Tekken is a series of fighting video games whose first iteration was first released in 1994 and had ever since had many versions of it released. The game's popularity is quite evident as it is one of the most played games of all time.
A big part of the game is choosing a character with whom you chose to fight. Submerging your identity with that of your character, and experiencing the joy of making them win makes the experience so enjoyable.
There are 52 playable characters in the latest version of the game. Out of these 52 playable characters, only 15 are women. The problem isn't the evident imbalance of gender representation shown in the ratio of the male to female characters; instead, the real problem reveals itself in how these 15 female characters are represented.
Most female characters are overly sexualized to appeal to the male gaze, particularly young boys, who are the game's primary audience. Unlike the male characters who are very diverse in their physical features, such diversity is not present in these female characters. They are all shown to have similar physical characteristics, such as large breasts, soft lips, and hourglass figures. Moreover, the sexualization of these characters is further magnified when they win a round, after which they are seen smiling and blowing kisses while swaying their hips from side to side.
As Tekken 8 is to be released soon, it is important to have this conversation surrounding the game’s representation of women in hopes for the developers to change the game in a way that makes for an enjoyable experience for all genders.