I Said What I Meant and I Meant What I Said
Male video-game protagonists deserve better butts. And you know what? Those butts deserve our attention.
If you’re designing a character, why not include a decent butt? It shouldn’t be excessive or a major focus of the character’s design, but I’m a firm believer that every character should have a nice fanny.
By no means does the character’s butt have to be sexualized or treated differently for any reason. It can just be part of the character — chilling out, looking good, waiting there for someone to realize, hey, that character has a pretty good butt! As long as the butt isn’t purposefully de-emphasized, over-accentuated, hidden, or otherwise modified because of how the industry assumes a certain demographic might feel about its representation otherwise. A butt is a body part like any other and there’s no need to treat this particular body part differently.
Female butts are old hat. They’re emphasized and overemphasized all over the place. Frankly, going more in-depth about it seems like beating a dead horse. We get it, the horse is dead — no more announcement is necessary. Now it’s a matter of removing the dead horse, but that requires heavier lifting than what I can accomplish here.
Guys’ butts, on the other hand, constantly appear underinflated, undefined or awkwardly out of view in video games. I want to see this problem solved.
It’s Not a Noble Goal, But It’s My Goal
To clarify — you know that thing where some guys make their playable characters female just so they can look at a girl’s butt for the whole game? And how if the roles were reversed, women would be playing as guys? I’m not talking about that. I’m sure that if a game lets the player pick the gender of the playable character, plenty of people already do this for whatever gender they prefer. And if a game lets you create a character, do what you want. You’re as free as your hair.
Or you know that thing where camera angles in video games focus in on female characters’ butts during cut-scenes and certain shots? I’m not talking about this for male characters either. By the way, those games, and games that do everything possible to avoid brief dude-butt closeups in cut-scenes, can take a long walk off a short pier. Just let the butt have its time in the spotlight if it’s only there for a second. I promise it won’t tarnish anyone’s masculinity to have a man’s butt on screen.
No Butts About It
I’m talking about the all-too-often pathetic butts in video games where there is a single, humanoid, male protagonist that you have to play as.
Yeah, that’s right — only the humanoid ones. Nobody’s rallying for game designers to slap a fat pair of cheeks onto Ecco the Dolphin, you feel me?
Not every butt in a game has to be exceptional, either. Flat, undefined butts are just as wonderful and beautiful as any jelly Beyoncé thinks we’re not ready for. Any booty can be bootylicious given enough confidence. Just a campaign slogan I’m working on.
To be clear, I’m just advocating for the bettering of the butts of male protagonists because de-emphasizing the butts of this type of video game character has been a serial offence for years. I think it’s silly for an industry to portray (meaning beyond any minor anatomical differences) a body part that every human has differently based on gender. Too much and too little butt are both problematic when the end of adding too much or too little serves as the means with which an industry caters to what it thinks one of its target demographics wants based on gender stereotypes and a touch of underlying homophobia.
Plus, most of the time those guys are out saving the world and the like. The least they could get is a decent butt once in awhile.
Let me give you some examples of male video game protagonist butts that I find wholly unimpressive, followed by some potential posterior paragons.
Solid Snake — Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
This is the real Deflategate and that’s all I have to say about that. See the original Tweet here and the original butt below in this article.
Spider-Man — Spider-Man
The Spider-Man team must be a bunch of Flat Earthers because I’ve never seen an obviously three-dimensional object represented as something so shallow. Spidey’s wearing a skin-tight suit and his butt is so flat I could use it as a straightedge. Again, there is nothing wrong with flat butts, nor does this particular butt look crazily unreasonably shaped for the character’s body type. But there is a difference between a flat butt and simply not having one because the skin-tight suit the character wears doesn’t even show the separation of cheeks.
Various — Assassin’s Creed, AC: Unity, AC: Origins, AC: Black Flag, AC: Brotherhood
Come on, Assassin’s Creed. You’re literally called ASS-ASSin’s Creed. When you’re not hiding butts with capes and unnecessary layers of clothing, you give these boys flat, poorly defined rectangles. These are some truly neglected butts.
The only one with an almost reasonable butt is Edward Kenway and he looks like he’s trying to smuggle a Nintendo Switch past some city guards by stuffing it down the back of his pants. HOLD ON — is this where the use of ‘booty’ as a term for pirates’ treasure comes from?! You know what, from now on I am absolutely going to present this as fact whenever a conversation breaks out about illegitimate aquatic business people.
Batman — Batman: Arkham Asylum
Wow is it difficult to find a picture where you can get a decent look at the good old Batbutt. I’d say it seems like Batman hides his butt from us the whole game by wearing that cape, but you can’t hide what isn’t there.
If we’re talking about the ratio of thigh width to butt size, I’m genuinely concerned that his butt, as shown, just isn’t enough to keep those powerful thighs connected to the rest of his body. It’s a miracle his belt stays where it it because his thighs would be the only things preventing it sliding right off him. And you can’t tell me a form-fitting super suit has belt loops sewn into it. Those full pockets wouldn’t even fit through belt loops.
I’m just saying, Batman is fanny-packing it up 24/7 while he fights crime and trying keep it on himself without doing that strapless-dress-shuffle-readjust dance all the time by using the equivalent of crown molding as opposed to a proper shelf.
Solid Snake — Super Smash Bros. Brawl
This is what Snake’s butt used to look like. Dude’s got stuff to do and people to fight, which means he’s got muscle, which means he needs those puffy butt muscles in order to move around to fight and do all that stuff. With no unnecessary clothing to hinder his movement, his butt is there for us to see, plain and simple.
Geralt — The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
As you can see, the game very nearly cuts out Geralt’s butt from the frame. And what a wonderful inclusion this is. It’s no bubble butt, but it’s been given permission to be there and that’s half the battle, honestly. It’s also been given a bit of definition in the actual character model that the light can reflect, not just some literally half-assed shading to make it look like there’s a butt there.
Deadpool — Deadpool
Now this is how you give a superhero/antihero in a tight suit a great butt, and of course Deadpool sets the example. How could he not have a fantastic butt? It’s a little rectangular, but the ratio of thigh width to butt size is super on point, and he’s packing a full-on whale tail crack. That utility belt isn’t going anywhere, even with all those massive guns strapped to it.
Mario — Super Mario Party
See, this is what I’m talking about! The butt is in the shot as it would naturally appear. It’s not awkwardly hidden in some way. And the butt is somewhat defined, but not taking focus away from anything. A solid butt performance from Nintendo to counteract their performance with Solid Snake’s butt.
Although if you look at it too long the graphic behind his butt does kinda make it look like he’s soaring through the scene by way of a cartoonish magical fart, if I’m being real with you.
Putting The Past Behind Us
Thanks for letting me get this ridiculous, but deadly serious, article on dude butts out of my system. I feel much better now.
Did I miss a tragic case of unimpressive butt on a male video game protagonist? Please let me know! And if you want to read more from us here at The Punished Backlog, maybe start by checking out this insane small-key-based ranking of 3D Legend of Zelda dungeons or the Punished Notes series.
P.S. You have no idea how desperately I wanted to feature Injustice 2 in this article for the sole purpose of using this sentence: “Injustice 2? More like injustice to that ass.” It just makes me giggle.