Let’s face it, video game breasts are terrible. They don’t move properly, no matter the size or the shape. Video games can accurately depict the movement of hair, clothes, and create visible pores, so why can’t breasts move like they should?
Incorporating moving boobs started with Fatal Fury’s Mai in the 80s. Since then, more games have been jumping on the bandwagon and putting breast physics into their games. There have been boobs working as lungs, looking like they’re painted onto the skin, boobs with a mind of their own, hanging like water balloons strapped to chests, and of course, Madonna-esque boobs that defy gravity.
A lot of people blame it on sexism and trying to appeal to a certain audience, which does play a large factor. Video games have exaggerated features on women to appeal to audiences the same way all mediums do. To be fair, men are extremely exaggerated too. Look at the way Mitsurugi is super ripped and shirtless or how Ryu’s looked over the years – but that’s another story.
Ignoring the fact that women would have a hard time trying to fight in a leather bikini (I imagine the lack of support would be terrible for combat), let alone struggle to stand straight with boobs bigger than watermelons, breasts shouldn’t be moving like they’re helicopter propellers. Like hair and clothes, breasts need soft body physics simulation, which is demanding.
Boob physics are hard to portray when making characters. Every character has a “skin”, and under that skin are “bones”. The number of bones relates to what kind of graphic engine the developer uses. “Rigging” is the process developers use to move these bones. Sometimes breasts can have two bones, but if the engine can’t handle that many, it may only be one. To top it off, the more characters in a scene, the less bones they have.
Sometimes breasts will have a spring in them to make them move, more so when there are two. One is used to make them move and another is used to locate the sternum and how long they should bounce for. While unrealistic, it’s cheap and easy to do, but usually the breasts end up looking like developers have never seen boobs before.
The other method to making boobs look accurate is by drawing them in by hand, but it takes a lot of effort, so adding quick physics is what most companies do.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Boobs move differently depending on the size and what’s going on with the person they’re attached to. But have you actually seen them move? Developers will walk around or get women to walk around to demonstrate, similar to how they’ll use mirrors to depict facial expressions or walk styles. Yet boobs still don’t move like they should.
Hopefully with this new generation of games, there will be some realistic movement. Although, Chun-Li’s player 2 boob glitch isn’t making me too hopeful.