The phenomenon that has been dubbed as “jiggle physics” was brought to my attention back in June when I saw a GIF on Reddit of Chun-Li and Cammy. This GIF was a preview from Capcom’s newest Street Fighter installment that was showcased during a Twitch livestream. In the GIF, both women are shown onscreen posing, getting ready for battle with a quick animation of their fighting stance. Cammy is off to the left, looking relatively normal, while Chun-Li, on the other hand, has some … issues.
Her boobs are out of control.
Quite literally, her breasts seem to have a mind of their own. With every move she makes, they seem to follow after her. They flop around in circles for a few seconds after she pauses, but they never stop moving. Even after Chun-Li stops posing, her boobs do not. They keep jiggling around in an unnatural way. Cammy’s boobs don’t move around, but in another clip when she’s to the right of the screen, they move ever so slightly, but noticeable enough to grab my attention. The developers claimed that Chun-Li’s movement was a glitch in the animation, but I’m not sure If I’m quite convinced or not.
It’s not just Street Fighter that seems to have some jiggle action. There are other games where creators have deliberately gone out of their way to animate the important aspects of the game, like the boobs (obviously). There’s the Dead or Alive: Volleyball series, Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur, King of Fighters—but, wait! You say. Those are fighting games! There’s lots of jumping and moving! Okay, sure. Let’s assume that these women who are fighting aren’t wearing sports bras. Even if you’re well-endowed in the chest department, I can assure you that your boobs don’t tend to do this thing where they follow your body when you move—no matter how vigorously you kick or punch.
Even if a game creator felt the need to develop separate physics for their bustier women, all boobs still follow the rules of gravity. Which raises the question: why animate breasts in such an unrealistic, cartoonish manner? Do developers even know how to realistically animate boobs? Is there even a point?
Scouring Google using the term “jiggle physics” turned up (among other things) a powerpoint that apparently teaches developers how “breasts work,” leading me to believe that these creators genuinely have no clue as to how boobs “work.” This concept isn’t even new! Apparently, it dates back to 1992, according to this article that I found written by Patricia Hernandez for Kotaku, which has great insight into why the jiggle exists in our games.
“The difficulty of crafting breast physics may also explain why so many games have strange-looking breasts: developers who are interested in adding this detail can’t financially justify doing so, so they have to cut corners any way they can.
Still, it’d be a stretch to suggest that unrealistic breast physics are purely the result of technological shortcomings. Breast physics are a choice, after all, and not every game implements them.”
The more I think about jiggle physics, the less I feel like I have to say. I honestly 100% cannot fathom why they’re necessary. Unless you can give me one solid reason as to why they’re essential, I refuse to believe that it’s okay to have them in games. Bayonetta had fanservice levels of boob jiggle (I didn’t expect anything less), but there’s even ass jiggle? ASS JIGGLE, for those who couldn’t hear in the back. I can’t even think about that for more than a second before my brain just stops functioning.
Paired with the unrealistic body standards, minimal representation, lack of diversity, limited character development, and sexualization virtual women face, adding unnecessary jiggle physics is just downright insulting and really, really unnecessary. It’s so ridiculous that I can’t help but laugh. I am thankful for the games that have been created without this animation added into the gameplay, but I really hope the individuals who are developing future games take the time to learn that boobs and body are one entity, NOT two.