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Tactical Ninja - Also, it looks ridiculous

Jan. 15th, 2014

09:42 am - Also, it looks ridiculous

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OK, so lots of people have lots of beefs with the various changes LJ has made over the years. I've been somewhat relaxed about the whole thing. But something that's changed lately that's really getting my goat is the way the cursor defaults to the Subject box when you're typing a comment. When I open the comment page to reply to a comment (usually from my email notification), I often start typing my comment before the page is fully loaded. I get a few letters in, and suddenly my words start appearing in the Subject box. And I have to stop, delete that, and retype it in the Comment box. Given how often I type comments, I'm finding it really irritating.

Please LJ, recognise that when someone types a comment, it's only sometimes that they want to give it a subject heading. But they always want to put something in the comment box. Duh.


As most of you know, I have recently got into making armour - armour of the realistic variety, modelled from videogames. OK OK, I have got into cosplay. Yep. But so far, most of what I've made has been armour, and when I'm looking at other cosplays, I find my eye drawn to the armour.

And far too often I'm startled into either laughter or eyerolling by the way women's plate is depicted in videogames, and then built in cosplay.

Yes folks, we're talking about the dreaded Boob Plate. Don't know what I mean? Vis:






The idea that boobs each need their own cup to be built into a breastplate for women seems.. ill thought-out. As pointed out by Emily Asher-Perrin, there are several good physical reasons why doing this is a dumb idea - not least of which is that deflecting an arrow or sword-point in towards your heart instead of away towards your extremities seems a bit self-defeating. And the refutation by Larch* seems to demonstrate a lack of basic understanding of the physics of penetration (as any serious SCA armour maker will tell you, plate is not the best defence against arrows or sword points hitting dead on, and causing it to glance off is about your only hope).

But all academic arguments aside, having a breastplate that is designed to lift and separate seems to be ignoring (or perhaps ignorant of) the general behaviour of boobs. I mean sure, when I'm just hanging about, not fighting dragons, my boobs generally head in opposite directions. But they are pretty obliging when it comes to pushing them together into one easily-manipulated mass as well - as any woman who's ever wanted to make cleavage will tell you. I mean, push-up bras and corsets are both designed to take advantage of this malleability to make what amounts to a single shelf, right?

If your aim was to make a protective breastplate to go over boobs, and you wanted to do it with minimum cost and hassle and maximum protection, you'd smoosh the boobs together rather than beating the armour into the world's least comfortable fucking bra, right?

So I can only assume that the Boob Plate exists because either the developers have no experience of boobs, or they want to see them even when the owner has armour on. Because boobs are sexy. Or something.

* Although it's not explicitly stated, the XBox Live avatar and the way the author refers to women as 'females' suggests that Larch is a man.


Out of interest, here is an article about women's armour by the armourer who made the boob plate in the first pic. It's very interesting, for those who are into such things, and bears out the theory that boob plates are unrealistic and impractical, and that it's possible for women to look good in realistic armour.

Aveline Vallen (who in her starting armour looks to be about a C or D cup) dares you to tell her she's not sexy.

Comments:

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From:pombagira
Date:January 14th, 2014 10:50 pm (UTC)
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BOOBS

cause i am twelve


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From:tatjna
Date:January 14th, 2014 10:59 pm (UTC)
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Hey lady, do you want a zucchini and some spring onions? I can give them to you tonight.

Also, our broccolis are going to bolt while we're at KB and I think you should come grab at least one so they aren't wasted. Yep.
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From:pombagira
Date:January 14th, 2014 11:08 pm (UTC)
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yes that would be great!! and noms..

:D

shall i meet you at your house and we can walk to A and J's after that?

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From:tatjna
Date:January 14th, 2014 11:09 pm (UTC)
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Works for me! ;-)
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From:plantgirl
Date:January 16th, 2014 05:29 pm (UTC)
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She says "BOOBS!" and you offer to feed her your zucchini?

Pervert.
;p

('cause I am also 12)
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From:fbhjr
Date:January 14th, 2014 11:40 pm (UTC)
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I was never under the impression this sort of thing was for the protective value.

My group generally doesn't use armor. We've got a couple of shirts of mail and one chest plate. We almost never wear it.

