# Jimquisition: Boob Wars and Dragon Crowns

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Boob Wars and Dragon Crowns

Dragon's Crown has become the latest game involved in a big argument. Big boobs, burly dwarves, and Kotaku were all involved.

Watch Video

#### The Material Sheep

##### New member
Thank god for Jim... this is EXACTLY the kind of thing I wish more people did. Discuss things and go into a conversation willing to learn something at the very least.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Women have never been something that inspires rational thought in men.
Also: Boob Wars sounds like a game I'd like to play.

#### Deacon Cole

##### New member
The constant fights on all the various issues on the web, not just the sexism in games or even just issues in games, reminds me of the Forming, Storming, Norming, etc stages of group development. I wonder if the internet is by its very nature such a hot bed of bile because the entire world simply cannot get all past the storming stage at the same time.

#### Deacon Cole

##### New member
DVS BSTrD said:
Also: Boob Wars sounds like a game I'd like to play.
There was a game called Space C*** for the Mattel Intellivision.

#### Kennetic

##### New member
I couldn't agree more, thanks for the video Jim. I DO feel limited as far as rpgs and mmos are concerned. Guild Wars 2 female spellcasters looked like strippers and TERA was obvious enough. Both solid games but I just had to put them down.

#### Toilet

##### New member
I guess I will open a discussion because I am totally ignorant on the subject.

I keep on hearing about how character designs like the Tittymancer in Dragons Crown and other exaggerated designed females are a problem but I have yet to hear why they are a problem. I get a lot of "because sexism" answers but it doesn't answer my question.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
DVS BSTrD said:
Also: Boob Wars sounds like a game I'd like to play.
There actually IS a game called Boob Wars. It's about how rape is a noble act that saves the world.

It's unpleasant.

#### Legion

##### Were it so easy
But that's the point, there are people on both sides who are incapable of discussing things reasonably. I can think of at least 10 people off of the top of my head on here alone who go into every single sexism thread and make sweeping generalisations about the "other side", and then when they get called out on it, they accuse anybody who disagrees as being a "part of the problem".

Or there are those who try and make valid points, but make them fail by exaggerating to ridiculous degrees, claiming that all feminists are nit-picking, or that no games have normal women in them. Their points don't get taken seriously due to their poor wording, and they then play the victim card.

There are also several users who I have never seen post anything aggressive, rude, condescending or otherwise objectionable be lumped in with the same people who are causing the arguments in the first place, either being called misogynists, or femi-nazi's despite clearly being neither. This leads to almost every single thread resulting in the same exact problems.

Then of course there are the people who shoot down any attempt of discussion before it has even started. Go into almost any sexism or gender related thread and you will normally see half a dozen "Inb4 the neckbeard misogynists" or "Oh great, now the femi-nazi's will find something else to complain about" before any actual responses are made.

Or to put it another way, remove the extremists from either side, and a discussion can be had, but that's not going to happen any time soon. Even more so when those extremists seem to have convinced themselves that are not.

Although as you put so well, we can't even discuss what platform people should play their games on without petty insults, so it's not really surprising that things are the way they are.

Toilet said:
I guess I will open a discussion because I am totally ignorant on the subject.

I keep on hearing about how character designs like the Tittymancer in Dragons Crown and other exaggerated designed females are a problem but I have yet to hear why they are a problem. I get a lot of "because sexism" answers but it doesn't answer my question.
The argument is that it objectifies women and reduces them to nothing more than sexual fantasies. There are also those that argue that it affects the perception of women in real life. As well as people who say it makes them uncomfortable that there are not many normal women to play as so they have to play as overly-sexual characters instead.

Personally I think the first one is very much a case-by-case basis. Games where the women are literally nothing more than T+A as far as design is concerned are a problem (Rachel Ninja Gaiden 2), but I don't see the problem when they actually have decent character design as well. If they are good characters as well as being sexy then they are not "reduced" to anything.

The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.

The third one I completely agree with, and I dislike games where the male characters are properly outfitted and proportioned, whereas the women are wearing bikini chainmail for no apparent reason.

Then again, I am also fairly desensitised to this kind of thing, so when I see skimpy outfits I more or less blank them. People kept on talking about Elizabeth's dress in Bioshock Infinite having massive cleavage, but I didn't even notice until somebody mentioned it.

#### zerabp

##### New member
Thanks Jim! Communication is one of the greatest and most underutilized skills on the planet. What's great is when truly communicating, even when you both end up disagreeing with each-other, you are still both left with a greater respect for the others opinion.

#### PunkRex

##### New member
The art style of this game is freaking beautiful. The elf is very cute and i'd wager that a fair few women might find the wizard rather dashing, still, I really like the Sorcerous and don't think any ill will was intended.

I do understand the need for more variety concerning female gamers, this could be said about most mediums. Stull like just making them as capable as the fellas would be a good start... im looking at you Shounen manga, WHY YOUR LADIES SO USELESS!? (I understand there are capable women in shounen manga, its just a very one sided fight).

#### Zombie_Moogle

##### New member
The flame war over Dragon's Crown confused me a bit at first; sure, the women were ridiculously proportioned, but so were the men. I figured that was what they were going for. Super-stylized, over-the-top, beyond the pale to a point where it barely mattered to the gender discussion because it was too extreme to be compared

Then a few days ago, I took a step back & I saw what Jim saw: Insult, gay joke, trolling on all sides.

It did make me wonder though, why wasn't there this outrage of Bayonetta? A few eyebrows were raised, but everyone seemed to accept it
Is it because she was a bad-ass? That'd be a legitimate argument; she's an independent character of incredible power, she'll dress how she wants.

I'm still rolling this one around in my head to find the X factor

##### New member
There are a few rational discussions.. they are just surrounded by brick walls and flames from both sides resulting in them eventually catching fire or leaving after a few posts

#### RJ Dalton

##### New member
Personally, I couldn't tell it was a satire because I've seen anime and game characters with breasts that huge who were being played totally straight, so nothing about it came off as satirical to me. There's a point where the reality has become so ridiculous it's impossible to satirize.

And I still want to know why that dancing wizard mouse isn't a playable character.

#### lord.jeff

##### New member
Great episode and one anyone diving into a gender debate needs to hear. Plus the jab at the console wars got a chuckle from me.

#### lostlevel

##### New member
th3dark3rsh33p said:
Thank god for Jim... this is EXACTLY the kind of thing I wish more people did. Discuss things and go into a conversation willing to learn something at the very least.
Agreed and as usual a good show, it seems obvious but I hope this reaches the people that don't ever discuss things beyond initial outrage and insults. Fingers crossed.

#### Phasmal

##### Sailor Jupiter Woman
I think a lot of people could benefit from discussion, but it's so hard to get going.
It's all either I see something wrong with this and always will or I don't see anything wrong with this and never will.
Trying to be civil gets hard under those circumstances but we should always try.
It's easy to see why people get upset on both sides, but that doesn't make for good discussion.

It's at the point where most people will bail out of these threads within the first couple of pages before it all blows up.

#### Something Amyss

##### Aswyng and Amyss
The problem here, Jim, is that you portray this as an "both sides are equally wrong" deal, then go on to point out (I think rather correctly) that a key problem lies in the willingness to fling poo at anyone who indicates their might be a problem in the games industry. Keep in mind we've had civil statements from publishers and developers who seek more diversity, only to have them shouted down like they just played "Anita Sarkeesian Mad Libs."

I'm not sure civil discussion in this medium is possible. This is like a discussion between a normal person and a Truther. While normal people are flawed and prone to do bad things or make mistakes (depending on the person, situation, and po\int of view), the Truther argument is steeped in emotion, histrionics and deception. Everyone is either with you or a sheeple, much in the way of the gaming debates.

On the other hand, playing the blame game isn't exactly going to change that, but it still irks me to see false concessions.

Also, regarding the current controversy, I don't really care much about the Sorc. She's over-the-top, but the rest of the game's characters are not done in a pandering fashion. I think this is the wrong battle, quite frankly. I think the art is horrible, however.

#### cynicalsaint1

##### Salvation a la Mode
Here, here!

I'm honestly conflicted on Dragon Crown. I absolutely love George Katamari's artwork, and I loved both Muramasa and Odin Sphere. I'm even willing to admit taking a bit of guilty pleasure in hot chicks sexy armor. I don't think every game needs it, but when it fits and makes sense (mainly with a highly stylized art direction) I don't see it as a bad thing.

But here it just feels like too much, I don't see a character so much as a pair of huge wobbling tits, and that honestly makes me feel a little unconformable - and so I find myself torn here. I don't know ... maybe I'm just getting tired of it.

#### SoopaSte123

##### New member
My comments to your videos are always so bland because you cover all your bases and have good points I agree with. But I still want to show you support, so thank god for you, Jim.

#### Candidus

##### New member
Personally, I think that like the elf ranger, the sorceress represents George's talents and vision working at their best as well.

There's a nice little info sheet that takes a proper look at why he does it with his necromancers. I'll try to find it.

User JemothSkarii found it (or perhaps authored it). It's in the other Dragon's Crown thread. Minor NSFW, perhaps. Fertility statues.

The exaggeration of life-giving or life-nurturing assets, which unavoidably also sexualizes a character I accept, is part of a pattern with this guy's necromancers. In Dragon's Crown, that exaggeration is taken to a further-than-normal extreme because that's Dragon Crown's style.

If you still find it objectionable Jim, that's fine. But I think it's interesting- more interesting than a dessicated old man- and quite clever, actually.

There should be less of the all-the-same, I agree. But if this game had been the one to get that ball rolling, I don't think I'd have liked it as much.

#### e.wlmo4

##### New member
The saddest thing about this debate (and nearly every other debate on the internet) is that mudslinging and comparisons to Hitler are almost certainly going to happen, mainly due to the nature of the internet at large. The worst part is that I don't think it can be fixed without destroying the nature of the internet, as the current way things are done has in part caused this bullshit. Even when something like Facebook is used to remove the anonymity and the same result still happens, this is probably not going away any time soon. Then again all media formats have become far more confrontational, and everyone has decided to stay in their pockets of culture, regardless of the format; leading to far too many interactions between any opposing views defaulting to argument, not discussion, usually about why your view is better.

#### cynicalsaint1

##### Salvation a la Mode
Zombie_Moogle said:
It did make me wonder though, why wasn't there this outrage of Bayonetta? A few eyebrows were raised, but everyone seemed to accept it
Is it because she was a bad-ass? That'd be a legitimate argument; she's an independent character of incredible power, she'll dress how she wants.
I think another factor is Bayonetta was a bit more tastefully done. Despite being highly stylized she was fairly reasonably proportioned and she was sexy for reasons beyond having giant tits that bounce every which way in a light breeze.

In this case the character in question can pretty much be summed up as "Hey look! Tits!"

#### Ernil Menegil

##### New member
I am sorry, Jim, but this is just not going to happen.

No one is interested in discussion and conversation, those things are not worthy of attention.

Instead, lobbing insults and arguing from end to end is the norm, and it will not change because people just like to get themselves into a lather instead of getting anything properly talked about.

It's why I scarce make a thread these days, or even try to reply to most I see. I barely see anyone interested in it. Why bother?

I'll just keep watching your contributions. They do a lot more to advance the issue than a hundred threads in these forums and beyond.

#### TJC

##### New member
On a side note: Replaying BG&E for the 50th fucking time still is really fun. *clocked in 81st replay*

Good video, Jim. Really good but I still can't thank god for you. not that you aren't awesome but I'll start thanking him when he makes people start listening to you >:C

#### MichaelMaverick

##### New member
People in general will have to grow more intellectually honest and secure before productive discussions about anything can become a norm, and I'm not so sure what the chances of that are. Still, can't go wrong with trying to reinforce that notion, so decent episode. Liked the bit at the end where you talk about rationality and calmness while brandishing an axe, lol.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
The problem is that it's not just opposing opinions but conflicting ideologies. Ideologies that aren't opposite but are brought into conflict because they have different priorities. It's not going to end until we can all think the same way, or until one side admits they were wrong. Both are about as likely.

#### Something Amyss

##### Aswyng and Amyss
DVS BSTrD said:
Women have never been something that inspires rational thought in men.
Nor has gaming.

Zombie_Moogle said:
The flame war over Dragon's Crown confused me a bit at first; sure, the women were ridiculously proportioned, but so were the men. I figured that was what they were going for. Super-stylized, over-the-top, beyond the pale to a point where it barely mattered to the gender discussion because it was too extreme to be compared
More to the point, the other over-the-top female character isn't exactly stylised as "sexy."

I do think this is an odd place to take a stand, because it's more a single character. Though as I said before, I find the art in this game to be bad bad bad bad overall bad. So I'm not really defending the art as good, just saying it doesn't strike me as though it's endemic.

On the other hand, the fact that it's pretty much everywhere does leave this with potential back-braking-straw issues.

Then a few days ago, I took a step back & I saw what Jim saw: Insult, gay joke, trolling on all sides.
The funny thing about this is the artist was accused of being a 14 year old, and then he responded in stereotypical 14 year old boy form.

It did make me wonder though, why wasn't there this outrage of Bayonetta? A few eyebrows were raised, but everyone seemed to accept it
There really was, though. The defenses were kind of the same, too. It's satire. Women like it. It's really empowering. Guys go shirtless all the time, SAME THING.

Phasmal said:
It's all either I see something wrong with this and always will
I really want to see this in action, because it looks like false contrition to centrism to me.

#### The Artificially Prolonged

##### Random Semi-Frequent Poster
An excellent point Jim. Perhaps a sensible discussion can be had and I think eventually we will get there.

Jimothy Sterling said:
DVS BSTrD said:
Also: Boob Wars sounds like a game I'd like to play.
There actually IS a game called Boob Wars. It's about how rape is a noble act that saves the world.

It's unpleasant.
I had thankfully forgotten about that game existing until now. Now I need to shower.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Jimothy Sterling said:
DVS BSTrD said:
Also: Boob Wars sounds like a game I'd like to play.
There actually IS a game called Boob Wars. It's about how rape is a noble act that saves the world.

It's unpleasant.
Making a game called Boob Wars unpleasant...

THAT my friend is a crime for which we should reinstitute hanging, drawing and quartering. And not necessarily in that order.

#### Louzerman102

##### New member
An important thing to consider about the artistic style of the game is the game-play impact of character design. The background footage of Dragon's Crown that Jim showed clearly demonstrates that the game can be very distracting. Most of the discussion was centered on do you like or dislike the character design. Part of the reasons the characters are so over-exaggerated is to make them noticeable and identifiable at a glance during combat.

This whole event reminded me the Game Of Thrones Gorge Bush's head thing. The Sorceress design was shown in the announcement trailer released around the time of the PS VITA announcement. Vanillaware fans already knew of the game and the character designs.

#### Rabidkitten

##### New member
Totally playing as the Sorceress, Probably just eek my wife. I stated my stance on this debate on Destructoid.

The glory of art is in its ability to offend. If all art appealed to all audiences, we'd have mud, Disney films, and Toyotas.

#### Sylocat

##### Sci-Fi & Shakespeare
The other problem is that any time someone tries to HAVE a simple discussion (*coughAnitacough*), the morons instantly turn it into an argument in an attempt to shout down dissenting voices.

#### Phasmal

##### Sailor Jupiter Woman
Zachary Amaranth said:
Phasmal said:
It's all either I see something wrong with this and always will
I really want to see this in action, because it looks like false contrition to centrism to me.
I think you may have misunderstood me. My fault, I'm terrible at getting points across.
I meant, the argument is usually Games need to change vs Games need to not change. And the people on either side are usually not going to change their mind.

#### Sergey Sund

##### New member
I revised this comment because it was beside the point of the video:
Calm talks and discussion: YAY.
And while I am thoroughly disappointed by my local feminist chapter for precicely the unwillingness to debate things calmly (and other stuff), I DO AGREE that the depiction of women in games is still a problem.
Not only that, I feel like these designs are lazy, cowardly, and insulting cop-outs. These companies, these artists get my money to design characters. But every female character somehow manages to have the same three attributes: big boobs, big-ass ass, and a hip-section so slender that even a wasp would have trouble breathing.
It's lazy to copy these attributes onto every female character, it's cowardly, because it's basically playing it safe, following a market study, drawing based on numbers, and it's insulting, because the viewer is held to be a horny 12-year-old with the intelligence of a monkey.
Manipulation, thou art not subtle.
Like, for fuck's sake, there is such a thing as R34 porn on the web. Artists don't have to pre-emptively draw porn versions of every female in the game - that's what the internet is for!

#### knight steel

##### New member
Agree that discussion and conversation is important/needed with that being said I will trying to do this is the most civil manner possible:I'm slightly disappointed that you discussed the oversaturation of boobs and butts but did not mention the oversaturation of male meat tanks and the problems they present as well.

#### Something Amyss

##### Aswyng and Amyss
TJC said:
On a side note: Replaying BG&E for the 50th fucking time still is really fun. *clocked in 81st replay*
Really wish I could deal with the camera controls. The game seems really appealing, but the "all or nothing" approach to inversion pisses me off.

DVS BSTrD said:
The problem is that it's not just opposing opinions but conflicting ideologies. Ideologies that aren't opposite but are brought into conflict because they have different priorities. It's not going to end until we can all think the same way, or until one side admits they were wrong. Both are about as likely.
The reality is, it's going to end through action. It's going to end the same way any other issue of "ism" dies out. Women wanting representation in games isn't going to go away any more than gays wanting marriage or blacks wanting civil rights. that's not to say they are equivalent in scale, mind. However, there will, invariably, be a push. Ubiquity will eventually happen, and nobody's mind will need to be changed and nobody will need to admit to being wrong. I mean, America didn't suddenly stop being racist because we passed a Civil Rights Act, and it didn't stop hating gays because Lawrence v Texas established their right to...Well, exist.

