We want your opinion. We’ve also discussed this topic before but haven’t delved into it as much as I’d like to. Tons of art communities and video game communities (including Halo) have banned showcasing posts or even having discussions that contain nudity. I and many others, for lack of better word, think this rule is utter bullshit. (Which is why at Halo Headquarters, free speech is valued and respected. And constructive criticism is one of our trademarks.) What ever happened to appreciating the natural form, more specifically the human body? Throughout centuries artists have created master pieces that displayed the beauty of the natural curvature of the human body in the nude. A naked body is not for the purpose of arousal nor is that the purpose for a piece of art.
In Halo 4, Cortana’s character was portrayed on a much larger scale; making her look and even feel human to the audience or shall I say, the gamer. My friend and fellow admin Tim said it best,
“Now, you might be thinking that this is pornographic — Cortana looks like a naked woman. She is: Cortana is an A.I. who is made to look like a naked woman.
But I don’t see Cortana’s appearance as pornographic, and here is why: Cortana, in the game and in this piece of art, is not, I think, trying to arouse us.
In the Bible, in the book of Genesis, God called the body “very good.”* And in pieces of art from the Renaissance, the body was frequently a subject of works of art. The example that comes to mind is Michelangelo’s David. I don’t think this art of Cortana is on par with David, but the principle is the same: Portraying the human body in a way that is not meant to arouse, but to inspire wonder and respect for its beauty, mystery, and complexity.”
Like Michelangelo’s David, Cortana and other nude art was and is meant to admired and looked upon with the same respect and analysis that one would give upon any other type of art. Saying that it is errotic and should be covered up rather than shown as art as it was and is portrayed is purely ignorant. It’s the equivalent of saying that a woman’s breasts are sex organs — they’re not. They’re mammary glands meant for nurturing one’s offspring, not toys to be fondled by either sex. Art isn’t made to be gawked at nor is it made to make an individual receive sexual stimulation from it. Art is made to be viewed at the discretion of the artist.
We all know the response towards Cortana’s appearance when Halo 4 was first released – hence why 343 industries backtracked her look in Halo 5. And although all people are entitled to their opinion, something as grand, loved, and important as this shouldn’t be changed solely because a bevy of “offended” and angry fans disagree with it. After all, art, an idea, doesn’t physically or emotionally hurting anyone, does it?
The point is, art is art and there’s a difference between showing off for the intention of arousal and displaying an artwork for the purpose of admiration, appreciation, etc. A difference between asking for it and the natural state one’s self.
Tell us your thoughts in the comment section here on the site, on Facebook, or in a private message. Whichever works for you. Should nude art be embraced more in our culture? So as to bring back decency and allow people to see beyond desire?
Footnote: I understand rules for the purpose of keeping indecent spammers out, but for the most part, this subject is focused primarily on art – not blatant nudity asking to be used for pleasurable experiences. This also isn’t to say that people should just start walking around nude in the public all of a sudden. As stated previously, it’s all for the purpose of art.