Controversies in Geek Culture #2: Dead or Alive Xtreme 2

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Dead_or_Alive_Xtreme_2_Xbox_Game_CoverImagine it. A beach full of women in scantily clad bikinis. You watch them play volleyball as their breasts and butt jiggle about in ways unknown to physics. Could this be real life? No, it’s not. This is “Dead or Alive Xtreme 2” and it’s awful.

The game, released in 2006, is the sequel to “Dead or Alive Xtreme Volleyball“. DOAX is a spin-off of the Dead or Alive fighting game, in which most of the female characters of the game were put on a beach to participate in volleyball and a few other minigames. DOAX2 is a modified version of this, adding new “physics” to the breasts, the complete female roster, and numerous other minigames in addition to tweaking the old ones. There is also a return of the casino, where various slot machine games can be played.

The essential point of the game is to complete a two-week vacation. You play as one of the characters and participate in one activity for each time of day — morning, afternoon, and evening. You must also befriend one other girl on the beach by buying her clothes and playing games with her.

However, breaking down the game shows that isn’t the point at all. YouTube comments and various other reviews show how most people do not play the game for an entertainment appeal. Rather, the target audience (assumingly mostly lonely and desperate boys) would be playing it for the, let’s say, aesthetic appeal. The opening sequence in and of itself shows what the game is really meant for.

Naturally, people can find the game appealing without playing purely for the oversexualization of these characters. YouTube comments (from the sequence above) show how people enjoy the minigames within themselves. There are various additions in DOAX2, such as Jet Ski racing and water sliding. This should not, however, be used to defend the fact that this game is extremely sexist.

The game’s art mainly appeals to the typical JRPG female – showcasing a large butt and breasts, as well as a fairly skinny (yet curved) and tall body. This style is also very similar to many of the females in American RPGs, or American video games in general. This contributes to the typical perfect model of a female, which in itself is sexist and demeaning. The game also portrays women as nothing but sexual objects to be exploited for the good of (mostly male) sexual fantasies.

There was question that there would be certain activities such as trampoline games and wet t-shirt contests in DOAX2. The creator of the game, Tomonobu Itagaki, denied this, stating in an interview with IGN “[We] have to be really careful not to make it seem vulgar. Certain activities show the women in a negative light.” In the same interview, he also said “I don’t know how to say it but the graphics are looking good in a very sexy way. I don’t think you’ll find anything better than what we have going here.” There’s also a clip/minigame in Christie’s slot machine (that plays if you get all 7’s in a certain order) which shows her pole dancing.

Despite all of this, the game is revered as a cult classic, mainly for the “physics” that go into the breasts. As seen in the opening sequence, each breast acts individually and freely, giving each the ability to weeble and wobble as much as possible. Animation for the breasts commonly continues on even after the character has stopped moving, or freezes in the middle of a bounce. Overall, it’s a very finicky system. However, the sex appeal and silliness of it has led the game to be revered. The game has been both loved and hated since its creation. In 2012, MMGN, a video game review and forum site, included DOAX2 on the list of the five most sexist games of this generation. ScrewAttack, another video game news website, included it on their 2012 list of top ten “games that make you want to bone”.

Even though the game was released in 2006 (and its predecessor in 2003), it is important to still look back on games such as this and look at them for what they really are: sexist pieces of gaming crap that make female gamers (such as myself) angry beyond measure.

You can read the interview with Tomonobu Itagaki here.