We have publisher and developer level calls for more diversity, which makes it likely. Even if gaming becomes more diverse over the kicking and screaming of a million internet rape threats, it will become more diverse. I'm willing to bet that for most people it will mean absolutely nothing, which makes it easier to accept. I know what the common logic is, but even that will change.

#### flarty

##### New member
Lol i wonder how this goes down, i posted a thread about this last week. It wasn't the best thread i posted, i was slightly drunk when i posted it, so i got a lack of flake how i presented my argument. But it basically goes like this.

The games where female character design is questionable, the male characters are most of the time also ludicrous. To the point they cant be taken seriously.
Now if females were always characterized to be evil, manipulative schemers in games, or the helpless dumb damsel in distress, then i would be the first to shout out that this is horrendous and sexist. But in games with good plots and decent character development female characters are written very well. HL2, Bioshock:Infinite, Mass Effect, Deus Ex: HR to just name a few.
Basically there will always be trashy games with questionable character designs, and their will always be masterpieces of story telling where all characters are written brilliantly. Same as hollywood, same as music.

##### Robot in Disguise
That's the thing I hate about the Internet and social media. Nobody can seem to rein in their inner asshole. ...not even me.

And for the record I find those character designs very unappealing.

#### MPZero

##### New member
Good ep Jim its true nothing will change or happen unless people sitdown and talk

on the designs i do prefer the look of the Elf so much more than amazon or sorc for some of the reasons you gave they just feel to blocky or chunck (amazon) and the sorc just screams look at my boobies that said the males also give the same feel only the wizard has the feel of anything rezembling human... ( in terms of human i know theirs a dward ect)

#### emeraldrafael

##### New member
The only problem I had with the whole fight going on between kotaku author and the game developr (and something I think Jim left out) was that the guy from kotaku said the female characters were poor design, but its acceptable for the dwarf and knight to be the way they are because thats a male power fantasy. Its not right in anyway, and it explains abit why the developr sent that picture on face book (rather than just painting him as a homophobic or whatever by saying that was hsi first reaction to just a problem with images of women.

as i said in the other thread about this (well one of them), I dont see the problem with it IN THIS GAME. in thsi game where two of the men are equally as huge and one just as scantily dressed, teh sorceress and amazon dont look as out of place. and neither is meant to make a statement on how women should look in games and something to be aspired to or idolized. its just old school throwback design as an homage.

#### slysean

##### New member
Dear Jim

Before I begin I would like to say that this was a great show, as always and thank god for you.

I am sure that you probably already have a topic lined up for next week or have something far more important to talk about, but I was curious if I could get your opinion on the advertising practices of the games industry, more importantly their use of "real actors" and live action commercials on TV and the web instead of showing gameplay or even cut scenes.

For example the latest trailer for the upcoming XCOM:the bureau. In which they simply showed several actors looking over a piece of film and then throwing it into a fire. This was also the case for Borderlands 2, with a TV spot which human actors cos-playing as the main characters from the game instead of showing gameplay, or for black ops 1 and 2 with high profile actors (Robert Downey Jr. for example).

Sorry for the length of this post, but I am quiet curious what your opinion is or why the industry decides to hire, pay and produce a short commercial with actors instead of the game they already have.

Thanks for your time and once again, thank god for you.

#### Something Amyss

##### Aswyng and Amyss
Phasmal said:
I think you may have misunderstood me. My fault, I'm terrible at getting points across.
I meant, the argument is usually Games need to change vs Games need to not change. And the people on either side are usually not going to change their mind.
Ah, I see. To be fair, it did occur to me that you might mean something else, but it didn't go with the grain of the thread, so I went for Occam's Razor and went with the wrong door. My bad.

In that case, yeah. We're probably fundamentally deadlocked. Though I can't help but wonder if some of the people who actually oppose change can't have their minds changed. I mean, I get the notion that games don't need to change, but a lot of these people portray it as though it's no big deal.

So if it means nothing to them and a lot to this other group, offering some level of compromise seems utterly meaningless to the first party. Which is where the folks who so oppose it baffle me, because it seems to mean so much to them to...I don't know, keep gaming as a boy's club? I don't completely understand the motives here, so I'm being glib.

And honestly, I'm not seeing the deterrent. Despite complaints, the more modest Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider reboot didn't seem to be a hindrance to it becoming the best-selling game in the franchise. Samus has never had her boobs serve as an obstacle to gaming. I'm always surprised to see the mainstream thought that you can't publish a game with a female protagonist show up in cases like Naughty Dog's new title, because the women that are there seem to do fine.

I'm not entirely sure that the vocal outcry here is backed up in sales.

Rambling now, but yeah.

#### cerebreturns

##### New member
Wonder how many people here will realize that most of what he's talking about flame wars and irrational blithering is the essence of these forums.

Man...I had no idea this game looks fun, wish dungeon fighter online was a bit more up to date graphically like this.

#### Zombie_Moogle

##### New member
Zachary Amaranth said:
Zombie_Moogle said:
It did make me wonder though, why wasn't there this outrage of Bayonetta? A few eyebrows were raised, but everyone seemed to accept it
There really was, though. The defenses were kind of the same, too. It's satire. Women like it. It's really empowering. Guys go shirtless all the time, SAME THING.
Yes, but it was much more muted than many other such discussion/arguments were

Could be that Bayonetta was more tasteful about it(no DoA-style jiggle physics)
Could be that the arguments for it were more valid in her case, as she was a better realized character in general
Could be because it was a good game & people were more willing to forgive it
Or maybe just that it was made by some of the same people that brought us Devil May Cry's Dante, another pretty, stylish, hardcore, swaggering, sexy character. Both are essentially the same character, just with the gender flipped. Lazy writing perhaps, but it makes for an interesting example on the subject

#### Dr.Awkward

##### New member
It sounds like there's a lot of built-up frustration in general - People aren't getting what they want, and are being offer things they didn't even ask for, but for the people who are getting what they like and don't mind the extra bits, they get the flack from ones that are unsatisfied because the unsatisfied feel that they end up being overshadowed and forgotten by those in favor who are satisfied, like they are easier to satisfy and happier to get a game. It's as if the attention to satisfy your wants has become the most important thing in the world, right in front of water, food, sleep and shelter.

I think this ended up being more or less a case where actually mature games with realistic (both physically and emotionally) characters, of which leave an impact on the players, feel like they come in too far in and between things like Demon's Crown, and as a result Demon's Crown gets attacked because people feel like they can't move on. In fact you could summarize gamers as vampires and genres as victims - Once people get a taste of it and like it, many are willing to leech on it until it's a dry, empty husk that may not be able recover at all. But in this scenario, it's hard to find another victim whose blood doesn't taste terrible, and as a result you're going to have a bunch of blood-crazed vampires that have been thirsty for too long...

#### mattttherman3

##### New member
Half way through this video, I thought the game changed to a Thundercats game where the main character was Snarf. THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER

#### xPixelatedx

##### New member
I would have a lot more of a problem with those "female character designs" if the men weren't equally absurd. Men don't look like that. It just seems to be the artist's style to exaggerate gender qualities.
Men are big, muscled brutes? Well, mine will be the biggest and most muscled brutes! Women have breasts? Well, mine will have ridiculous breasts!
etc. He took the qualities people often focus on (consciously and subconsciously) and embellished them in a stylistic way, and because he did it with both genders, this technically had nothing to do with women specifically.

Now, if the men looked like real people, but the women looked the same as their current designs, THEN I would be very disturbed.
I find games like DoA Beach volley ball VERY disturbing.

#### irmasterlol

##### New member
I agree with Jim that the characters are ugly in those concept pieces, but I think the exaggeration looks a little bit better in gameplay.

While I personally don't find them offensive, I understand that it may be a little early to play to the "this is what fantasy characters look like" trope with a nod and a wink while there are so many games still doing it with zero self awareness or irony.

Also, the non-roided female bodybuilders are teh hawwtz.

#### Something Amyss

##### Aswyng and Amyss
That's the thing I hate about the Internet and social media. Nobody can seem to rein in their inner asshole. ...not even me.

And for the record I find those character designs very unappealing.
You seem like a charming and warm individual....Most of the time...>.>

I find the art bad to begin with. Like, I like the fact that it's sprite animation, because I'm now in my 30s and grew up on a lot of hand-drawn stuff and lived through the period where 3D models were all "AHHHHH! KILL IT WITH FIRE!" bad, but the actual styles are ugly. And to be fair, a lot of the stuff I grew up liking looks bad now, too.

I remember when these were pretty good visuals. But still, there's plenty out there to indicate we can be faithful to the style without necessarily indulging in the flaws (by this, I mean being ugly more than BEWWWWWBS!)

emeraldrafael said:
Its not right in anyway
Is that what he said? Because that IS dumb.

However, I would point out that there's a difference between the two in terms of whether or not it's sexism, as the power fantasy of the majority for the majority is being compared to depictions of the minority also for the majority.

That doesn't make it okay, but it does change the nature of it.

as i said in the other thread about this (well one of them), I dont see the problem with it IN THIS GAME.
I also agree with this. Oh, one character has big boobs. Yawn.

#### Something Amyss

##### Aswyng and Amyss
mattttherman3 said:
Half way through this video, I thought the game changed to a Thundercats game where the main character was Snarf. THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER
Thundercats Ho will need to be replaced, though, as it's clearly sexist.

>.>

#### DRTJR

##### New member
Personally I like the design of the Sorceress, and the style is taking Frank Frazetta's style to its logical conclusion, But the game suffered from Poe's law and there is not much we can do about that.

#### Redd the Sock

##### New member
As much as I'd like that, I'm not even sure how to get there. I mean, this whole controversy is based in someone finding a character design in a niche game offensive and making a stink like this was the only game in existence and they were being forced to play it, and a rebuttal that didn't seem to get that men actually do have diverse tastes no matter what the popular media might convey. I mean some suggestions on how to keep a discussion going instead of wagging your finger at us might help. I mean, lot of us probably don't even know where we're going wrong and that only leads to blaming the other side and further entrenching the hatred.

For an idea: on the "pro-boob" side for lack of a better term, we need to accept that imagery does have an impact on peoples self esteem. Yes, it seems odd that women feel so inferior to Lara Croft while Kratos has sent very few men to the gym in desperation for his physique, but that's a reality based on a lot of socitial factors that have far from been overcome. Lara's more reasonable figure did not hurt the new game (heck, best of the series IMO), so unless the game is fanservice based, more reasonable proportioned and dressed women won't hurt.

On the feminist side: something offending you is not a criticism in and of itself. You are not the sole market for anything, and while you probably have good reasons for what you believe, companies aren't mandated to market to you. The internet makes self important moralizing very easy to do and without some tangible sign that you are a demographic being ignored, your concerns will get tossed with the anti-violence crowd, the animal rights crowd, the anti-gay characters crowd, the political crowd, and any other group that feels they can ***** everything into only conveying their values. You're going to need more than the moral argument here.

#### m19

##### New member
The existence of suxualized characters is not a problem, lack of diversity in design is. Feminists only really piss me off when they attack the former instead of the latter by saying game designers have to "stop doing that" and shouting "misogyny" at any sign of boobs instead of making the case for things they want to see.

And a good way to make their case is to show there is a healthy potential market that exists for the things they'd like more of.

#### Zeles

##### New member
Legion said:
The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.
I disagree here, but the rest of your post was great.
I'm female, and when I was younger I used to have body image problems. Those really got better when I started reading Escher Girls, and I've seen a few posts on there that tell similar stories to mine.

See, I have a thick build. I get it from my dad. As a result of my natural build, I've had to struggle with my weight for a long time now, always seeming to border on the edge of Overweight, and this problem has not been helped by my reluctance to exercise.

When I was younger I would get really really upset whenever I thought about my body. I felt that my legs were too chubby, I was fat, stuff like that. All around me were movies and games and books where all the women were really really skinny. And I thought that everyone else was too, compared to me. I think that if I saw a female in a movie that had a thick build like mine... It wouldn't have really helped. Because I wouldn't have liked them. Because I would have thought that the other ones were much prettier.

I'm much better now, and fortunately I never went to any real extremes to fix any of my perceived physical flaws.

But this kind of stuff does effect people.

#### BreakfastMan

##### Scandinavian Jawbreaker
Legion said:
The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.
It isn't really though. The violent thing is about actions regardless of context. The only portraying women as sex objects/as gendered stereotypes thing is about themes and ideas in a cultural context and story context. Not really comparable. :\

#### the December King

##### Member
Legacy
Zachary Amaranth said:
The funny thing about this is the artist was accused of being a 14 year old, and then he responded in stereotypical 14 year old boy form.
The way I see it, is when you spend months and months working on something, and then a troll tells you you are a 14 year old boy, you can get pissed off whether you are a boy or girl. Did he do the right thing? I don't think so, it was feeding the troll. But I can see WHY he'd be upset by a thoughtless stab like that. And I wonder how I'd react in a similar situation...

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Can someone please make a game that's as fun as Gears of War was in 2006 with a fairly muscular, reasonably attractive lady as the main character and push out that Longest Journey sequel so we can stop having these discussions for at least a year?

#### Tanakh

##### New member
I am just sad about Dragon Crowns not being on PC. As a fan of Vanillaware that is my only issue with the game.

#### Akexi

##### New member
Jimothy Sterling said:
DVS BSTrD said:
Also: Boob Wars sounds like a game I'd like to play.
There actually IS a game called Boob Wars. It's about how rape is a noble act that saves the world.

It's unpleasant.
Jeez, sounds like a subplot out of F.A.T.A.L..

##### Robot in Disguise
Zachary Amaranth said:
That's the thing I hate about the Internet and social media. Nobody can seem to rein in their inner asshole. ...not even me.

And for the record I find those character designs very unappealing.
You seem like a charming and warm individual....Most of the time...>.>

I find the art bad to begin with. Like, I like the fact that it's sprite animation, because I'm now in my 30s and grew up on a lot of hand-drawn stuff and lived through the period where 3D models were all "AHHHHH! KILL IT WITH FIRE!" bad, but the actual styles are ugly. And to be fair, a lot of the stuff I grew up liking looks bad now, too.

I remember when these were pretty good visuals. But still, there's plenty out there to indicate we can be faithful to the style without necessarily indulging in the flaws (by this, I mean being ugly more than BEWWWWWBS!)
Thanks. I do try to rein in the inner asshole, but I don't always succeed.

#### Elyxard

##### New member
I do totally understand what the artist is going for, but even with the excessive, grotesque style, the Sorceress is still plainly gratuitous and distracting. Her breasts turning into helicopter rotors anytime she even moves is just.. unpleasant to look at. I wouldn't necessarily call it a sexism issue, just an unfortunate artistic decision.

I don't even mind the Amazon because her levels of excessiveness fit alongside the rest of the crew in some way (though her tiny, anime head kinda clashes with that design). The sorceress just goes a step too far I feel.

#### Legion

##### Were it so easy
Zeles said:
Legion said:
The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.
I disagree here, but the rest of your post was great.
I'm female, and when I was younger I used to have body image problems. Those really got better when I started reading Escher Girls, and I've seen a few posts on there that tell similar stories to mine.

See, I have a thick build. I get it from my dad. As a result of my natural build, I've had to struggle with my weight for a long time now, always seeming to border on the edge of Overweight, and this problem has not been helped by my reluctance to exercise.

When I was younger I would get really really upset whenever I thought about my body. I felt that my legs were too chubby, I was fat, stuff like that. All around me were movies and games and books where all the women were really really skinny. And I thought that everyone else was too, compared to me. I think that if I saw a female in a movie that had a thick build like mine... It wouldn't have really helped. Because I wouldn't have liked them. Because I would have thought that the other ones were much prettier.

I'm much better now, and fortunately I never went to any real extremes to fix any of my perceived physical flaws.

But this kind of stuff does effect people.
I understand what you mean, but I was getting at the idea that seeing a women as being sexy in a game, will make guys start thinking real women should be like that too. That seeing a fictional sexualised woman will actually change the way a guy thinks about real women.

Your personal example is a case of you seeing a fictional example of a woman, and feeling inadequate in response (I apologise if that was worded horribly, I am unsure of how else to describe it). Like seeing somebody with perfect hair and thinking "Why can't mine be like that!" rather than having an idea of how people "should" look, then seeing a piece of fiction and having it change your perception.

To use an example of a depiction of a woman in television, let's look at Marge Simpson. She is a housewife who pretty much keeps her family running. She cooks, cleans, looks after the kids, gets them out of trouble and so on. I sincerely doubt any men watch The Simpsons and think "that's how real women should behave", not unless that's their attitude anyway, in which case, it isn't affecting their perception, but potentially reinforcing what they already think.

I'd also like to mention that the examples you are using are real women, who actually resemble reality. Most women in games are not supposed to be believable. I go into this more after the quotation.

BreakfastMan said:
Legion said:
The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.
It isn't really though. The violent thing is about actions regardless of context. The only portraying women as sex objects/as gendered stereotypes thing is about themes and ideas in a cultural context and story context. Not really comparable. :\
How many games provide a realistic enough example of sexualised women to compare to real life? Or to put it another way, how many sexualised female characters look believable? Most women who are sexualised are more or less caricatures, they are so over the top that they are not comparable to real women. I can't see any guys looking at the Sorceress and associating her with real women.

Violent media on the other hand frequently tries to portray real life, or believable situations. Grand Theft Auto is in many regards a murder simulator. You can do countless things that you could do in real life, many of them horrible.

Violent media, unless it is sci-fi or fantasy often tries to recreate things that are actually plausible, even if they are incredibly unlikely. Sexualisation of characters on the other hand is almost entirely over the top to the point that it barely resembles reality.

I apologise if that was worded badly as well, it can be hard to articulate what I mean when it comes to abstract concepts.

