Is 2B From Nier: Automata Overly Sexualized?

I wrote something not related to roleplaying games but I don’t know where else to post it, so I post it here

This is a discussion on sexualization in Nier Automata. For a more comprehensive critic, watch Pixel A Day’s analysis

People that say that 2B’s outfit makes sense for combat are wrong and miss the point entirely: a) 2B doesn’t exist. b) The game world of Nier doesn’t exist. Their opinion is a classic fallacy in which fiction is used to describe real world problems by ignoring (deliberately) that fiction is not real. In other word, this is a diegetic justification for sexism.

Appealing to a supposed fictional reality in which “things are like that”, deliberately omitting the fact that a real person was the one who made the decision to include that element in the fictional world in the first place.

This fallacy works like this:

Critic: “Nier’s robots wear revealing clothes, the aim of the game is for the robots to show their intimate parts as a mere fan-service”.

Fandom: “The critic is wrong, and you can tell he didn’t pay attention. If he had paid attention to the game, he would know that there is a reason for this: robots try to imitate humans, but they do so imperfectly, so the result is a parody that mimics in an out-of-place, or erratic, way some human attitudes or behaviors; in other words, 2B doesn’t wear sexy clothes to appease the fans, it does so because she believes that’s the way human women should dress.”

In other words: Someone makes a criticism of some element of a work, usually for being racist or sexist; then, the fandom defends the work citing in-world reasons (diegetic reasons) to explain why things are so.

Therein lies the problem: fictional worlds are not real, and the creators of those worlds can change the elements as they wish or as they need, and in fact this is what happens in 100% of the cases: whether it is a single writer or a group of hundreds of people working on a video game or movie, the story, the designs, the events, the dialogue, and all the elements of the work go through constant revisions, until in the end someone makes the decision to finalise the project, in what is considered the final version.

The only reason why things are the way they are in fiction worlds, is that the author decided that this is the way things should be. Someone, a real person, of flesh and blood, decided that Nier’s robots should show their underwear and crotch, it’s not a real world where that’s the way things are, it’s a fictional world that someone built that way.

It’s a mistake to pretend that the controversial, or even harmful, elements of a work of fiction are justifiable using in-world arguments.

Fandom: “You can’t criticize those elements because that’s the way the world is.”

To summarize, this response to criticism is completely wrong because fictional worlds are not real, they are created by someone, someone who has the ability to change elements and to decide what that world is like. Remember: The world of fiction does not exist, the only thing that exists is the finished work and the ideas it represents or expresses.

These argumentative fallacies are only intended to nullify the criticisms using diegetic justifications, not to mention they quickly devolve into attacking the person expressing a criticism, not their arguments.

The criticism of a work has the objective of understanding something and to approach the truth, for this reason it requires rigor; works of criticism are not mere opinions. Or, if they are, they are informed opinions.

The defense of the work and the attacks on the critic seek to silence the criticism of a creative work, which is, in the end, a criticism of the decisions that one person or many people made when creating the work.

Is this game sexist, then? Well, it includes an achievement called What are you doing?, an achievement for looking up 2B’s skirt. Someone intentionally decided that one of the goals of the game was to look at her underwear. What more do you want me to say? It’s perfectly clear it is.


Chaos Magick-User, Vagabond, Dork

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