just submit to the systems of capitalism and work girl!

Modern bimboism is a subculture about hyperfemininity and anti-establishment ideology.

But Girlboss is dead, and the fool killed her.

The rise of TikTok during a global pandemic led to a resurgence of bimbo, or bimbofication, ideology. iD magazine announced that 2021 was “the year of the bimbo”.

Using bimbo sounds like an odd choice based on the old Urban Dictionary definitions, but the meanings change over time. Today, the bimbo adheres to the sexual, bubblegum pop aesthetic of bimbos from a bygone era. But modern bimboism is “grounded in an inclusive, anti-capitalist, gleefully queer and aggressively friendly ideology,” as he defines it. Vice writer ariel richards.

In a modern, post-#FreeBritney bimbo world, Juliet Starling still represents an ideal. She is a conventionally attractive woman who fully accepts her sexuality on her own terms. Juliet clearly embodies her self-love and pride despite the objectification she receives from other characters, the player, and her creators. She may fit the bill of a stereotypical cheerleader, but she’s also a powerful chainsaw-wielding zombie slayer.

While the circumstances of Juliet Starling’s creation in the original paddle chainsaw are rooted in the misogyny and voyeurism of the early 2010s, the modern revival of bimboism may give Juliet the deeper meaning she always deserved. And there has never been a better time than now.