#### Andy Shandy

##### Fucked if I know
Couldn't agree more with this episode. The reason I've become so apathetic with the whole "Sexism in games" debate that has been kicking around for a while now, is that it's the same people flinging the exact same shit at each other, each and every time.

The only thing even close to a reasonable discussion I've seen around here was the Sexism CommuniCast that a few of the users took part in. However, the problem with that was that, due to a couple of members not able to make it, it was (for the most part) just everyone agreeing with each other.

#### grumpymooselion

##### New member
Personally?

I want everything.

The more realistic clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The conservatively clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The skimpy clothing, armor and sexy character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The weird clothing, armor and exaggerated character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The darker/gothic clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The western stylized clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The eastern stylized clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The older 70s/80s/90s/etc anime style clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The newer moe anime style clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The old and new Disney style clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.

The middleground, in all its variance and variety of clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

Everything listed here, and everything and anything NOT listed her in reference to any brand of visual style in regard to games, movies and television - even animation - YES YES YES.
Male and Female? YES.

I want it all. I want variety. I don't want just one thing. I WANT EVERYTHING. I want the industry flooded with a variety of styles, and no, "WE HAVE TO DO THIS TO BE POPULAR!" or, "WE HAVE TO DO THIS TO BE RESPECTFUL" or any other, "WE HAVE TO DO THIS BECAUSE ______" line of reasoning. I want it all. I want variety. I crave it. I have different moods, and different styles help me find something more fitting to my mood, not just visual style either.

More variety is better. Less variety is bad. I wouldn't kick out the Dragon's Crown designs anymore than I'd kick out Beyond Good & Evil's designs or Dark Souls' Designs or Bioshock Infinite's designs or Heavy Rain's designs or Ni No Kuni's Designs or Atelier Totori's Designs or Quest for Glory's designs or Monkey Island's designs or Telltale's The Walking Dead's designs or Resonance of Fate's designs or Half Life 2's designs or TES V: Skyrim's designs or World of Warcraft's designs or any design you could randomly come up with. It all deserves to exist. Something for everyone, and more, no one left out no matter which extreme you're talking about, or if you're just talking about something in the middle of or beyond said extremes.

#### Fappy

##### \[T]/
As you alluded to with your mention of console wars; I am not so sure the gaming community is mature enough to have this discussion. The few civil discussions regarding this issue I have participated in/witnessed are far outweighed by the magnitude of vitriol this community's capable of producing. It's quite sad, really.

#### Vegosiux

##### New member
Jim, allow me to try and one-up you here.

"Why, let's just go back to stick figure characters. I'll be taking bets on how many people find something to get offended by even then."

#### GamemasterAnthony

##### New member
I have to admit...it is really a shame that people won't discuss things more rather that fling insults at people who disagree with them. I could bring up parallels with the way religious groups talk about the rights of the GLBT communities...but that seems a bit redundant.

It's good that those two guys didn't finally talk. Personally, I hope that serves as an example for the rest of the gaming community to follow...but that's probably just hopeless optimism on my part.

#### norashepard

##### New member
The only thing about this whole issue that really gets me is that the two sides are represented by men. Women have very little acknowledged presence in the discussion. Sure we're here on the forums talking about it, but at it's base, this is an argument by two men about what they think women should be shown as.

Same with the gender representation arguments in general. There are very few female figureheads in this discussion, which just reeks to me. Most developers are headed by men, most publishers as well. Most of the well known journalists are male. And they're the ones who are talking about women and their representation. Male allies are good, and I appreciate what they do, but when they lead a charge that should be a woman's, it just seems a bit hypocritical.

#### Zeles

##### New member
Legion said:
Zeles said:
Legion said:
The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.
Snip
I understand what you mean, but I was getting at the idea that seeing a women as being sexy in a game, will make guys start thinking real women should be like that too. That seeing a fictional sexualised woman will actually change the way a guy thinks about real women.
Ahhhh. Okay. Yeah, I don't think that's a reasonable thing, that it could change the way men think about women.

#### emeraldrafael

##### New member
Zachary Amaranth said:
...

emeraldrafael said:
Its not right in anyway
Is that what he said? Because that IS dumb.

However, I would point out that there's a difference between the two in terms of whether or not it's sexism, as the power fantasy of the majority for the majority is being compared to depictions of the minority also for the majority.

That doesn't make it okay, but it does change the nature of it.

...
Yeah, he said and this is cut out but i dont think it necessarily lost context poeple dont already know:

So, no, I don't want to look at this game in a vacuum, or laugh off the sorceress as harmless sexual exaggeration, or accept that this is just Vanillaware's style (which is typically gorgeous). Not when so many women still feel so uncomfortable playing games, or working in the video game industry, or attending gaming events. Not when so many games seem designed for men and only men.

Some have pointed out that the dwarf character?a shirtless warrior with disproportionate muscles?is just as sexualized and over-exaggerated as the sorceress. That's true. He's also straight out of a straight male power fantasy, tailored for men just like the sorceress's skimpy clothing and ridiculously jiggly breasts. The design comes across as juvenile, like a hackneyed comic book or a God of War game.

But the dwarf isn't making many people uncomfortable, because men don't get sexually harassed at PAX East. Because male designers don't get mistaken for receptionists. Because male reporters are never asked if they really play video games.

Because the sorceress is symbolic of a much bigger problem.

maybe I misread, but to me it sounds like he's dismissing it just because men are the majority and so its not an issue if male characters appeal to the power fantasy. Just, I think personally, if youre going to say that, you shouldnt complain about the sorceress and say its making people uncomfortable. Men wont complain because then someone inevitably will say "well what are you, gay?" i dont find anyhting wrong iwth the dwarf here, just as I dont with the sorceress. and even though its anecdotal one f the girl firends i have said more or less the same, that is the style of the game and the sorceress doesnt feel out of place. But I dont feel that i dont think the big burly ass dwarf is (or at least should be) the male fantassy anymore. not when we have guys who are just normal ish dudes and not walking meat sacks (and arent FF style androgynous preteen types).

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
One problem with discussing this issue is that people often believe that because they dislike something, such as large breasted characters, that anyone who included them in their games is acting immorally; rather than accepting that the designers is free to add whatever they want to their games, and the public is free to chose whether to buy this game or not.

#### templar1138a

##### New member
Yeah. As soon as I heard about the Sorceress, I said, "I am NOT going to look at any of those articles/forums. Because it's just going to be a shitstorm with nothing productive."

Though I'm definitely with you on the elf. Sexy without being sexualized. Another example is FemShep from the Mass Effect 3 box cover.

#### Legion

##### Were it so easy
Zeles said:
Legion said:
Zeles said:
Legion said:
The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.
Snip
I understand what you mean, but I was getting at the idea that seeing a women as being sexy in a game, will make guys start thinking real women should be like that too. That seeing a fictional sexualised woman will actually change the way a guy thinks about real women.
Ahhhh. Okay. Yeah, I don't think that's a reasonable thing, that it could change the way men think about women.
You do bring up an excellent point though. Not so much in gaming, but in a lot of media, they do try and push an "ideal" that we should all apparently strive for.

Men should all look like Calvin Klein models, who are a little bit rough around the edges, a bit of a bad boy, but also gentle, kind, caring and rich. Women should all be supermodels who are perfect in the bedroom and the kitchen as well as having two degrees, a high paying job and being a fantastic mother.

I actually consider television, books and magazines to be a lot more damaging to the perception of the sexes than games do, as games are very rarely trying to emulate reality, whereas other forms of media often do.

That's really why I get tired of people complaining about games. To me they are harmless because they are so unbelievable.

That's not to say that there aren't a ridiculously large amount of overly sexualised women, but as this person said:
grumpymooselion said:
there should be a bit of everything. Sexy characters are fine, but non-sexy characters should also be a lot more common. Developers should be trying to appeal to all sorts, rather than relying on the same tired clichés and stereoptypes.

My issue comes with people suggesting that the ones they dislike are a "problem" and shouldn't be there at all. I can agree that it is a problem that there aren't enough alternatives, but not that they exist in the first place.

If somebody looks at a game such as SkullGirls and says "Urgh, why aren't there more fighting games without sexualised women around?!" I'd nod and agree, because there really aren't enough. But when they try and claim it's "misogynistic" and "sexist", I start to get pissed off.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Toilet said:
I guess I will open a discussion because I am totally ignorant on the subject.

I keep on hearing about how character designs like the Tittymancer in Dragons Crown and other exaggerated designed females are a problem but I have yet to hear why they are a problem. I get a lot of "because sexism" answers but it doesn't answer my question.
Simple.

Because their sexualised depiction is not relevant to the character.

For example, take the depictions of half-naked, muscular men in God of War or 300. Yes, there are people who are titillated by such imagery, but the fact of the matter is that IT MAKES SENSE for an ancient warrior to be muscular, since physical strength equals dominance on the battlefield. And it makes some sense for warriors who rely on mobility not to be weighed down with heavy armour. The same could be argued for the Amazon character in this very game.

But it makes exactly zero difference to a spellcaster in a combat game how big her breasts are, and how much of them are clothed. If you had a game in which, playing as a woman, you could seduce men to achieve your goals - hell, if the big-breasted character had a special move which made males stop in their tracks (write this down, Namco, this would be an AWESOME stun-lock taunt move for Ivy) - then by all means, tits ahoy; but in this case, the tits in question define the word "gratuitous".

That's the problem. Nobody is saying that big tits and depictions thereof are ipso facto bad. Christina Hendricks has humongous mammaries, but the show Mad Men portrays her character as a woman with goals, emotions, thoughts etc, to whom physical beauty is both an asset and a liability. In that case, tits are okay. Or the women in the Game of Thrones universe: are they sexual? Hell yes. But they use their sexuality for certain ends (be it gratification, power, revenge etc), which is what beautiful women, alas, do a lot of in real life.

Now, many men are attracted to women with athletic bodies; and in a game like Mirror's Edge, Faith's lithe, flexible body is a sign of her grace, speed, and strength. It makes sense for her to be shaped like an olympic pole vaulter, because vaulting is what she does. The sexiness is a side effect; it does not define her exclusively.

Hope this helps in clearing things up.

##### Lord of the Salt
I can't really respond to the video because its been a hour and its only half loaded......

I don't understand the uproar, someone at kotaku called someone immature in a very immature way and was responded to in a equally immature way. What makes this less important is it's kotaku which is the journalistic equivalent of youtube comments. This is not something for people to be getting bothered over.

I feel that the internet has made arguments/discussions(neither are intrinsically negative things) impossible as it opens it up to so many people at once. Where as a normal back and forth between a limited number of people has a decent chance of staying on topic, the internet puts so many people into the debate that the chances of everyone keeping their ego in check and not either taking something about the topic personally or attacking someone else personally about it is as close to zero as things get.

It is in this light that having discussions about this in open forums on the internet is pointless. If you want to talk about these subjects, then have a private conversation with someone on the other side and use debate rules. Once someone starts attacking the other person rather than the subject at hand, end the conversation as no more progress will be made. Because whats going on now does nothing but raise ire and prevent any real progress being made one way or the other.

#### TwiZtah

##### New member
And no man looks like the barbarian either, not without 3 steroid shots per day at least. Stop taking everything so fucking seriously.

#### Sheo_Dagana

##### New member
While I am perpetually annoyed by the designs of female characters in any media (not just video games), it's not likely a problem we'll see the end of in our lifetime. I remember playing the original Metroid and how everyone made a huge fuss over beating the game fast enough to see Samus in a bikini. A lot of people have said that, until Other M, Samus is one of the least sexualized female protagonists out there, but this is not true [http://www.gamesradar.com/a-brief-history-of-samus-in-her-underwear/]. Now granted that all that skimp was available only after finishing the game, but that fact that people were trying to beat record times in order to be rewarded with it kind of makes it seem a little worse. Just to me.

I can only imagine how women feel when they see things like this in video games, considering that female gamers make up a large portion of the consumer pool, but I can kind of understand it. My roommate (a woman) will see incredibly hunky, muscular, perfect men on TV or games and say things like "goddamn - that is a MAN right there" and I'll get slightly uncomfortable about my appearance, being as how I'm quite average looking. It's only a passing thought for me, I can imagine that for women, it's much more than that.

I'm all for gender equality and I think most of us at this point are. I suppose it's just up to the people who design these characters to figure that out already.

#### Hagi

##### New member
grumpymooselion said:
I want it all. I want variety. I don't want just one thing. I WANT EVERYTHING. I want the industry flooded with a variety of styles, and no, "WE HAVE TO DO THIS TO BE POPULAR!" or, "WE HAVE TO DO THIS TO BE RESPECTFUL" or any other, "WE HAVE TO DO THIS BECAUSE ______" line of reasoning. I want it all. I want variety. I crave it. I have different moods, and different styles help me find something more fitting to my mood, not just visual style either.

More variety is better. Less variety is bad. I wouldn't kick out the Dragon's Crown designs anymore than I'd kick out Beyond Good & Evil's designs or Dark Souls' Designs or Bioshock Infinite's designs or Heavy Rain's designs or Ni No Kuni's Designs or Atelier Totori's Designs or Quest for Glory's designs or Monkey Island's designs or Telltale's The Walking Dead's designs or Resonance of Fate's designs or Half Life 2's designs or TES V: Skyrim's designs or World of Warcraft's designs or any design you could randomly come up with. It all deserves to exist. Something for everyone, and more, no one left out no matter which extreme you're talking about, or if you're just talking about something in the middle of or beyond said extremes.
This totally sums it up for me.

The problem is not that publishers say yes to character designs like this. That's completely fine.

The problem is that publishers say no to serious and realistic female character designs. That's completely fucked up.

#### Legion

##### Were it so easy
Archangel357 said:
Toilet said:
I guess I will open a discussion because I am totally ignorant on the subject.

I keep on hearing about how character designs like the Tittymancer in Dragons Crown and other exaggerated designed females are a problem but I have yet to hear why they are a problem. I get a lot of "because sexism" answers but it doesn't answer my question.
Simple.

Because their sexualised depiction is not relevant to the character.

For example, take the depictions of half-naked, muscular men in God of War or 300. Yes, there are people who are titillated by such imagery, but the fact of the matter is that IT MAKES SENSE for an ancient warrior to be muscular, since physical strength equals dominance on the battlefield. And it makes some sense for warriors who rely on mobility not to be weighed down with heavy armour. The same could be argued for the Amazon character in this very game.

But it makes exactly zero difference to a spellcaster in a combat game how big her breasts are, and how much of them are clothed. If you had a game in which, playing as a woman, you could seduce men to achieve your goals - hell, if the big-breasted character had a special move which made males stop in their tracks (write this down, Namco, this would be an AWESOME stun-lock taunt move for Ivy) - then by all means, tits ahoy; but in this case, the tits in question define the word "gratuitous".

That's the problem. Nobody is saying that big tits and depictions thereof are ipso facto bad. Christina Hendricks has humongous mammaries, but the show Mad Men portrays her character as a woman with goals, emotions, thoughts etc, to whom physical beauty is both an asset and a liability. In that case, tits are okay. Or the women in the Game of Thrones universe: are they sexual? Hell yes. But they use their sexuality for certain ends (be it gratification, power, revenge etc), which is what beautiful women, alas, do a lot of in real life.

Now, many men are attracted to women with athletic bodies; and in a game like Mirror's Edge, Faith's lithe, flexible body is a sign of her grace, speed, and strength. It makes sense for her to be shaped like an olympic pole vaulter, because vaulting is what she does. The sexiness is a side effect; it does not define her exclusively.

Hope this helps in clearing things up.
Actually many feminists would disagree with you.

A woman such as the sorceress is "sexy" (speech marks because I really don't think she is), but it does not affect her character's ability. She is a powerful fighter, who also happens to be "sexy".

The Game of Thrones example of women who use their sexuality to gain something, is a hell of a lot more sexist as it's suggesting that a woman's sexuality is more important than anything else. That they are not in power because they are smart or strong, but because they use their bodies.

The former example is of a powerful character who happens to be "sexy". The latter is of a woman who relies on being sexy.

If it makes no difference being sexy, then it's not defining them, as their character remains the same regardless. If not being sexy would change the character, then that is saying that being sexy is important for that character. Which is a lot more objectifying.

#### Terminal Blue

##### Elite Member
Legacy
While overall I think the message in this episode is excellent and when it comes to the so-called "boob wars" I couldn't agree more, I feel that it's somewhat incorrect to assume this controversy is simply another debate about sexualized character design. It started off that way with Jason Schreier's original comment, but that's certainly not why Kamitani got so much shit on social media. The real issue here is that you shouldn't respond to criticism (especially not by journalists whose job is to give opinion on your product) by engaging in casual homophobia.

Now, to be fair, Kamitani's "joke" would probably have been completely acceptable had it only been viewed in Japan, because casual homophobia remains perfectly acceptable in Japan. Even his "apology" makes it perfectly clear that he still doesn't actually understand why the joke was offensive, but it was. It was offensive because it implies a) that if Jason Schreier had been gay this alone would be grounds to laugh at him and b) that the wider opinions of actual gay people aren't actually important and don't have to be considered.

I think most of us can agree that Schreier's original comment was, at best, phrased badly, he's said as much himself. But as he also said, he's a critic of games. He's allowed to pass comment on the art in games, as indeed is anyone. If he doesn't like something, he can give it a public thumbs down because that's his job. Remember when Jim called the developers of Aliens: Colonial Marines liars? Would it have been appropriate for them to respond with "Lol, you just didn't like the game because there wasn't enough butsecks in it for you!"

Deflecting criticism by personally attacking a critic is bad practice. Deflecting criticism by trying to homophobically bully a critic, and by extension insulting every gay person in the world is beyond bad practice, it's crossing the line into stupidville. The hatemail and negative social media attention Kamitani is recieving now is completely deserved, and while an apology (even a vague and insincere apology which makes it clear you have no idea why people are angry with you) is a good start, the damage is largely done now.

