So I began to wonder, what would a (hyper-) sexualized man look like in a video game? J and I threw around a number of different ideas. Would a main man character who was dressed in a Chippendales outfit while everyone else was dressed normally count? How about one wearing a crop top and booty shorts? A revealing police uniform? But then we realized we were verging on The Village People territory. A character like the ones we described would be considered silly, not sexy, particularly to a heteronormative audience.
It is impossible to hypersexualize men the same way games hypersexualize women. This is because even if a man is sexualized, there is not a power dynamic which encourages players to view them solely as objects or possessions, like there is for women. Society does not allow for a man to be reduced to the sum of his body parts. There are no cultural narratives in the United States that contest a man’s place in a position of power or state that a man’s sole value lies in his biology, like there are for women.