My wife has gone on about how silly they are many times, and I have never disagreed with her. OK, about that.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2014 12:37 am (UTC)
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I was surprised on looking around, how many people do want to vehemently defend the boob plate. I wonder if they'd be so keen if it were a cock-and-balls codpiece?
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From:fbhjr
Date:January 15th, 2014 01:08 am (UTC)
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Is there some prevailing justification?

Most museums I know don't display codpieces on their armor as it might offend people. But, in fairness, I don't know any that show boob plates either.
(As a total side note, my auto correct changes the subject to bookplate if I make it one word...)
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2014 01:11 am (UTC)
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From what I could see, it was mostly attempts to 'prove' why it'd be perfectly rational and logical to have a boob plate instead of a standard breastplate for women (which seems to be about trying to refute the claim that boob plates are silly/dangerous). And also, the old chestnut "Well, women's armour in videogames is always silly, the boob plate is nothing really."

So no, no real justification.
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From:fbhjr
Date:January 15th, 2014 01:15 am (UTC)
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A lot of armor in video games is at best silly. Some suicidal.
Although true of male armor just as much as female, there is certainly a different emphasis on the female. I doubt anyone could honestly deny that.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2014 01:18 am (UTC)
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Yeah. That last article by the armourer that made the boob plate IRL touches on that topic.
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From:nessainwe
Date:January 15th, 2014 12:46 am (UTC)
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I have never had that happen while commenting, weird. Though I have noticed that some comments have random subjects, which I guess is from that.

I always laugh at the armour for females in games like warcraft, scantly clad, as if it would not be able to deflect anything, ever!

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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2014 01:11 am (UTC)
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Yeah. I tend to avoid games that dress women like that these days. Why should they have my money when there are so many developers who do recognise me as a person these days?
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:January 15th, 2014 01:28 am (UTC)

alternatively...

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"Why should they have my money when there are so many developers who do recognise me as a legitimate market these days?"

I don't think people that like boobs are necessarily questioning your personhood, but their aesthetic appeals in fantasy might not align with yours. And I think that's okay, so long as people have choice and media that caters to what they want.

I agree boob plates are silly. But so are giant swords, and dragons (physics means they both don't work), and other things that people like in their fantasy worlds. I guess we all choose the things that we'll accept bending reality for, and things that we'd prefer to have more realistic.

It's an interesting question in gaming, where is the line between reality and fantasy that makes a good game? Because complete realism is really boring as a game (for all but the hardcore simulation fanatics)!
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2014 01:36 am (UTC)

Re: alternatively...

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Sure. Whatever reason they do it for, the developers who don't make women fight dragons in bikinis while the men get full plate are the ones who get my money.

And the ones who do that tend to be the ones who also create female protagonists, have storylines that include women who aren't just sidekicks/LIs/damsels to further the plot. Ie, treat women as people. Ie, recognise that women play games too.

People who like boobs and are used to having their aesthetic appeals in fantasy pandered to by game developers may not be questioning my personhood, but they sure make a lot of noise when my desire to be recognised as something other than fodder for their fantasy aesthetic looks like taking away from their masturbation material. I wish it weren't true, I really do, but to deny that women have historically been represented as non-persons in videogames for the sake of the male gaze (under the assumption that men are the ones who pay for the development) is pushing shit uphill with a pointy stick these days.

You're right, giant swords and dragons are silly. But they are also not people. Women are, and depicting them as oversexualised and silly has a whole different set of harmful consequences. The sword probably doesn't care, eh?
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2014 01:49 am (UTC)

Re: alternatively...

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Also, that last article by the armourer is worth reading for a practical perspective on aesthetics vs practicality in fantasy women's armour.
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From:richaarde
Date:January 15th, 2014 05:16 am (UTC)
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I almost totally forgot that comments can have a subject. Evidently even LJ doesn't think they're important, as the LJ app doesn't give you a way to put a subject into a comment.

As far as the separated-boob armor goes, I demand equality. I think the men should wear codpieces with separate cups for each testicle. (Or at least that's my opinion. And the fact that I'm an adolescent pervert might have influenced my opinion.)
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2014 07:30 pm (UTC)
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Nono, I fully support your codpiece suggestion. It's only fair, right?
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From:meathiel
Date:January 15th, 2014 08:05 am (UTC)
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I guess THAT kind of mail is made by male armourers who don't have to wear it ... ;-)
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2014 07:31 pm (UTC)
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That would be my guess, yeah. ;-)
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From:spotsofcolour
Date:January 15th, 2014 01:08 pm (UTC)
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Oh man, the cursor in the subject line does that to me too, but not always, which is why it catches me out and makes me grumpy when it does!