#### uncanny474

##### New member
Jim. You, uh, you forgot to link to the articles, Jim. I don't care too much about the flamewar article, but I'd like to read a reasonable explanation, if only because the game itself seems like it may be fun and I don't want to feel bad for playing something that is so heavy on the male power fantasy side of things.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Legion said:
there should be a bit of everything. Sexy characters are fine, but non-sexy characters should also be a lot more common. Developers should be trying to appeal to all sorts, rather than relying on the same tired clichés and stereoptypes.
There are sexy characters because people like sexy characters, there are less of other characters because they're less popular. If developers have a limit on the number of characters they can make then they aren't going to make characters that will only appeal to a very smaller percentage of the market when they can make characters that will appeal to more people.

Regarding clichés and stereotypes I'd say they keep appearing because they're easy to slot into any game.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Zombine3D said:
Erm, Anita Sarkiizian (or whatever her shitty name is) proved ideally why feminism in the first world is stupid beyond redemption. Also girls (im 17) tend to be of abysmal intellectual capabilities, no kidding and I try to give everyone a chanse without a bias. I am not the smartest person, but smarter than them. "Sexism", like "rasism", are natural genetic things, we can not erradicate them because there is no real equality and enforced artifitial "equality" is the greatest form of inequality.
Wait, so women not getting management positions and being paid less for the same job should be accepted as the status quo? Don't get me wrong, I am no friend of man-hating feminist fundamentalism, but there are inequalities which need to be addressed.

Gender and race are genetically intrinsic, yes. The "-isms" around them, however, are not. There is no gene which makes you think that women are inferior to men, or that whites are inferior to Asians. Well, maybe the gene that makes people arseholes in general, but that's beside the point. As for enforcing equality: I agree with you that there are limits - lazy people shouldn't get paid the same as hard-working people, dumb people shouldn't have the same access to higher education as smart ones - but our societies are built on the ideal of equal treatment before the law and the same opportunities for all, everything else being equal. In a world in which a black Muslim woman has the same shot at getting a job as a white Christian man, your idea would be correct: however, our world isn't there yet. So if certain people treat others badly because of some traits over which the latter have no control, society SHOULD step the hell in and tell them it's not okay.

Also, don't get me wrong, 17 year old girls are indeed dumb as bricks, but that's got far less to do with them being female, and everything to do with them being 17.

#### Twinmill5000

##### New member
What's truly ironic is that in a similar thread, I put out a rather harsh comment defending the designer's rights to freedom of creation, and how if people are offended, they always have the option to not play the damn game, then proceeding to rip an extra asshole into someone who tried to pick a fight with that comment.

I lied (about the irony thing). What's truly ironic is that I still think that my comments were in the moral high ground, not because of their alleged purpose, but because, all throughout the thread, people were fighting about how the game was oversexualized vs. the lack of empathy for that fact. Why is that ironic? Because, while I think my points and embarrassment of those who directly challenged them were valid (and suuuure felt good), there was little discussion that came out of it. In fact, I was quite an asshole, despite my personal opinion that you need to be an asshole to get through to some people.

So let me change that. Starting now.

I am a feminist. I agree with most of what Anita Sarkeesian has to say, and yearn for more three dimensional female characters. Attractive female characters. Believable ones. That aren't either, oversexualized, or have single dimension personalities. I firmly believe that the best example for this is Human Female Protagonist (Guild Wars 2). That's sad. When the best example is a blank slate character for an MMO. I don't believe Lilith (Borderlands), or even Leona/Vi (LoL) are better examples, even though both are tough, take no crap, and are reliable heroes figures, but they still carry an enigma about them, rather, they're still presented to the gamer on a pedestal as unsociable characters who you should only masturbate to from a distance. Key word is presented.

With that being said... I disagree with the criticism that this game is getting, for the sole fact that yes, it is trying to point out how overdone characters of all types are in certain games today. Yes, I realize that in Sorcerer's case, she's really not too far off from the depressing 'norm' that we have in our mental image facilitating devices when we think of 'female protagonist', but I don't think that detracts from the statement they're trying to make, and I do think that most criticism of this game is missing the entire freaking point, regardless.

As a feminist, boobs don't bother me. The volume of huge, jiggling, unrealistically bouncy boobs... doesn't offend me. The lack of great female protagonists bothers me, and right now, that is changing too. You can have your boobs, you can have your one dimensional damsels in distress and super hardcore punk female leads, hell, I don't care if you want Super Cthulu Harem: Tentacle Rape: The Game.

What would anger me, more than anything, is people who think that I care what you want, and try to inhibit what I want, or at least muddy it, with the notion that creating a strong female protagonists has to include the word 'strong'.

The fact is, as much as I love Leona and Vi from LoL as characters, they feel like they're created so the respective game studio (Riot. Hi. CookiesMorgana here. Don't get mad pls.) can hold them up on a pedestal and go 'yeah, we have characters that defy stereotypes so we're not sexist or influenced by a sexist society'. Regardless of whether or not that was a conscious decision by them or not.

Think about it. Imagine Vi and Leona, toned down just enough to where they were actually characters you could have a conversation with, that seemed like real human beings with more than one or two things on their minds. You probably already can, thanks to LoL's awesome community. From a design perspective, these characters potentially meet that. Where it fails in execution, how the characters act in game. How they're animated. Their voice lines.

And thus, I come to my final point: Making those characters as believable as GW2's Human Female Protagonist would take alot of work. Why? Well, because acting natural without adhering to the sexual norms of the place you're in is difficult. This is what needs to change. We need to stop idolizing women, and we need to stop backlashing at them when we find out they're... women. We need to treat them more like people, not like aliens, because until we then, our bias will show up in character designs everywhere, even those that are supposed to appeal to women. If Leona was designed entirely by IronStylus, she'd be a much more believable character.

Hell, if there were more game companies with the Male/Female staff ratio of ArenaNet, we'd see alot more believable female characters in games.

#### Kraftmyself

##### New member
I've read a lot of comments here and a lot of them have very interesting and well thought out arguments for many different 'sides' in this discussion. However I was hoping to make something clear, what we think about a video game means nothing if there is no discussion with the person/place/company/etc responsible for the discussion in the first place. We can all say what we want and believe what we do but ultimately what can we change? Change comes through an open discussion between the conflicting parties operating under respectful and equal rules of debate. I was so glad to see HokutoAndy's work put into the discussion on Kotaku because it highlights just how many aspects there are to consider in art and that the reasons we think something is present may not always be the truth. It is because of this though that I want to see the artist, if he deems he is comfortable talking about the reasoning behind what is completely his work and his own style, speak with Schereier or more likely someone who can prepare very honest interview questions and be much more open-minded about something they may only believe they understand. THAT is how we see change in this industry, by creating places and sources of understanding that allows this obviously very discerning and unique group of fans to derive their own meaning and understanding from the honest and well-rounded information that is presented to us.

Yay or nay?

EDIT: Oh good, there was a discussion between the artist and Jason.....um..somewhat

#### Milanezi

##### New member
Hmmm he used a lot of game scenes with the Sorceress as the character, and the the SAME scenes (or similar), with the dwarf, I was amazed by both, so I guess I'm genuinely interested in the game...
Now, I'm having a bigger issue, and my issue is with the dwarf, why is he a "dwarf" when he is basically as tall as anybody else, only much more muscular??? lol
Okay, as far as the sorceress go, c'mon fantasy sorceress, when they're all "goth wanna-be" are usually sluts in every sense of the word, not only in game, but in fantasy in general, from the cover art of metal bands to comic books; it's obviously exaggerated in this game, but hey, everybody is. However the Amazon is something... uhhh... I always picture amazons as very fucking muscular and not very feminine even in terms of attitude, I also imagine them either fully naked or deep in body armor, the first style because it would beckon to the idea of the "cult to the body" as in perfect aesthetics of a healthy muscular body (like old Greek and Roman statutes), the last for practical terms of Amazons being warriors thus being fully armored for war, THIS Amazon looks like a body builder (a bad one who didn't distribute the exercises) going to fantasy beach....

##### New member
I am all for more female friendly clothing options. The idea of a scantly clad FemShep is foreign to me.

That said, let's not be human about it and take it all the way into the other extreme By human I mean over-react and not just fix it but make another problem out of it. Call me all the nasty names you want, I believe the Ivy's, Tifa's, and scantly clad elven females of gaming have just as much a place in the hobby as others.

In short, moderation. What a concept.

#### GAunderrated

##### New member
Ernil Menegil said:
I am sorry, Jim, but this is just not going to happen.

No one is interested in discussion and conversation, those things are not worthy of attention.

Instead, lobbing insults and arguing from end to end is the norm, and it will not change because people just like to get themselves into a lather instead of getting anything properly talked about.

It's why I scarce make a thread these days, or even try to reply to most I see. I barely see anyone interested in it. Why bother?

I'll just keep watching your contributions. They do a lot more to advance the issue than a hundred threads in these forums and beyond.
You took the words right out of my mouth verbatim. Truth is not just in the gaming industry but also in academic, scientific, religious, and political debates very few people are interested in discussion.

Everything eventually comes down to generalizations, red herrings, slander, and shouting. No one learns anything, the discussion itself becomes moot compared to the mudslinging, and nothing has changed.

It is why I only really look at certain videos and news articles on the Escapist because the user discussions very rarely have any real discussion.

I hope this trend of not discussing dies but I haven't seen any evidence contrary to what is currently going on.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
So, you hate the artwork on characters that are underclothed, but like the one that has more clothes. Nice way to miss the overall point of the art. Guess what? He wasn't going for realism here. So I disagree with you. Now what? You want to discuss it? With what end? That I give up my opinon that the artwork is good(not really my thing, but good.)? All anyone can do is make their opinon clear and move the fuck on. But this is the internet, not real life, so flame wars for the win. Expecting anyone to have a responsible discussion about this on the interest is retarded. Because someone has to "win", that's the essence of a flame war. And when neither side caves(nor should either side be expected to), it gets ugly fast. And it just repeats over and over and over and over....

What really pisses me off about you, jim, is your moral high horse that you get on while preaching your better than sexist slobs like me. Wonder what were those "sexist" articles that you felt bad about? Because anything even bordering on sexism makes me a "child" with no worthwhile thoughts or opinons? I am a man(maybe manchild, but whatever.) I don't understand women, and I do not understand the feminist movement. All I understand is what I like and why. And that's all that matters to me. If I choose to listen to someone else, that's my right. It's also my right as a sentient human being to say that they are wrong and I disagree. They are free to say the same about me. And if they aren't assholes(like everyone here), they'll leave it at that. I mean seriously, where the fuck do you go from there expect flame wars? Where someone has to be destroyed and "lose"? I mean this has been talked about some many times over the years(sexist game comes out, everyone states their opinon, flame war erupts, cools down, everyone goes back to their normal live until next sexist game, rinse and repeat). There's nothing else to say.

As far as the industry as a whole goes, I really don't care. Either it will change according to the flow of the free market or it won't. Either way, I'll play the games I want(one way or the other) and nothing else really matters. You can talk about it, but it's beyond the ability of a small group of people to change.

For the record, I disagree with the feminist movement on just about everything. Metoid other m was a great game, crappy story but I'm not playing it for the story. Mass effect is good with either shep. I like boobs, and I like dead or alive and king of fighter character designs. Mario and zelda could use some change, but it has jack all to do with the sex of the hero. Try what no one talks about on a gaming message board, aka the gameplay. Starfox adventures would have sucked ass no matter what. Fantasy armor is fine the way it is(no, it's no supposed to be realistic.)

So you say I'm part of the problem for buying games like this? I'll spend my money however I see fit, and I really don't give a fuck what you people think. Like I said, I have the right to choose to listen to you. I don't have to, and most of you people have nothing in common with my taste in anything. I know that you will all flame me and shove words in my mouth, but I have zero interest in debating this with you people.

#### Darken12

##### New member
Oh, Jim. I'll stop being an atheist for a couple of seconds to thank God for you. The work you do is absolutely vital for the community, and utterly thankless.

Captcha: high five. High five indeed, Jim.

Also, I want to leave it stated somewhere (and here might be as good of a place as any) that I have slowly come to viscerally despise "parodies" or "unserious games". At first I didn't like them, but I didn't have a problem with them either. Now that time has passed and I've come to repeatedly see and hear the same excuses over and over ("We're giving her big tits because we're making a parody!" "It's okay if it's a parody!" "We don't have to acknowledge any problems in the industry or make an effort to change, because we're making a parody!" "We don't even have to make an effort to come up with originality, emotional weight, characterisation or artistic merit because we're making a parody!"), I have come to slowly but surely loathe their very existence.

I genuinely loathe how a creator can get away with literally anything, no matter how harmful, if they put in zero effort, add a wink or two, and claim it's a parody.

#### Helen Jones

##### New member
I disagree with you that the archer isn't sexualised..
she does look pretty awesome, and certainly is more empowering for me than the other female characters.
But I still find that the picture in which she's firing her arrow has been sexualised- she's been positioned for male gaze despite her "less-sexualised" design. Her torso, on the thin side, can only be doing an 180 degree turn for her arms to be positioned where they are and her bust to be facing forwards, yet where would then naturally be her front, her waist warps into her butt. Hm.
Try and imagine a man in this pose, and we run into the Hawkeye initiative. http://thehawkeyeinitiative.com/

She's better than the others BY FAR. But she's not entirely off the hook.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
norashepard said:
The only thing about this whole issue that really gets me is that the two sides are represented by men. Women have very little acknowledged presence in the discussion. Sure we're here on the forums talking about it, but at it's base, this is an argument by two men about what they think women should be shown as.

Same with the gender representation arguments in general. There are very few female figureheads in this discussion, which just reeks to me. Most developers are headed by men, most publishers as well. Most of the well known journalists are male. And they're the ones who are talking about women and their representation. Male allies are good, and I appreciate what they do, but when they lead a charge that should be a woman's, it just seems a bit hypocritical.
One battle at a time, I say.

This is a whole other worldly issue and it's going to be a long and difficult one to tackle.

But it's not like we're being ignored when we speak, women just aren't nearly as prominent in gaming as other mediums.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
I had a feeling Jim would weigh in on this, we all have are ignorances. In the subject gender or sex things tend go all over the place but unlike the norm things recovered better than expected

#### BreakfastMan

##### Scandinavian Jawbreaker
Legion said:
BreakfastMan said:
Legion said:
The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.
It isn't really though. The violent thing is about actions regardless of context. The only portraying women as sex objects/as gendered stereotypes thing is about themes and ideas in a cultural context and story context. Not really comparable. :\
How many games provide a realistic enough example of sexualised women to compare to real life? Or to put it another way, how many sexualised female characters look believable? Most women who are sexualised are more or less caricatures, they are so over the top that they are not comparable to real women. I can't see any guys looking at the Sorceress and associating her with real women.
It isn't her body type that is the problem; it is the fact that she as portrayed as a sex object in a way all the other characters in the game aren't. This wouldn't be bad if it wasn't so common for crap like that to happen. It isn't necessarily sexualization that is the problem; it is the lack of diversity, and what that does to reinforce traditional gender roles. Ben Kochera had a pretty good article on such things on the PAR a while back.
Violent media on the other hand frequently tries to portray real life, or believable situations. Grand Theft Auto is in many regards a murder simulator. You can do countless things that you could do in real life, many of them horrible.
The different being, you are not expected to act such ways IRL. Grabbing a shotgun and curb-stomping cops is looked down upon in society. The problem is about roles that society pushes people towards and encourages. Society generally doesn't encourage being a sociopathic criminal.
Violent media, unless it is sci-fi or fantasy often tries to recreate things that are actually plausible, even if they are incredibly unlikely. Sexualisation of characters on the other hand is almost entirely over the top to the point that it barely resembles reality.
I disagree; Violent media often shows acts that are stupidly impossible. Sexualization often shows images that are at least probable (yes, I have met women with breasts bigger than their head IRL. No, I don't know how they walk).
I apologise if that was worded badly as well, it can be hard to articulate what I mean when it comes to abstract concepts.
Only if you afford me the same courtesy. XD

#### Toilet

##### New member
Archangel357 said:
Toilet said:
I guess I will open a discussion because I am totally ignorant on the subject.

I keep on hearing about how character designs like the Tittymancer in Dragons Crown and other exaggerated designed females are a problem but I have yet to hear why they are a problem. I get a lot of "because sexism" answers but it doesn't answer my question.
Simple.

Because their sexualised depiction is not relevant to the character.

For example, take the depictions of half-naked, muscular men in God of War or 300. Yes, there are people who are titillated by such imagery, but the fact of the matter is that IT MAKES SENSE for an ancient warrior to be muscular, since physical strength equals dominance on the battlefield. And it makes some sense for warriors who rely on mobility not to be weighed down with heavy armour. The same could be argued for the Amazon character in this very game.

But it makes exactly zero difference to a spellcaster in a combat game how big her breasts are, and how much of them are clothed. If you had a game in which, playing as a woman, you could seduce men to achieve your goals - hell, if the big-breasted character had a special move which made males stop in their tracks (write this down, Namco, this would be an AWESOME stun-lock taunt move for Ivy) - then by all means, tits ahoy; but in this case, the tits in question define the word "gratuitous".

That's the problem. Nobody is saying that big tits and depictions thereof are ipso facto bad. Christina Hendricks has humongous mammaries, but the show Mad Men portrays her character as a woman with goals, emotions, thoughts etc, to whom physical beauty is both an asset and a liability. In that case, tits are okay. Or the women in the Game of Thrones universe: are they sexual? Hell yes. But they use their sexuality for certain ends (be it gratification, power, revenge etc), which is what beautiful women, alas, do a lot of in real life.

