Like most men in their 30’s, I feel ashamed of the way I used to treat the ladies in video games.
When Lara Croft first arrived on the scene in 1996, I admit, I saw her as a sexual object. I was completely blind to her socio-political importance as a symbol of female empowerment.
I just thought – yeah, tits.
But times have changed. Society has changed. And Lara has changed.
Lara’s breasts in the Tomb Raider games have been getting progressively smaller. This shows how games are moving from adolescent fantasies to a more intelligent depiction of sexy, back-flipping, archaeological babes.
Gamers have also changed. We want something more than just the fantasy of sensational virtual sex. We are starting to look behind the skimpy outfits and jiggling breasts.
Because we now live in an age where marriage between a man and a video game babe is perfectly possible. This happened last year with a Japanese weirdo who got hitched to a character from a Nintendo DS game called Love Plus. So with this in mind here is a guide to some of the most eligible women in video games.
5. Female instructor, Wii Fit (Nintendo Wii, 2007)
Let us look past the fact that the Wii Fit woman has a cracking body, seductive voice and wears tight-fitting exercise pants that display her camel toe.
Instead, we shall focus on what she could offer in terms of a serious relationship – and this is where the alarms bells start to ring.
After the initial virtual lust there is the real fear that Wii Fit woman could reveal herself to be a demented Anthea Turner style loon.
Everything would have to be white. Everything would be regimented. She would wake you up at 4.30am with a bowl of Special K and a list of the day’s exercises.
Sexual performances would start to appear on a wall chart in the pristine kitchen as Wii Fit woman tells you which areas need to improve. Risky.
4. Ms Pacman (Arcade, 1981)
Games are often criticised for portraying women in an unrealistic light – skinny bodies with big tits. With Ms Pacman, however, we have a big fat yellow blob which manages to be sexy.
You can imagine Ms Pacman featuring on a Gok Wan makeover. At the start of the show she would be a plain-looking yellow blob with self-esteem issues. Then Gok would work his magic - add some lipstick and a red hair bow accessory and boom!
Ms Pacman would be a great catch. She’s a sassy, vivacious dervish who’s not ashamed to show off her curve. She’s the one you’d most want to take on a weekend to Blackpool.
3. Jade, Beyond Good and Evil (Xbox/PS2, 2004)
Jade was the main character in a classy French game which only about 20 people bought back in 2004. What makes her such a keeper is her essential normalness. Well, in games terms anyway.
She does live in a lighthouse with a talking pig - but that’s not the point. She just seems really nice – similar in many ways to Emma Forbes on Going Live.
She’s feisty and dresses with the understated chic of a French exchange student. The only concern is that most women in French movies end up going nuts, shaving off all their hair and wandering around an asylum.
2. Chun Li (Street Fighter IV)
What makes Chun Li stand out from the legion of scantily clad women who feature in fighting games? It’s the thighs - the thighs have it.
Chun Li is sturdy girl. A big unit. Not overweight, just built like she’s been genetically modified for fell walking holidays in the Peak District.
It’s this sturdy big frame which conjures up Robert Crumb style images of being given a piggy back as she stomps on opponent’s heads in thigh high boots. Yeesh.
1. Alyx Vance, Half Life 2
Telling your parents that you’re marrying a video games character could be a bit awkward. But not if you reveal your catch to be Alyx from Half Life 2.
This is a girl who ticks every box: sense of humour, subtly attractive, intelligent and fundamentally decent.
And you don’t have to be Sigmund Freud to work out that this little lady is clearly besotted with you. She spends a lot of time in Half Life 2 clutching a wrench in a suggestive manner and finding poses which allow her to show off her arse.