The boob-plate is ridiculous. I saw a lot of discussion about it over on tumblr when the last Superman movie came out regarding Faora's armour (I've not seen it, I think it's her name).



There was a bit of split opinion over whether or not this constituted the traditional 'boob plate' and was thus a ridiculous piece of armour, or whether actually given the construction of the armour up into a neck guard from her breastbone, and the fact that her boobs weren't sort of out and pointy as they often are with this sort of design, that instead it was a sensible design made to take into account and work with her body shape rather than just squashing her breasts down under male armour for the sake of not being seen as sexualising her because she's a female character.

That latter argument always seemed ridiculous though because case in point in the final picture you showed - a woman would be wearing some kind of clothing under her armour, so it wouldn't matter, boobs are squishy also. But additionally whilst I can understand the motivation for perhaps wanting to build additional support into armour for breasts, it doesn't mean the armour needs to meld to the under-support. It surely would be easy enough to construct an armour over breast support without then having to put what's underneath on display?
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2014 07:33 pm (UTC)
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That looks like an attempt at compromise to me. The guy who wrote that last article I linked to touches on this - trying to emphasise gender without going ott about it.

Personally, I'd rather see proper armour. That's not necessarily a boob plate, but if she fell on her front she'd at a minimum wind herself so badly she couldn't get up again.
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From:plantgirl
Date:January 16th, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC)
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Didn't you know? Women never fall in battle. The lift from their helium-filled boobs keeps them upright if they start to teeter.

:p
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From:fbhjr
Date:January 15th, 2014 02:18 pm (UTC)
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I spoke to someone else about this and they presented a different theory.
In a fantasy setting it is the magic in the armor that does the protecting, not the metal.
So, the base for the enchantment can look like whatever you want as it only hold the spell.

I guess there is some logic there if you assume the existence of magic force fields.
But it wouldn't hold for anything in real use.

I'd still go for something that worked if the spell failed, but that's me.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2014 07:34 pm (UTC)
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In that case, the men definitely need magically-held-on codpieces that lift and separate their balls. It's only fair, after all.
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From:adam_0oo
Date:January 18th, 2014 05:38 pm (UTC)
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That would be really refreshing feeling down there, actually.
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From:plantgirl
Date:January 16th, 2014 05:31 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I'm glad I wasn't the only one annoyed by the subject field capturing the cursor when I try to comment. It is one of several small annoyances that fed into my not being around much for a while.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 16th, 2014 07:30 pm (UTC)
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Heh, and I'm glad I wasn't the only one who noticed it! I was starting to wonder if it was just me and my browser settings or something.
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From:pundigrion
Date:January 16th, 2014 09:35 pm (UTC)
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I'd read those articles about the boobplate logistics before and utterly agree with you. I mean yes, there is plenty of silly male armour too (spikes that would brain you if you shrugged anyone?), but none of it is sexualized the way female armour is. Also, all women must be slim and young in most games is annoying as well.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 16th, 2014 09:37 pm (UTC)
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I'm pretty sure Cullen's pauldrons would act like a nutcracker on his head if he ever raised his arme..
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From:adam_0oo
Date:January 18th, 2014 05:43 pm (UTC)
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Great articles, great examples and links. I really want to take some pictures of myself reflected off of her boob plate shiny armor.

You have discussed this before, but don't ever stop discussing it, it is interesting every time and always worth boosting the signal.

I feel like the point of this is that there shouldn't be male armor or female armor, just armor, as really, on the inside, all our organs are pink.
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From:laughingmagpie
Date:January 22nd, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)
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So I can only assume that the Boob Plate exists because either the developers have no experience of boobs, or they want to see them even when the owner has armour on.

Or, developers think that their "core audience" expects to view teh sexy ladies even if said ladies are in armour, or might not want to be sexy all the time, etc... (straight male gaze, etc). *sigh*

I love armour too! I wish I were better at it, but I should be content that my fabric and paint skillz are strong for now :-)
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