Now, many men are attracted to women with athletic bodies; and in a game like Mirror's Edge, Faith's lithe, flexible body is a sign of her grace, speed, and strength. It makes sense for her to be shaped like an olympic pole vaulter, because vaulting is what she does. The sexiness is a side effect; it does not define her exclusively.

Hope this helps in clearing things up.
I see your point but in your case of the character being relevant to the design aren't we being a bit to fast to judge that the spellcasters figure has no relevance to her character when the game isn't out yet and we know nothing about her aside from the ridiculous figure? I am running blind with this idea so it may be moot but what if the spellcaster has access to shape changing spells as most witches/wizards do in their relevant lore. It's a totally hypothetical idea but the idea I am trying to put across is that her design might be relevant to her character.

Also your answer doesn't really answer why it is a bad thing, I still don't see an issue with sexualized depictions aside from it can maybe hurt story telling (according to your theory). I don't think people would be losing their shit over this issue to this extent if non relevant gratuitous titties only hurt story telling.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Archangel357 said:
Wait, so women not getting management positions and being paid less for the same job should be accepted as the status quo? Don't get me wrong, I am no friend of man-hating feminist fundamentalism, but there are inequalities which need to be addressed.

Gender and race are genetically intrinsic, yes. The "-isms" around them, however, are not. There is no gene which makes you think that women are inferior to men, or that whites are inferior to Asians. Well, maybe the gene that makes people arseholes in general, but that's beside the point. As for enforcing equality: I agree with you that there are limits - lazy people shouldn't get paid the same as hard-working people, dumb people shouldn't have the same access to higher education as smart ones - but our societies are built on the ideal of equal treatment before the law and the same opportunities for all, everything else being equal. In a world in which a black Muslim woman has the same shot at getting a job as a white Christian man, your idea would be correct: however, our world isn't there yet. So if certain people treat others badly because of some traits over which the latter have no control, society SHOULD step the hell in and tell them it's not okay.

Also, don't get me wrong, 17 year old girls are indeed dumb as bricks, but that's got far less to do with them being female, and everything to do with them being 17.
Yea, I get what you mean and agree. In a perfect world people would get the same treatment if they proove themselves in a connected field, no privillages. But what is in our world is not perfect and a lot of people tackle the wrong problems, first world problems if you will, this is a leap in the wrong direction. The society is like a mafia: if you do not co-operate, it will dammage your bones. The inequalities in videogames are the least thing we should care about.
BTW I live in Finland, come from Russia.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Archangel357 said:
But it makes exactly zero difference to a spellcaster in a combat game how big her breasts are, and how much of them are clothed. If you had a game in which, playing as a woman, you could seduce men to achieve your goals - hell, if the big-breasted character had a special move which made males stop in their tracks (write this down, Namco, this would be an AWESOME stun-lock taunt move for Ivy) - then by all means, tits ahoy; but in this case, the tits in question define the word "gratuitous".
In the Witcher the sorceresses used their magic to ensure they remained beautiful even if they were hundreds of years old. Would you accept this as an acceptable reason for a woman who knows magic to be young looking with large breasts?

#### Milanezi

##### New member
Archangel357 said:
Zombine3D said:
Erm, Anita Sarkiizian (or whatever her shitty name is) proved ideally why feminism in the first world is stupid beyond redemption. Also girls (im 17) tend to be of abysmal intellectual capabilities, no kidding and I try to give everyone a chanse without a bias. I am not the smartest person, but smarter than them. "Sexism", like "rasism", are natural genetic things, we can not erradicate them because there is no real equality and enforced artifitial "equality" is the greatest form of inequality.
Wait, so women not getting management positions and being paid less for the same job should be accepted as the status quo? Don't get me wrong, I am no friend of man-hating feminist fundamentalism, but there are inequalities which need to be addressed.

Gender and race are genetically intrinsic, yes. The "-isms" around them, however, are not. There is no gene which makes you think that women are inferior to men, or that whites are inferior to Asians. Well, maybe the gene that makes people arseholes in general, but that's beside the point. As for enforcing equality: I agree with you that there are limits - lazy people shouldn't get paid the same as hard-working people, dumb people shouldn't have the same access to higher education as smart ones - but our societies are built on the ideal of equal treatment before the law and the same opportunities for all, everything else being equal. In a world in which a black Muslim woman has the same shot at getting a job as a white Christian man, your idea would be correct: however, our world isn't there yet. So if certain people treat others badly because of some traits over which the latter have no control, society SHOULD step the hell in and tell them it's not okay.

Also, don't get me wrong, 17 year old girls are indeed dumb as bricks, but that's got far less to do with them being female, and everything to do with them being 17.
I was just waiting for a reply to that post lol. Well said Archangel; plus I'd like to point out something about pain in the ass Anita, she doesn't suck because she's a feminist, she sucks - in my opinion - because (so far) she's NOT doing a good job and is making everyone wonder why the hell she needed the freaking kickstarter money, as one can see, her being a feminist is not an issue, as a matter of fact the subject she's tackling could be very well addressed by anyone, feminist or not, as long as they knew what they were doing, which so far she has not proven.

#### Johnny Novgorod

##### Bebop Man
Legacy
Why are we making such a fuzz over Dragon Crown? Because of the dumb way in which the journalist and the dev got into personal attacks, right? I can't think of anything else. Big boobs are all over Jap games... and movies... and anime... and manga... it's what they do, get it over with.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Legion said:
Actually many feminists would disagree with you.

A woman such as the sorceress is "sexy" (speech marks because I really don't think she is), but it does not affect her character's ability. She is a powerful fighter, who also happens to be "sexy".

The Game of Thrones example of women who use their sexuality to gain something, is a hell of a lot more sexist as it's suggesting that a woman's sexuality is more important than anything else. That they are not in power because they are smart or strong, but because they use their bodies.

The former example is of a powerful character who happens to be "sexy". The latter is of a woman who relies on being sexy.

If it makes no difference being sexy, then it's not defining them, as their character remains the same regardless. If not being sexy would change the character, then that is saying that being sexy is important for that character. Which is a lot more objectifying.
Ehh, good points, but let me express myself more clearly.

First of all, feminists, at least the raging fascist kind, hate sexy women more than they hate men. Good looks - or what a given society considers such in a given episteme - are a form of power. Just like physical strength or high intelligence. I cannot become a millionaire pro athlete because I lack the physical attributes; I can, however, become a college professor. And an ugly woman (USUALLY) cannot become a rich and powerful Hollywood superstar, but *insert name here* can.
There's also the thing that those "gifts" usually take a lot of work - just like intellectuals must constantly keep up with their field, and athletes need to train, models/actresses need to diet, work out, buy pretty dresses and makeup etc. A beautiful woman using her looks to get ahead (cue Cirsei saying to Sansa that "a woman's most powerful weapon is between her legs", something that history sort of bears out) is no more or less admirable or despicable than a smart woman using her intelligence, or a tall fellow getting in the NBA. I find this singling out of physical beauty as a tool very problematic.

Anyway, back to your point. You say that the Sorceress isn't defined by her sexuality, but is that strictly true? Within the game itself, you are right; she is a "sexy" character whose looks have nothing to do with her role. But you are neglecting the fact that extradiegetically, the game is also a commodity, to be marketed at a certain audience. And in that context, her looks are EVERYTHING. She looks like she does not to better fight monsters, but to appeal to certain boys and men. And therein lies the problem. Hers is titillation for its own sake, which, again, defines the word "gratuitous". Also, "pornography".
In storytelling, every part of a character should be relevant to the story. A villain needs a reason to be bad besides "he's an arsehole", just like a "seductress" needs more reasons to be "sexy" than "it will increase sales by 10%". Hercules, Samson, Siegfried, and indeed Kratos are shown as strong because they need to be. It is a side effect that they conform to our society's notions, which consider muscular men to be sexually desirable. So I put it to you: why make a character sexualised if it has no bearing on the medium? If there were a novel about a guy who solves crimes from a locked room, using only his computer, would he need to be built like an NFL linebacker?

To illustrate my point: if we had a game in which sexual prowess were of no consequence to the character's goals, but a male character were, in promotional materials, artwork etc, depicted as having an enormous penis, would you have a problem with that?

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Archangel357 said:
Wait, so women not getting management positions and being paid less for the same job should be accepted as the status quo? Don't get me wrong, I am no friend of man-hating feminist fundamentalism, but there are inequalities which need to be addressed.
The pay difference is calculated by comparing the sum of all the salaries that men get, the it to the sum of all the salaries that women get. However as women are more likely to work in low paid or part time work, while men are more likely to work in full time or high paid jobs men always end up earning more than women, even when they're always paid the same salary for doing the same work. This is why feminists are never able to name a single company where men are earning a third more than women for doing the same jobs.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Milanezi said:
I was just waiting for a reply to that post lol. Well said Archangel; plus I'd like to point out something about pain in the ass Anita, she doesn't suck because she's a feminist, she sucks - in my opinion - because (so far) she's NOT doing a good job and is making everyone wonder why the hell she needed the freaking kickstarter money, as one can see, her being a feminist is not an issue, as a matter of fact the subject she's tackling could be very well addressed by anyone, feminist or not, as long as they knew what they were doing, which so far she has not proven.
I found Anita too condescending for my tastes

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
uanime5 said:
Archangel357 said:
Wait, so women not getting management positions and being paid less for the same job should be accepted as the status quo? Don't get me wrong, I am no friend of man-hating feminist fundamentalism, but there are inequalities which need to be addressed.
The pay difference is calculated by comparing the sum of all the salaries that men get, the it to the sum of all the salaries that women get. However as women are more likely to work in low paid or part time work, while men are more likely to work in full time or high paid jobs men always end up earning more than women, even when they're always paid the same salary for doing the same work. This is why feminists are never able to name a single company where men are earning a third more than women for doing the same jobs.
Great job at singling out one point.

Women are 50% of the population. How many members of Western parliaments are women? How many are CEOs of multinational corporations? Wall Street banks? How many are heads of government/state?

Not to mention the fact that you neglect the reason WHY women end up more often doing lower-paying work.

Look, we can discuss the minutiae till the cows come home, but the fact of the matter is that power is still distributed unequally among the sexes. This is due to many reasons, of course, not just the simplistic "teh sexismz", but it is a fact.

#### cookyy2k

##### New member
I find these sorts of videos/articles by gaming journalists to be very hypocritical. Many of them (Jim included) had a real go at the gaming community for complaining about mass effect 3's ending since it's art and that was what the artist wanted (though it's debatable if that's what they wanted or if EA told them to just slap any old ending on it but I'm not opening that one again). Then something like this comes along where it is very clearly a stialised art choice and everyone condemns the artist for it.

I'm sorry guys but I'm one of those who believes their is no "too far" when it comes to art, you'll always find someone to be offended by something. Thing should be taken as intended, if no offence is intended then it's fine. Some people will get offended but that is not because of the artist's work that's because they put their own interpretation on it. Some of the great works of art, music and film were very controversial in their day. Either everything is ok or nothing is, stop trying to draw arbitrary "do not cross" lines all over the place.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
cookyy2k said:
and everyone condemns the artist for it.
don't generalize, this is part of what got us into this mess

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
uanime5 said:
In the Witcher the sorceresses used their magic to ensure they remained beautiful even if they were hundreds of years old. Would you accept this as an acceptable reason for a woman who knows magic to be young looking with large breasts?
In a word, yes. The quest for everlasting youth has been a trope for aeons, both in real life (Elizabeth Báthory allegedly bathing in virgin blood) to lore (every bloody fairy tale in the world). Hell, Michelle Pfeiffer played the hell out of that very role in Stardust, didn't she?

But in your example, beauty is a goal. The quest for it defines a character, right? An evil queen doing evil things to stay young and beautiful, a sorceress craving and abusing magic for that goal - that's a story unto itself, right there. A character having big tits just because? Ehh...

Toilet said:
I see your point but in your case of the character being relevant to the design aren't we being a bit to fast to judge that the spellcasters figure has no relevance to her character when the game isn't out yet and we know nothing about her aside from the ridiculous figure? I am running blind with this idea so it may be moot but what if the spellcaster has access to shape changing spells as most witches/wizards do in their relevant lore. It's a totally hypothetical idea but the idea I am trying to put across is that her design might be relevant to her character.

Also your answer doesn't really answer why it is a bad thing, I still don't see an issue with sexualized depictions aside from it can maybe hurt story telling (according to your theory). I don't think people would be losing their shit over this issue to this extent if non relevant gratuitous titties only hurt story telling.
I am with you on the "we don't know yet" thing. Hell, I am sort of with you on the notion that this whole brouhaha is a mite exaggerated, especially since Vanillaware's dudes have been huge bloody beefcakes sine Odin Sphere - but again, here's that caveat about muscles being useful in battle (as an aside, this is why I actually prefer the recent "monster thighs" Chun Li over the wisp of a girl she used to be - her muscular legs make sense when she's lightning kicking blokes into oblivion).

As for the story part - anything that is unnecessary should be left out. To use my example again, in a medium about a dude working at his computer all day, the fact that he has shoulders like a fucking forklift or is hung like a horse is of no relevance, so why put it there at all?

#### cookyy2k

##### New member
Red X said:
cookyy2k said:
and everyone condemns the artist for it.
don't generalize, this is part of what got us into this mess

Sorry, A lot of people condemn the artist, that better

#### OtherSideofSky

##### New member
Honestly, I've almost completely given up on the discussion of gender in video games because of these shouting matches.

Yes, there are real problems, and yes, I would like to see some things change, but I'm left with no confidence that anyone on either side is actually competent to address these issues or to discuss them in a mature way. It's just an endless back and forth of wild supposition, gross generalization, vilification and heretication.

The Dragon's Crown debate confuses and irritates me because it appears not to be, in any sense, about Dragon's Crown, or even the design of the sorceress. The arguments levied against it consistently fall back on the standard image of women in video games, the (in my opinion somewhat overstated) lack of other options, and the design of female characters to cater exclusively to a demographic of heterosexual men. That being the case, it mystifies me that these people are choosing to target one possibly satirical character in a niche game which provides other options (personally, I'm going to be playing the amazon; I don't find her attractive, but I don't need to, either, and I've never seen a game which let me play as a woman who is a rippling tower of muscle before), when there are so many better targets out there. People say the design is a lazy, bog-standard marketing ploy, but looking at the rest of the art design, I find it hard to believe that any of these designs were specifically intended to please anyone other than George Kamitani himself.

I also consistently see the existence of non-standard female character designs dismissed on the basis that some men are into that, which really rings hollow to me. Some men are into pretty anything. I can go out right now and find porn sites devoted to obese women, hairy women muscular women, amputee women, women with enormous labia, and just about anything else stereotyped as unattractive or unfeminine. Every single strong, well-written, conservatively dressed woman you can dream up is going to have plenty of men who find her attractive. The same can be said of women and their interest in men. A character being considered sexually appealing by a certain group does not invalidate that character as anything other than a sex object or necessitate that they were designed specifically to appeal to that group. That sort of analysis takes the idea that a character must be designed to appeal to a heterosexual male audience as its starting point, rather than starting with the actual content being analyzed and reaching that conclusion.

Aside from that, I seriously question the extent to which a player character can be objectified. It seems to me that they must necessarily have some degree of agency, and thus subjectivity, in order for the game to function at all. In that sense, I find it intellectually problematic to consider a character like Dragon's Crown's sorceress as if she were an NPC or a character in a film, held up by the director to the passive gaze of the audience, rather than the active medium through which the audience is intended to identify and interact with the game's narrative and environment.

I would also like to stop hearing about how such-and-such character is a 'male power fantasy' for me. No one bothered to ask me what I fantasize about, and insisting that a character, image, or archetype represents my fantasies in the face of my statements to the contrary constitute a denial of subjectivity, which is a form of objectification. I do not fantasize about being a big muscle man. I do not fantasize about running around bloodily tearing things in two. I do not fantasize about no-strings attached sex with large numbers of conventionally attractive women. I fantasize about being more feminine, and my 'power fantasies' revolve around calm, methodical management from the comfort of a reclining couch. Do you know how many games cater to those fantasies? In my experience, there are pretty much none. So stop telling me that all of this shit you don't like is for me; it isn't.

#### Gigano

##### Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
evilthecat said:
While overall I think the message in this episode is excellent and when it comes to the so-called "boob wars" I couldn't agree more, I feel that it's somewhat incorrect to assume this controversy is simply another debate about sexualized character design. It started off that way with Jason Schreier's original comment, but that's certainly not why Kamitani got so much shit on social media. The real issue here is that you shouldn't respond to criticism (especially not by journalists whose job is to give opinion on your product) by engaging in casual homophobia.

Now, to be fair, Kamitani's "joke" would probably have been completely acceptable had it only been viewed in Japan, because casual homophobia remains perfectly acceptable in Japan. Even his "apology" makes it perfectly clear that he still doesn't actually understand why the joke was offensive, but it was. It was offensive because it implies a) that if Jason Schreier had been gay this alone would be grounds to laugh at him and b) that the wider opinions of actual gay people aren't actually important and don't have to be considered.

I think most of us can agree that Schreier's original comment was, at best, phrased badly, he's said as much himself. But as he also said, he's a critic of games. He's allowed to pass comment on the art in games, as indeed is anyone. If he doesn't like something, he can give it a public thumbs down because that's his job. Remember when Jim called the developers of Aliens: Colonial Marines liars? Would it have been appropriate for them to respond with "Lol, you just didn't like the game because there wasn't enough butsecks in it for you!"

Deflecting criticism by personally attacking a critic is bad practice. Deflecting criticism by trying to homophobically bully a critic, and by extension insulting every gay person in the world is beyond bad practice, it's crossing the line into stupidville. The hatemail and negative social media attention Kamitani is recieving now is completely deserved, and while an apology (even a vague and insincere apology which makes it clear you have no idea why people are angry with you) is a good start, the damage is largely done now.
What "damage"?

