Boob armor is important to show the struggle of the hero, but only for the women
In Computer Gaming World's November 1997 letter of the month, a reader suggests scantily clad female game characters allow artists "to show the intensity of the individual's struggles," while also conceding it probably doesn't work that way for male protagonists.
I love the idea that in a video game, it isn't the game design or gameplay that would show the intensity of the struggle by having the player experience it, but that that's just because the character is naked. Also conveniently this only works for female characters despite classical Greek illustrations of nude heroes being about men.
Text of letter for screen readers:
Classic Prose/Classic Pose
I was very interested in reading Mr. Chin's preview of DEATHSTRAP DUNGEON in the September issue. It was up to the usual high standards of your magazine. But I do have a response to his comments on the female character's armor, or lack thereof. First, I grant that it is foolish to go into battle without the best armor available. At the same time, though, it seems that Eidos is following an artistic convention that goes from Classical Greece to the illustrations of Frazetta and Vallejo, of depicting the principal characters in heroic struggles as nudes. This allows the artist to show the intensity of the individuals struggles, as well as providing the context for depicting dynamic nudes. To judge by the screenshots on page 74, Eidos has succeeded in this so well that I plan to buy DD when I replace my old 486.
I realize that this argument would bear more weight if the male figure were similarly clad. On the other hand, it is probably difficult for a nude male to simultaneously convey sensitivity, caring, an openness to personal committment, and spontaneous expression of affection.
Tom Krider, From the Internet