An otherwise rather low profile Japanese fantasy game have gotten immense publicity over this in the western nerd hemisphere. How many people knew of "Dragon's Crown" before this controversy took off? Who'd seen - and noticed - the concept/publicity art for it?

If just 5 % of the people who've been part of the discussion end up buying the game, either because they've become interested in it on its own merits, or to spite the lust for the artist self-censoring, I'd wager it'll make far more than it would had nobody found big breasts so offensive. Controversy is an excellent marketing tool, so long as there are people siding with you/who don't care about the issue who'll see your game being argued over.

I'm pretty sure Kamitani can handle a bit of hate mail from offended people who'd never have bought the game anyway - and hence really have no business commenting on it, any more than straight men have commenting on gay porn offending them - if the pain is soothed by sales figures. The thing that actually matters.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Imperator_DK said:
What "damage"?

An otherwise rather low profile Japanese fantasy game have gotten immense publicity over this in the western nerd hemisphere. How many people knew of "Dragon's Crown" before this controversy took off? Who'd seen - and noticed - the concept/publicity art for it?

If just 5 % of the people who've been part of the discussion end up buying the game, either because they've become interested in it on its own merits, or to spite the lust for the artist self-censoring, I'd wager it'll make far more than it would had nobody found big breasts so offensive. Controversy is an excellent marketing tool, so long as there are people siding with you/who don't care about the issue who'll see it.

I'm pretty sure Kamitani can handle a bit of hate mail from offended people who'd never have bought the game anyway - and hence really have no business commenting on it, any more than straight men have commenting on gay porn offending them - if the pain is soothed by sales figures. The thing that actually matters.
And therein lies the crux.

Archangel357 said:
In storytelling, every part of a character should be relevant to the story. A villain needs a reason to be bad besides "he's an arsehole", just like a "seductress" needs more reasons to be "sexy" than "it will increase sales by 10%".

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Archangel357 said:
Women are 50% of the population. How many members of Western parliaments are women? How many are CEOs of multinational corporations? Wall Street banks? How many are heads of government/state?
What percentage of women want to be politicians, CEOs, investment bankers, heads of Government? If this percentage of women wanting to do these jobs is less than the percentage of men that want to do these jobs then you will never have an equal number of men and women doing these jobs.

Not to mention the fact that you neglect the reason WHY women end up more often doing lower-paying work.
Women tend to prefer part time work because it allows them to spend more time with their children. Women prefer lower paying jobs because they're less stressful and usually require more personal skills rather than management skills. I've even read stories by employers who have tried to promote women to higher paying jobs only for these women to refuse promotions simply because they prefer the job they're currently in.

Look, we can discuss the minutiae till the cows come home, but the fact of the matter is that power is still distributed unequally among the sexes. This is due to many reasons, of course, not just the simplistic "teh sexismz", but it is a fact.
Though power isn't evenly distributed among the sexes the reason is often more to do with women not seeking out positions of power than men denying women these positions. No one should assume that because there are unequal distributions that the reason is discrimination.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Gender relations in Vanillaware games.

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.joystiq.com/media/2007/05/odin_sphere_425_screen.jpg

Just saying.

#### Lunar Templar

##### New member
can't say I like the designs ether, the Amazon just looks off, to off to find 'sexy', while most this guys male characters have always rubbed me wrong.

I liked the player character designs of Odin Sphere, those where pretty sensible over all

#### Gigano

##### Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
Archangel357 said:
Imperator_DK said:
What "damage"?

An otherwise rather low profile Japanese fantasy game have gotten immense publicity over this in the western nerd hemisphere. How many people knew of "Dragon's Crown" before this controversy took off? Who'd seen - and noticed - the concept/publicity art for it?

If just 5 % of the people who've been part of the discussion end up buying the game, either because they've become interested in it on its own merits, or to spite the lust for the artist self-censoring, I'd wager it'll make far more than it would had nobody found big breasts so offensive. Controversy is an excellent marketing tool, so long as there are people siding with you/who don't care about the issue who'll see it.

I'm pretty sure Kamitani can handle a bit of hate mail from offended people who'd never have bought the game anyway - and hence really have no business commenting on it, any more than straight men have commenting on gay porn offending them - if the pain is soothed by sales figures. The thing that actually matters.
And therein lies the crux.

Archangel357 said:
In storytelling, every part of a character should be relevant to the story. A villain needs a reason to be bad besides "he's an arsehole", just like a "seductress" needs more reasons to be "sexy" than "it will increase sales by 10%".
Don't think that's your call to make.

It is and remains the call of the writers and artists themselves how to create their works. Including whether or not to think commercial considerations into the development of them.

If you don't like the game, don't buy it. If you would have bought the game save for one thing, by all means send a constructive criticism to the developer, and more importantly actually buy similar games who do it right. If it's better business not to do it, then it won't be done. People who voice their interest in and support for the overall project are the only ones likely to actually be heard; For good reason, as they're the only ones who should have any potential say in it. It's they who'll be playing it, after all.

But lo and behold, it's not better business, because the people complaining about it wouldn't actually buy "Dragon's Crown" anyway, even if all female characters in it were AA-cups dressed in Burqa's[footnote]In which case a considerably larger segment probably wouldn't buy it.[/footnote]. They simply complain on the internet. Which is worth about as much as they'd pay for the game.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
uanime5 said:
What percentage of women want to be politicians, CEOs, investment bankers, heads of Government? If this percentage of women wanting to do these jobs is less than the percentage of men that want to do these jobs then you will never have an equal number of men and women doing these jobs.
Oh, I agree, but I think that between 50% and the current 5%, there is a rather large grey area.

Women tend to prefer part time work because it allows them to spend more time with their children. Women prefer lower paying jobs because they're less stressful and usually require more personal skills rather than management skills. I've even read stories by employers who have tried to promote women to higher paying jobs only for these women to refuse promotions simply because they prefer the job they're currently in.
There is that. There is also the possibility that they see a world dominated by men and give up early on breaking through the glass ceiling.

Though power isn't evenly distributed among the sexes the reason is often more to do with women not seeking out positions of power than men denying women these positions. No one should assume that because there are unequal distributions that the reason is discrimination.
Nobody is suggesting that there is a grand conspiracy. I am, however, saying that old social standards die hard. It took 50 after the Civil Rights movement for America to have a black president. It took Germany 80 years after universal suffrage to have a female chancellor. Also, you are mixing up my notions of "just" and "equal". Again - there is a pretty wide gulf between 5% and 50%.

#### Shynobee

##### New member
Jim, that was the best straight up outro you have ever done. Great video all around.

#### Legion

##### Were it so easy
Archangel357 said:
*snip*

To illustrate my point: if we had a game in which sexual prowess were of no consequence to the character's goals, but a male character were, in promotional materials, artwork etc, depicted as having an enormous penis, would you have a problem with that?
All very good points, and I understand and agree with what you mean.

As for the last part that I did not cut out: No, it honestly would not bother me at all. I genuinely do not care about that kind of thing, be it males or females being used.

Would I be interested in the game? Probably not, but I also don't tend to like games with sexualised women either. I do not defend them because I like them or play games that include them, but because I don't see them as harmful, and therefore do not see them as an issue.

BreakfastMan said:
It isn't her body type that is the problem; it is the fact that she as portrayed as a sex object in a way all the other characters in the game aren't. This wouldn't be bad if it wasn't so common for crap like that to happen. It isn't necessarily sexualization that is the problem; it is the lack of diversity, and what that does to reinforce traditional gender roles. Ben Kochera had a pretty good article on such things on the PAR a while back.
No argument there, I have always strongly believed that the lack of diversity is the issue, not the actual sexualisation itself. Although as for the first sentence, I'd say that having one character as more sexual than the others, is showing diversity. There are more sensible characters, and there are characters with disturbing shaped bodies, so it's not like a message is being made that women should look a certain way.

The different being, you are not expected to act such ways IRL. Grabbing a shotgun and curb-stomping cops is looked down upon in society. The problem is about roles that society pushes people towards and encourages. Society generally doesn't encourage being a sociopathic criminal.
A very good point, although I'd say the cause and affect are the other way around. Sexualised media exists because of attitudes that already exist, they do not exist because of the media creating them.

Sex sells because people like sex. People don't like sex because sex is sold.

If people want to complain that sexual media reinforces or encourages these already existent beliefs, I can accept their point, although I'd disagree purely because I believe most people can easily differentiate between fiction and reality.

Although perhaps I am being too optimistic.

I disagree; Violent media often shows acts that are stupidly impossible. Sexualization often shows images that are at least probable (yes, I have met women with breasts bigger than their head IRL. No, I don't know how they walk).
Absolutely, it happens both ways, but I will bring up a point I have made in other discussions.

There are different "types" of fiction. There is fiction such as Halo, where it tries to stay grounded and "believable", where you are supposed to happily suspend your disbelief. In these stories, they try and keep things logical as much as they can. The troops wear realistic armour, when a person does something impossible, there is an in-universe explanation for it (like the Spartan's armour) and the game has a consistent logic to it.

Games with overly sexualised women very rarely fit that description. They are not grounded, or the kind of game that is trying to be "believable". They are more like fantasies, where things don't have to make sense or be explained. Like how in anime, characters often have unrealistic hair colours, and nobody bats an eyelid. That kind of thing is considerably less common in "serious" ones, but in light hearted or over the top ones you will see it more often.

There are always exceptions of course, and I am by no means saying that all sexualised characters are okay, but I strongly believe that there is a large divide between fiction and reality, and that a lot of people tend to blur it too much when it comes to their criticisms.

Only if you afford me the same courtesy. XD
Of course. I am many things, not all of them good, but I try my hardest not to be a hypocrite.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Imperator_DK said:
Don't think that's your call to make.
Oh, I am in no way saying what they are and what they are not allowed to do. What I am saying is that by doing something gratuitously, they leave themselves open to accusations of pandering - which, lo and behold, is what we have right now.

Lunar Templar said:
can't say I like the designs ether, the Amazon just looks off, to off to find 'sexy', while most this guys male characters have always rubbed me wrong.

I liked the player character designs of Odin Sphere, those where pretty sensible over all
Ehh...

Remember Velvet?

Hope that's not too NSFW.

#### ConanThe3rd

##### New member
^I could have sworn she wore some sort of trousers in the game proper.

The problem is that the moment one side lowers their metaphorical sword it's not viewed as an attempt to open dialogue as-so-much as it's viewed as it is to gesture "I've lost, please lob my head off".

It's the Golden Balls problem; Both sides would rather lose than take half the "money" and noting short of people's heads flying for it is going to stop it from happening.

On the upside, I'm sure Atlus will get a whole load of sales off this.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
ConanThe3rd said:
^I could have sworn she wore some sort of trousers in the game proper.
She had a towel draped over her bum, if memory serves.

#### Gigano

##### Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
Archangel357 said:
...
Oh, I am in no way saying what they are and what they are not allowed to do. What I am saying is that by doing something gratuitously, they leave themselves open to accusations of pandering - which, lo and behold, is what we have right now.
Accusation which don't have any effect.

There'll always be people offended by violence or breasts in fictional media, and they should never be taken seriously. They're useful publicity tools to help get the game out to its actual target demographic though. The one its designers choose to design it for, as they have every right to do.

#### Lunar Templar

##### New member
Archangel357 said:
you remember Gwen? Mercedes? how about Oswald? or the bad ass the was Cornelius? (dragon slaying bunny rabbit, all your space marine WISH they could be that bad ass)

just picking out Velvet and pointing her out doesn't make my comment less true

#### Parakeettheprawn

##### New member
th3dark3rsh33p said:
Thank God for Jim... this is EXACTLY the kind of thing I wish more people did. Discuss things and go into a conversation willing to learn something at the very least.
Agreed. I one time had a blog post on a different site months back inspired by a lot of the talks about how the game industry is changing and shifting and how AAA development -as it is right now- just isn't tenable for the long haul. I got about four comments that were at least were reasonable and respectful in disagreeing with me or in some cases very openly agreeing with me, the detractors provided genuinely decent counter-arguments on the matter that I acknowledged openly in the comments. Then I got about five or so that intentionally just fell into the "no, you're wrong, I disagree, and I'm just going to ignore what you're trying to discuss in favor of trying to stroke my e-peen because apparently I've got nothing better to do". One of them even, as if out of some vindictive pleasure, stated "here's your one star rating!" at the end.

You could feel the spit and fire coming off of it, and it was like night and day when you'd look at what people wrote.

#### blackrave

##### New member
But there was a way to avoid all crap about the sorceresses design
Name her "Witch" and suddenly her design seems fitting
Stereotypical witches are OBSESSED with their looks
They sacrifice kids to regain youth, they do all kind of nasty stuff to be hot and sexy and desirable
And it only makes sense that their clothes would show as much of that hard crafted perfect body as possible

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Imperator_DK said:
Archangel357 said:
...
Oh, I am in no way saying what they are and what they are not allowed to do. What I am saying is that by doing something gratuitously, they leave themselves open to accusations of pandering - which, lo and behold, is what we have right now.
Accusation which don't have any effect.

There'll always be people offended by violence or breasts in fictional media, and they should never be taken seriously. They're useful publicity tools to help get the game out to its actual target demographic though. The one its designers choose to design it for, as they have every right to do.
What you are doing is leading the entire notion of critique ad absurdum. Sure, pointing out that Twilight or Transformers 2 are stupid, pandering drivel won't keep millions from watching them, but it needs to be said nonetheless. Pointing out that the tits here are mere pandering won't affect sales of the game negatively, but that doesn't mean that their right to artistic expression trumps my right to express my attitude towards it.

The problem at large here, and the reason for all this, is the self-conscious reaction of a large segement of the gaming population which does not want to be perceived as the kind of people who enjoy this kind of pandering, since it plays right into the stereotypes about our community held by the general population.

#### Gigano

##### Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
Archangel357 said:
...
What you are doing is leading the entire notion of critique ad absurdum. Sure, pointing out that Twilight or Transformers 2 are stupid, pandering drivel won't keep millions from watching them, but it needs to be said nonetheless.
Why?

If people are enjoying Twilight, what business do you - who don't have to go see it, and don't have any stake in the franchise - have criticizing it? People can figure that out for themselves, and the people who're actually vested in the thing should determine which path it should take. Let 13 year old girls and desperate housewives be the judge of products aimed at 13 year old girls and desperate housewives.

Pointing out that the tits here are mere pandering won't affect sales of the game negatively, but that doesn't mean that their right to artistic expression trumps my right to express my attitude towards it.
You have every right to condemn it. Just as anyone else have every right to condemn you for doing so.

The problem at large here, and the reason for all this, is the self-conscious reaction of a large segement of the gaming population which does not want to be perceived as the kind of people who enjoy this kind of pandering, since it plays right into the stereotypes about our community held by the general population.
Well, since there's nothing harmful about enjoying pandering, they should simply own up their desires instead. If the target demographic weren't actually that kind of people, then it wouldn't be created. Which would lead to the same reaction, as they obviously won't be standing idly by to watch the games they enjoy being purged.

#### 5mj7R7yf4Dwr3gdZyyu9PeGNwYjlNrjzuh3iTXQG

##### New member
For those of you looking for a (halfway-)decent game that could be called Boob Wars, I'd recommend the Comedy Central flash game made for the South Park episode Major Boobage. Since it's no longer supported by CC anymore, you'll have to search for another host of your choice [https://www.google.com/search?q=south+park+major+boobage+flash+game]. Still, it's a cute tie-in flash game and features some pretty colossal boobs.

This was a thing that I remember appreciating as the end result of Anita Sarkeesian's first chapter of her Tropes v. Women in video games, once the initial flash and internet conflagration smoldered out, is that it motivated more rational voices about femininity and female roles in video games (or in media in general) lest Sarkeesian's be the only visible voice actually in the dialogue.

Sarkeesian is a bit more hard-line a feminist than most, so hers is not the only example of civilized discourse we'd want on the subject. Granted, in our post-Christian world we're still a bit weirded out about human sexuality and gender roles, which is why we're get so...funny-in-the-head...over it, need this kind of impetus to get comfortable with talking about it and expressing opinions that don't sound adolescent.

Regardless, I really didn't know what to think about the Sorceress' endowments in Dragon Crown because it kinda blends in with all the other ridiculous oversexualization in games. She and the Amazon both smack relentlessly of author appeal [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AuthorAppeal], and I think if it were presented as such there might be less of an issue.

238U

#### Gottesstrafe

##### New member
Is Fantasy Action Figure Willem Dafoe raising his thumb in approval of raising an index finger in protest?

Personally, I feel the game needs much more in the way of half naked hairy Dwarfs throwing their bulk around the screen. There's a considerable absence of the fantasy equivalent of Muscle March in the medium as it is. Why isn't there a Fist of the North Star styled Lord of the Rings game or fan art floating around anywhere?

#### Mirrorknight

##### New member
Yeah, it kinda sucks. I know the artist was trying to go for exaggerations, but the thing is, it's a serious game, not a parody. Pretty much all the character designs male and female just seem ugly as hell. Which sucks, because I really like the artist's work, otherwise. Like Jim said, look the elf. Sexy, but practical. Wizard's a practical character design, as well. Handsome dark look to him. Both the amazon and the dwarf look like Abobo at the end of the Double Dragon movie (I was a kid, shut up). The knight is about 80% shoulders. The sorceress could have been the poster girl for the game if she had normal boobs, but now it's just comical. She could have the most interesting backstory and deepest plot in the game, but I just can't take her seriously now. Which isn't good, since the story for the game is a serious fantasy one, like, say, Golden Axe.

Now, if this game was a big parody that poked fun of the genre, it'd be entirely different. The exaggerated characters would make perfect sense, and the elf and the wizard would be the ones that'd seem out of place.

Context is everything.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Imperator_DK said:
If people are enjoying Twilight, what business do you - who don't have to go see it, and don't have any stake in the franchise - have criticizing it? People can figure that out for themselves,
I don't know, it's popularity seems to suggest that hasn't happened yet XD

I guess we need to wait 10 more years

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Imperator_DK said:
Why?

If people are enjoying Twilight, what business do you - who don't have to go see it, and don't have any stake in the franchise - have criticizing it? People can figure that out for themselves, and the people who're actually vested in the thing should determine which path it should take. Let 13 year old girls and desperate housewives be the judge of products aimed at 13 year old girls and desperate housewives.
Because there are things such as canon and objective quality in art, and critics are the ones tasked with upholding those things. If we only measured commercial success, Sex and the City 2 would be considered a better movie than Melancholia (don't get hung up on the examples, just illustrating a point here), and the idea of critical acclaim would go right out the window.

Which reminds me, Okami had some serious cleavage in it, as well. Hmm.

You have every right to condemn it. Just as anyone else have every right to condemn you for doing so.
And where did I suggest that that wasn't the case? If their artistic (or commercial) expression can be subject to my critical sensibilities, then obviously the latter are subject to criticism and debate, as well.

Well, since there's nothing harmful about enjoying pandering, they should simply own up their desires instead. If the target demographic weren't actually that kind of people, then it wouldn't be created. Which would lead to the same reaction, as they obviously won't be standing idly by to watch the games they enjoy being purged.
Hence, my use of the expression "self-conscious".

#### Negatempest

##### New member
Though I really doubt many women can exist with similar proportions to the sorceress, I do enjoy the design of the game. A large portion of the art from the game is exaggeration in one form or another. Sure the women are designed to look sexy, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with liking the models/avatars. To me it just seems that people are hating on such models because it's cool and hip and popping fresh to dislike sexy women in lingerie.

Why is there such mindless hate? Sure that not every woman is going to look like that but there are women, and men -_- ... , who want to dress and look sexy. To me the intellectual thing to do is accept the difference in people and not force your view of "morals" onto an individual.

To me a sexually objectified woman would be one who has no trail of thought other than looking sexy to produce babies, THAT is objectifying women. If a woman wants to look sexy as hell kicking ass and saving the world, more power to her.

#### Darth_Payn

##### New member
Excellent ideas, Jim! It seems we can't discuss anything, let alone sexism in video games, without both sides erupting into volcanoes of rage (is that a band name yet?) and butthurtedness to have any meaningful debate to come up with solutions. And I thought your dinky little axe was woefully inadequate for the challenge you took on.
DVS BSTrD said:
Jimothy Sterling said:
DVS BSTrD said:
Also: Boob Wars sounds like a game I'd like to play.
There actually IS a game called Boob Wars. It's about how rape is a noble act that saves the world.

It's unpleasant.
Making a game called Boob Wars unpleasant...

THAT my friend is a crime for which we should reinstitute hanging, drawing and quartering. And not necessarily in that order.
Hear hear! I want front row seats to that show!

#### AoshiShin

##### New member
People losing their minds over this, have they not seen queens blade or scarlet blade. I forget wich it is called =\

#### jluzar20

##### New member
I remember when Bayonetta came out, there was an interview where someone asked Platinum what the deal was with the rampant sexuality. He responded in a very matter of fact fashion, "What's wrong with wanting to see something beautiful?", which I thought was interesting. Also, keep in mind that Japan has a different sociological perspective to this kind of stuff. I like to think we have a bit of an issue missing the forest through the trees when if comes to this kind of stuff.

I do understand the argument of why there is such a disproportionate amount of overt sexual characterization to what I'm sure many of us would prefer. I would just like to make the point that I do see some positive steps being made. I really did enjoy the new Tomb Raider and I know I couldn't imagine playing Mass Effect without a female Shep. The fact these games have received relative successes is certainly a positive thing in my eyes.

I just hope the video game industry continues to improve on it. I REALLY hope they don't mess up Mirror's Edge 2.

#### Aardvaarkman

##### I am the one who eats ants!
Seems rather ironic that Jim calls for discussion, without discussing much, and rallies against pointless arguments by basically arguing pointlessly against everybody else who isn't him.

#### Terminal Blue

##### Elite Member
Legacy
Imperator_DK said:
I'm pretty sure Kamitani can handle a bit of hate mail from offended people who'd never have bought the game anyway - and hence really have no business commenting on it, any more than straight men have commenting on gay porn offending them - if the pain is soothed by sales figures. The thing that actually matters.
Yes, because gay men never buy games. They're too busy oiling each other up and dressing up in leather to have normal hobbies.

And obviously, the only media gay people can consume is gay porn, because of course that's the only media specifically targeted at them to the exclusion of other demographics. No gay person would ever buy a piece of media intended primarily for a heterosexual audience. Why would they need to, I mean they have plenty of gay porn to watch.

Maybe I spoke too soon about Japan having a problem with casual homophobia..

#### LordMonty

So the game lets you choose a character from a wide selection, choose what you prefer the look of and enjoy thats my opinion. Art styles varry and from the Mona Lisa to this game. People like, hate and hold things with great indifference no matter the medium... the internet just seems to allow people to think acting childish is ok somehow letting them run there mouth with dangerous venom.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Near 50% of women represents gamer's. The market of videogames looks like:
Female dominated:
Mix:
Male Dominated:
Most of the games we play are center in Male dominated market. Why do I bring this up? Because, women for what ever reason doesn't bother to play or buy the games, meaning this whole pandering, the whole "sexism" shit is one loud ass minority that wants to look progressive, and hip, with out actually taking part in the market. Dragon Crown was picked because it was niche, and probably figured that people would join in large groups, because most wouldn't care about some niche game.

#### Aardvaarkman

##### I am the one who eats ants!
cookyy2k said:
Thing should be taken as intended, if no offence is intended then it's fine.
Sorry, but no. Art is much more than simply what the artist intends. Leni Riefenstahl may have just intended to make beautiful films without offending anybody, but that doesn't make her subject matter and association with the Nazi Party irrelevant.

And how are we supposed to always take things as "the artist intended" when the intent is not always clear, even to the artists themselves?

Some people will get offended but that is not because of the artist's work that's because they put their own interpretation on it. Some of the great works of art, music and film were very controversial in their day. Either everything is ok or nothing is, stop trying to draw arbitrary "do not cross" lines all over the place.
So, if everything is OK, then why is drawing arbitrary "do not cross" lines not OK?

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
evilthecat said:
Imperator_DK said:
I'm pretty sure Kamitani can handle a bit of hate mail from offended people who'd never have bought the game anyway - and hence really have no business commenting on it, any more than straight men have commenting on gay porn offending them - if the pain is soothed by sales figures. The thing that actually matters.
Yes, because gay men never buy games. They're too busy oiling each other up and dressing up in leather to have normal hobbies.

And obviously, the only media gay people can consume is gay porn, because of course that's the only media specifically targeted at them to the exclusion of other demographics. No gay person would ever buy a piece of media intended primarily for a heterosexual audience. Why would they need to, I mean they have plenty of gay porn to watch.

Maybe I spoke too soon about Japan having a problem with casual homophobia..
I don't no, to my understanding the slender, effeminate male is the standard of sexiness in Japan, the dwarves where the western extreme of muscle bound me which was what he was going for. His eagerness and misinterpretation was unfortunate but as far as I'm concerned any offence taken by the dwarves should stop at his apology.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Hey, it's actually okay to make an objectified female character. People who dislike the game don't have to buy it. It's a super simple concept!

#### Dak_N_Jaxter

##### New member
Y'always gets more done when peeps be chill.

#### Gigano

##### Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
evilthecat said:
Imperator_DK said:
I'm pretty sure Kamitani can handle a bit of hate mail from offended people who'd never have bought the game anyway - and hence really have no business commenting on it, any more than straight men have commenting on gay porn offending them - if the pain is soothed by sales figures. The thing that actually matters.
Yes, because gay men never buy games. They're too busy oiling each other up and dressing up in leather to have normal hobbies.

And obviously, the only media gay people can consume is gay porn, because of course that's the only media specifically targeted at them to the exclusion of other demographics. No gay person would ever buy a piece of media intended primarily for a heterosexual audience. Why would they need to, I mean they have plenty of gay porn to watch.

Maybe I spoke too soon about Japan having a problem with casual homophobia..
...what?

Unless you can show that a commercially significant segment of gay people were going to buy "Dragon's Crown", and now won't, then whether or not gay people buy games in general has no relevance.

I honestly don't know how you'd get the idea that I assume gay people only buy gay porn. Bit of hypersensitivity there I suppose. However, if 100 gay people who knew about the game before the controversy boycott "Dragons Crown" over Kamitani, while 10,000 other people buy it because they've come to notice it through the controversy, that's an example of controversy-as-successful-marketing.

I do assume that most gay gamers - as with most straight gamers - didn't know about the game in advance of the controversy, and thus weren't interested in buying it. Hence most of the hatemail will be from people who weren't going to buy the game anyway. If you have knowledge that this game was somehow insanely popular in gay circles before this whole controversy business, by all means correct my assumption.

#### Darknacht

##### New member
Archangel357 said:
Women are 50% of the population. How many members of Western parliaments are women? How many are CEOs of multinational corporations? Wall Street banks? How many are heads of government/state?
Not to mention the fact that you neglect the reason WHY women end up more often doing lower-paying work.
Far more women vote then men(at least in the US), so women have to power to choose who they want for elected positions in the government, they choose to put men in power.
And women end up doing lower paid work because they do not prioritize money and overt power over everything like men do. Women prioritize things like safety, flexible work hours, time off, and low stress jobs over overt power and money, where as men prioritize overt power and money over other benefits. This does not apply to all men and women but it does to most.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
ccdohl said:
Hey, it's actually okay to make an objectified female character. People who dislike the game don't have to buy it. It's a super simple concept!
Beside the point. To use some hyperbole, I know that I wouldn't buy a game called Big Titty Rapeavaganza, but I can still criticise its existence and the aesthetic and commercial reasoning behind it.

As I have said, this is about the raging insecurity of a large part of the gaming community. People don't want to be perceived as pervs, because as gamers, we have been enduring years of people calling us socially awkward virgin shut-ins with rape fantasies. Those stereotypes hurt, no matter the bluster people try to hide behind.

A society which loves titties but is too hypocritical to admit it has forced a segment of the population to decry the depiction of titties for fear of being perceived as pervs by the same sanctimonious hypocrites. It's really insane.

#### Amir Kondori

##### New member
I would understand this backlash if the art and design in this game wasn't so amazing. But it is AMAZING! Some of the best 2d design, and I am talking about the whole thing, not just two of the female player characters, I have seen in my gaming life.
Sometimes I don't get people. If this game is ever released on PC I will snap it up in a heartbeat.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Fine, discuss this but remember there isn't any discussions going on about treating men fairly in forums related to women's soap apras(don't know about the US but the ones in my country are very much against men and I have two sisters who love watching them) or romantic comedies or teen lit or anything else that women are the target audience for. Why?

If I enjoy some parts of Nacny Drew games but don't enjoy others, I won't complain, because I am not the target audience.

And women, at least your brothers, boyfriends, friends or other men in your life don't play things that offend you in front of you. My sisters do it right in the next room over and I have to listen to that bullshit everyday. At least its just visuals you can block out and not loud offensive dialog that you can't.

AND FYI: I hate both sidescrollers and heavily sexuaized games.
Soaps aren't changing to not offend me, why should games change to not offend you?

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
shephardjhon said:
Soaps aren't changing to not offend me, why should games change to not offend you?
Because people who watch soap operas either don't strive for mainstream recognition (because they are as mainstream as it gets), or don't care about the stereotypes people assign to them (because nobody on Fox News has ever tried to blame soap operas for everything from rape to terrorism and school shootings).

It's not about the game. Never has been. It's about the perception of the gaming community in its own eyes vs its perception in the eyes of the general public.

#### Pat Hulse

##### New member
xPixelatedx said:
I would have a lot more of a problem with those "female character designs" if the men weren't equally absurd. Men don't look like that. It just seems to be the artist's style to exaggerate gender qualities.
Men are big, muscled brutes? Well, mine will be the biggest and most muscled brutes! Women have breasts? Well, mine will have ridiculous breasts!
etc. He took the qualities people often focus on (consciously and subconsciously) and embellished them in a stylistic way, and because he did it with both genders, this technically had nothing to do with women specifically.

Now, if the men looked like real people, but the women looked the same as their current designs, THEN I would be very disturbed.
I find games like DoA Beach volley ball VERY disturbing.
This argument has come up once or twice, and it's an understandable one, but also an ultimately flawed one.

Yes, this is clearly about exaggerated gender qualities, but it's important to remember that those gender qualities are not entirely biological, they are societal. Specifically, over-emphasizing muscular physique in men is derived from the perception that men derive power from physical strength. Similarly, over-emphasizing breasts or butts in women is derived from the perception that women derive power from physical desirability. The reason this is a problem should be fairly obvious, but I'll be a little more specific since the whole point of this video is discussion.

To put it simply, rippling muscles are associated with power because people who have them are generally capable of great physical prowess. However, the reason large breasts are associated with power is because the women who have them are perceived as desirable to other people. In other words, muscles = powerful on your own, breasts = powerful through someone else (probably a man).

In other words, a dwarf built like a brick shit house is not the same thing as a sorceress with planetary breasts. What WOULD be the same thing would be something more like what Penny Arcade outlined (slight NSFW):

Aside from just being funny, the point isn't that the sorceress looks unrealistic, it's that the parts of her that are unrealistic are the parts that are perceived as appealing to a particular gender/sexuality. A guy might say that they have no problem with the unrealistic male characters, but if there was a male character whose junk was enormous and wobbly, it probably would make you feel at least a little bit uncomfortable.

One might counter by saying that they still wouldn't mind because they could just pick a different character who doesn't have weird junk, but imagine if almost every male character in the industry had weird disproportionate junk and the women didn't. Doesn't that seem a teensy bit alienating? What if this game had three male characters, two of them had enormous balls, and only one of them looked normal? Wouldn't you feel a little bothered that you essentially only have one character choice that didn't make you feel uncomfortable?

Again, this isn't necessarily a condemnation of this particular style. I actually kinda like it in a weird perverse way. But it's not difficult to understand why a lot of women feel alienated by this industry, and it's also not difficult to remedy that. We don't have to get rid of these character designs, but the people who complain about them have a right to be upset and to feel uncomfortable with how their sex is portrayed in general.

#### Gigano

##### Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
Archangel357 said:
...
Because there are things such as canon and objective quality in art, and critics are the ones tasked with upholding those things. If we only measured commercial success, Sex and the City 2 would be considered a better movie than Melancholia (don't get hung up on the examples, just illustrating a point here), and the idea of critical acclaim would go right out the window.
Well, that's debatable, but lets assume quality is objective.

To be constructive, any criticism must in that case still be aimed at the actual product and the purpose it serves, and how it could be served better. Constructive criticism of Sex and the City 2 would be aimed at how to improve it, in regard to serving its own intended purpose. Somebody telling people that they should just go watch Melancholia instead isn't offering up constructive criticism of the genre or purpose of Sex and the City; They're substituting them with their own interests, showing a complete lack of respect for the interests of the people they're purported advising.

A critic would aim for a better Sex and the City, or something which is better at conveying its intended messages and artistic vision. If you're a critic of Jazz, then you don't tell people that Jazz is shit, and they should be listening to classical music instead. To simply say that people should just watch something entirely different altogether isn't actual constructive criticism, so much as it's annoying and pretentious arrogance without any actual usefulness. It's on par with all the trolls telling all those people who like My Little Pony that they should feel bad for liking a children's show, instead of manly things. Which is also where the "critics" of Dragon's Crown would fall on the relevancy scale.

Red X said:
Imperator_DK said:
If people are enjoying Twilight, what business do you - who don't have to go see it, and don't have any stake in the franchise - have criticizing it? People can figure that out for themselves,
I don't know, it's popularity seems to suggest that hasn't happened yet XD

I guess we need to wait 10 more years
Well, I'm pretty sure the fanbase doesn't stay the same over the years.

Everyone have liked shit without much artistic merit at some point, and many still do. Which is perfectly fine, since each individual is entitled to its own taste and preferences.

#### hickwarrior

##### a samurai... devil summoner?
Legion said:
Well, I didn't want to get through everything yet, since I feel like I HAVE to say something for some reason, but this basically summed it up. We can't have a debate when nobody is willing to even follow through with it, that's just the way of things. I just wonder how we can change this, but I'm pretty sure it's nigh-on impossible. Everyone's diverse, maybe too much so, to the point where you don't know if they will let you say your thing and let it soak in.

As for gameplay, I also got an experience akin to yours: I play Archeblade, and if you look at the design, it's just... well, let's say people will be quick to yell out sexism. But I enjoy having played it. The designs didn't matter to me, whether I saw panties constantly or not, whether this one corrupted elf was only wearing something in front, since I was focusing on the game itself rather than what the design is.

Or if we're talking about story, I'm not sure if I remember this right, but I don't think I worried about having sex with any girl in katawa shoujo. I didn't care if I saw Hanako as tittilating, I saw her as a shy person first and, after a while, a strong person with her own ideas on things. I didn't care if Emi was that short, she was enthusiastic about what she did, she had fun all through life even if she did have something holding her back.

Designs might matter, but characterization can trump it quite easily.

On the other side, the industry can do without making EVERY woman appeal to a certain vision. I would like some diversity when it comes down to it.

#### mjc0961

##### YOU'RE a pie chart.
Legion said:
Toilet said:
I guess I will open a discussion because I am totally ignorant on the subject.

I keep on hearing about how character designs like the Tittymancer in Dragons Crown and other exaggerated designed females are a problem but I have yet to hear why they are a problem. I get a lot of "because sexism" answers but it doesn't answer my question.
The argument is that it objectifies women and reduces them to nothing more than sexual fantasies. There are also those that argue that it affects the perception of women in real life. As well as people who say it makes them uncomfortable that there are not many normal women to play as so they have to play as overly-sexual characters instead.

Personally I think the first one is very much a case-by-case basis. Games where the women are literally nothing more than T+A as far as design is concerned are a problem (Rachel Ninja Gaiden 2), but I don't see the problem when they actually have decent character design as well. If they are good characters as well as being sexy then they are not "reduced" to anything.

The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.

The third one I completely agree with, and I dislike games where the male characters are properly outfitted and proportioned, whereas the women are wearing bikini chainmail for no apparent reason.

Then again, I am also fairly desensitised to this kind of thing, so when I see skimpy outfits I more or less blank them. People kept on talking about Elizabeth's dress in Bioshock Infinite having massive cleavage, but I didn't even notice until somebody mentioned it.
I wouldn't even agree that any of those things are "problems" that need to be solved. Reducing women to nothing more than sexual fantasies is just as "violent media causes real life media" as the altered perception of women in real life thing is. I'm a big boy, I know that women are real people too in real life, I don't need video games to be super realistic in that regard lest I forget.

The third one is the only one I find unable to immediately dismiss for being just as nanners as "GTA makes you kill cops" logic. But even then, there still needs to be some allowance for the game creators to make what they want. If they want to make sexualized characters for whatever reason, why should they be told "No, I want more games with normal looking characters"? It's their game, let them make what they want.

Let me make it clear that I'm certainly not against games having normal women you can play as. I'd never look at a game that had a playable normal looking woman for a character and refuse to buy it or play as her over it. But at the same time, I'm not going to try and tell developers that they should only have normal women in their games either. Not every game out there needs to be one where the developer takes a stand against sexualized cahracters and makes normal men and women. Make what you want in terms of character designs. I've got far more unsavory things going into my games or being taken out of my games to ***** about. DRM, day one DLC, on disc DLC, online passes, you know, the whole list of shit that's ruining companies like EA while they're too stupid to realize it and keep on doing it.

So, anyway, Beyond Two Souls, that one's looking pretty sweet, right? Willem Dafoe and a main female character without massive tits that are always hanging out.

#### Reyold

##### New member
zerabp said:
Thanks Jim! Communication is one of the greatest and most underutilized skills on the planet. What's great is when truly communicating, even when you both end up disagreeing with each-other, you are still both left with a greater respect for the others opinion.
Just imagine if we did this with politics, religion, even day-to-day conversations. The world would be a hundred times better.

#### MPerce

##### New member
I think what we should all take from this is....

Beyond Good and Evil is a fucking great game.

#### Roger

##### New member
Pat Hulse said:
Aside from just being funny, the point isn't that the sorceress looks unrealistic, it's that the parts of her that are unrealistic are the parts that are perceived as appealing to a particular gender/sexuality. A guy might say that they have no problem with the unrealistic male characters, but if there was a male character whose junk was enormous and wobbly, it probably would make you feel at least a little bit uncomfortable.

One might counter by saying that they still wouldn't mind because they could just pick a different character who doesn't have weird junk, but imagine if almost every male character in the industry had weird disproportionate junk and the women didn't. Doesn't that seem a teensy bit alienating? What if this game had three male characters, two of them had enormous balls, and only one of them looked normal? Wouldn't you feel a little bothered that you essentially only have one character choice that didn't make you feel uncomfortable?

Again, this isn't necessarily a condemnation of this particular style. I actually kinda like it in a weird perverse way. But it's not difficult to understand why a lot of women feel alienated by this industry, and it's also not difficult to remedy that. We don't have to get rid of these character designs, but the people who complain about them have a right to be upset and to feel uncomfortable with how their sex is portrayed in general.
That some people think a breast is on par with a penis really shows how puritanical of a culture we live in.

#### jluzar20

##### New member
Is anyone else reminded of the phrase "undo concern for women is what leads to contempt for them"?

#### Kinitawowi

##### New member
Aardvaarkman said:
143 posts into the thread and it's Godwin time.

This is why the internet isn't capable of having these sorts of discussions; as was noted a couple of pages earlier, as long as it's a flame war with a hypothetical winner and a hypothetical loser, as long as the combatants are arrogant shits who will never contemplate a micrometre of budging in their position lest it be seen as a sign of weakness, as long as the parties are ideologically opposed, as long as the Nazi card is still in the hand, as long as all this goes on, this wheel will continue to turn and roll round with the exact same non-outcome every time some new title appears.

I'd love a discussion, with a rational and reasoned debate between people willing to help each other find a mutually agreeable resolution. It's never going to happen.

#### QtheMuse

##### New member
Nothing too see here but American's getting bent out of shape from a huge set of digital tits, move along.

#### QtheMuse

##### New member
jluzar20 said:
Is anyone else reminded of the phrase "undo concern for women is what leads to contempt for them"?
This is basically why no one likes a white knight in real life. They usually are just trying to pave over there misogyny with a thin layer of chivalry. When underneath they probably thing just as many nasty thoughts about women as they let you know. Which is why several women I know who have decided to date a "white knight" turn into a controlling domineering bf, which then leads to a break up because the said white knight is all YOU ARE A WOMAN YOU SHOULDN'T ACT LIKE THAT!! Or one bf who broke up with a gf because she farted. Bodily Functions are serious business.

#### Terminal Blue

##### Elite Member
Legacy
Red X said:
I don't no, to my understanding the slender, effeminate male is the standard of sexiness in Japan, the dwarves where the western extreme of muscle bound me which was what he was going for.
That doesn't even make sense.

Maybe if Schreier had said something about Japanese games in general, or implied that Japanese depictions of women were particularly bad, but he didn't do that. Moreover, the Dwarf in question is a character in the same game as the aforementioned Sorceress and the Amazon, a game being developed by a Japanese studio with artwork drawn by a Japanese man. Indeed, despite the clear influence from certain genres of Western fantasy art the art style is still unmistakably Japanese in visual style. So why? How would that point even work?

Is he saying that the dwarf character is only in the game to take the piss out of Western character design, because firstly that directly contradicts his apology, and secondly.. no.. the preference for "effeminate" character designs is extremely genre specific in Japanese art. If you only look at material designed for young girls, then I can see how you'd get that impression, but really..

Imperator_DK said:
Unless you can show that a commercially significant segment of gay people were going to buy "Dragon's Crown", and now won't, then whether or not gay people buy games in general has no relevance.
I do not need to do any such thing, because you already made the assumption that there aren't a statistically significant number of gay people who might be interested in this game. Why?

Either there is something about this game which would prevent gay people from buying and enjoying it, or you believe that gay people are a "statistically insignificant" section of the population. Which is it?

And you might have noticed, this is actually why I'm commenting here, because this event is being reported as being purely about the boobs. I can pretty much guaruntee that if anyone but Kotaku itself was reporting the story as "Dragon's Crown dev is homophobic ****", which is actually closer to what happened, the number of people drawn to the game by that publicity would be far, far lower.

#### Talvrae

##### The Purple Fairy
Good one Jim, i really like it better when you don,t trow shit on the wall to pass your message, i agree with you Jim again this time, now i expect flying pig cause i agree with you 2 weeks in a row

#### Aardvaarkman

##### I am the one who eats ants!
Kinitawowi said:
Aardvaarkman said:
143 posts into the thread and it's Godwin time.
Invoking Godwin's Law (incorrectly) is actually the opposite of promoting discussion. The idea that any mention of Nazis is inappropriate is not the actual meaning behind Godwin's Law. The Nazi regime and the events involved in WWII are perfectly legitimate discussion material. Why would you want to ignore history?

WWII was only the most significant event of the 20th Century - and we're supposed to pretend that it didn't exist because of some internet meme?

I'd love a discussion, with a rational and reasoned debate between people willing to help each other find a mutually agreeable resolution. It's never going to happen.
If you'd like a discussion, how about discussing what I said, rather than reflexively saying that my post is inappropriate because I mentioned an artist who happened to be a Nazi, even though the topic under discussion is largely about art, taste and censorship?

#### jluzar20

##### New member
QtheMuse said:
jluzar20 said:
Is anyone else reminded of the phrase "undo concern for women is what leads to contempt for them"?
This is basically why no one likes a white knight in real life. They usually are just trying to pave over there misogyny with a thin layer of chivalry. When underneath they probably thing just as many nasty thoughts about women as they let you know. Which is why several women I know who have decided to date a "white knight" turn into a controlling domineering bf, which then leads to a break up because the said white knight is all YOU ARE A WOMAN YOU SHOULDN'T ACT LIKE THAT!! Or one bf who broke up with a gf because she farted. Bodily Functions are serious business.
I instantly thought of that Southpark episode. You know the one.

Idunno. I appreciate a little titillation as much as the next guy, and I see the video game industry making strides with female characterization enough to think that its just the growing pains of a young art form.

#### Aardvaarkman

##### I am the one who eats ants!
Imperator_DK said:
...what?

Unless you can show that a commercially significant segment of gay people were going to buy "Dragon's Crown", and now won't, then whether or not gay people buy games in general has no relevance.
Why? I was not aware that only people who intended to buy a game were allowed to comment on a game. Since when was the only thing that mattered about games was their commercial success?

#### m19

##### New member
Pat Hulse said:

Aside from just being funny, the point isn't that the sorceress looks unrealistic, it's that the parts of her that are unrealistic are the parts that are perceived as appealing to a particular gender/sexuality. A guy might say that they have no problem with the unrealistic male characters, but if there was a male character whose junk was enormous and wobbly, it probably would make you feel at least a little bit uncomfortable.
The problem with that image is it is a false equivalence. The sorceress was made to appeal to men. The guy with a giant member was made to annoy... men. The equivalent would be something made with women as the target.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
I'll try to be calm.

I get why people don't like this stuff, I don't like it myself.

What I don't get is why this has to be a huge issue. There are games without women in skimpy outfits which you can play, so to me saying this is a sexism issue or whatever just seems like people making a moral crusade (for lack of a better term) out of their game preference.

To me the people who hate this have no greater cause to be on a moral crusade than people who hate quick time events or regenerating health or whatever. You don't have to like it but it's nothing more important than you not liking a popular game design.

I get that these women in skimpy outfits seem to overcrowd all other women, but I think the answer here is to not demand that people stop making sexy women, but that they make more female characters that are modest. That way we'll have both so the people who like that stuff don't have to feel attacked.

Does that make sense?

To put it another way, there was this woman who got fed up with how it seemed like the vast majority of Halloween costumes for adult women were supposed to be sexy. So she started a website to fix that. She doesn't discourage anyone from making sexy costumes or wearing sexy costumes, instead she just has instructions on how to make a wide variety of non-sexy Halloween costumes for women. That's it.

That should be similar to our approach IMO. I know it's probably a lot easier to make a Halloween costume than a video game, even an indie one, but new games with women who aren't skimpy is what we should be asking for, or making (as opposed to asking developers to modify the games they wanted to make sexy).

Oh and here's that woman's website if anyone's interested

http://takebackhalloween.org/

#### Gigano

##### Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
evilthecat said:
...
I do not need to do any such thing, because you already made the assumption that there aren't a statistically significant number of gay people who might be interested in this game. Why?

Either there is something about this game which would prevent gay people from buying and enjoying it, or you believe that gay people are a "statistically insignificant" section of the population. Which is it?
I believe the number of gay people with interest in this game prior to the controversy to be insignificant from a commercial point of view, when compared to the amount of people interested in it after the controversy happened. Hence the losses incurred from the controversy are insignificant, even assuming that every last gay person with prior interest is now boycotting the game (which would be doubtful, as I doubt all are equally easily offended, or intend to punish a game release for a debacle one designer on it got himself into).

Some straight people with prior interest might of course boycott it as well, be it over breasts or dwarves. But given the exponential increase in exposition, the amount of new potential customers reached through this whole controversy business more than makes it worth it. Hence there is little in the way of "damage" from it.

And you might have noticed, this is actually why I'm commenting here, because this event is being reported as being purely about the boobs. I can pretty much guaruntee that if anyone but Kotaku itself was reporting the story as "Dragon's Crown dev is homophobic ****", which is actually closer to what happened, the number of people drawn to the game by that publicity would be far, far lower.
Well, they aren't, are they now?

And really, I'm pretty sure the idea of a game designer posting some homoerotic dwarves in response to overdone criticism of his work won't offend that many people to the point of boycott. Might even attract some groups.

#### Joseph Cortinas

##### New member
The Facebook comments below the video are actually for the most part very calm and orderly discussions. its only in here that things seem more on the side of arguing and petty assumptions about people. We all need to get off our high horses, stop assuming we are 100% correct about other people's motives for the opinions they have, the games they like, ect. And as Jim said, try and be understanding.

I'm VERY sad for the people(not just women) who are dying for more well developed, interesting, and multidimensional female characters in games. I feel your pain, I really do, and I'm right there with you praising every game that releases with said characters. However we cannot go around attacking every game on the opposite end of the spectrum. We'd all love to see games with more, and we have every right to be disappointed when a new game releases that has less. But we shouldn't go around throwing out insults towards the developers, and fans of that game, and start using terms like misogynist and "boys club" just because we feel left out.

Instead express your interests to developers. Let them know what a large market there is for something outside the realm of over sexualized characters, and unrealistic proportions. Get a POSITIVE movement going for the CREATION of something new instead of leading the NEGATIVE charge of the attempted DESTRUCTION of the old.

Bottom line, criticizing and complaining about games that offend or don't appeal to you doesn't work. Because there will always be a market for those things, and just like you, that market has a right to like what they like, and have things made for them. Instead focus efforts onto something more positive.

Hope we can all get along and agree that MORE games is the answer, not LESS games. PEACE!

#### MB202

##### New member
You know, if it weren't for The Sorceress, I'd say the game looks awesome, it reminds me of Muramasa: The Demon Blade... Oh wait, it was made by the same people... That's a little embarrassing. Anyway, I personally don't like the design, especially, it makes me feel awkward and uncomfortable looking at it. Still, I DO think that yeah, decrying the design artist involved wasn't cool... Although implying that the complainer is gay in response is definitely NOT cool.

#### Colt47

##### New member
I find the entire art set for Dragons Crown kind of creepy with the exception of the Archer Girl and Wizard, who are the least exaggerated of the bunch. I just can't understand why someone needed to make the art style like that when Dungeons and Dragons games often become parodies in themselves, regardless of the artwork.

#### Fiairflair

##### Polymath
Imperator_DK said:
Archangel357 said:
...
What you are doing is leading the entire notion of critique ad absurdum. Sure, pointing out that Twilight or Transformers 2 are stupid, pandering drivel won't keep millions from watching them, but it needs to be said nonetheless.
Why?

If people are enjoying Twilight, what business do you - who don't have to go see it, and don't have any stake in the franchise - have criticizing it? People can figure that out for themselves, and the people who're actually vested in the thing should determine which path it should take. Let 13 year old girls and desperate housewives be the judge of products aimed at 13 year old girls and desperate housewives.

Archangel357 said:
The problem at large here, and the reason for all this, is the self-conscious reaction of a large segement of the gaming population which does not want to be perceived as the kind of people who enjoy this kind of pandering, since it plays right into the stereotypes about our community held by the general population.
Well, since there's nothing harmful about enjoying pandering, they should simply own up their desires instead. If the target demographic weren't actually that kind of people, then it wouldn't be created. Which would lead to the same reaction, as they obviously won't be standing idly by to watch the games they enjoy being purged.
Why? Because no man is an island. The nature of exchange is inclusive and exchange directly influences those who produce. The values of an artist are proliferated by the success of any one game or film or show they create. They are enabled through profits to produce more works which in turn further promote their values. Hence, we have a marketplace of ideas. No market is truly free when only those who enjoy a product are given credence. Products are not purged by criticism. Criticism is the mechanism by which produces evolve. Those unable to evolve fail.

#### Flaery

##### Ghetto Trash
I'm not sure where I stand on this matter. It is up to the individual to decide whether or not he (or she) wants to objectify these characters. After looking at a few of the character and other miscellaneous designs, I buy the idea that this is some funny, satirical 2-D hack n' slash based off of universes like Conan. However, I can't really be upset at the detractors for looking down upon the Amazon and the Sorceress because I see where they're coming from and their heart is in a good place. Not only that, but I don't particularly care for "well-developed" female bodies anyway so I couldn't care less if they were to change the designs.

Also, the Elf is the prettiest out of all of them so she's the one I'm most likely to lust after. (If I were like that at least.)

I suppose I'll end on this: If I were making a historical movie based on slavery in North America, then I'd include the N-word quite a bit. If I were to make a game designed around medieval fantasy movie tropes, then I'd have a lot of busty women and overly-muscular men.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Not that I _disagree_ that people on the internet should stop being jerks and discuss things rationally, but, um... an internet video series characterized by shouting repeated insults at people in most episodes is not perhaps the proper high horse from which to admonish people for responding rudely to things on the internet.

#### DrOswald

##### New member
I have a couple genuine questions I would like answered.

Whenever there is a gender issues thread I always see the following logic applied by someone who takes issue with a highly sexual woman character: A highly sexual female character it is offensive to women because it is objectifying women. However, a highly sexual male character is not offensive to men because that character is a male power fantasy.

My questions:

1. This reasoning seems to be a blatant double standard. Why must it be true that all sexy female characters are objectification and all sexy male characters are power fantasies?

2. Lets say a studio were to make a game based around fulfilling a female power fantasy. Am I correct in assuming that the main character would be very sexy?

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
im not dismissing the gender issues in gaming in anyway but its a symptom of a much larger issue and thats something thats been covered partially in this video. simply people have this weird concept at the moment that things can either be perfect,or the worst thing in existance. its the rarest thing where you find someone say "i like x but it did y bad"

#### Gigano

##### Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
Fiairflair said:
...
Why? Because no man is an island. The nature of exchange is inclusive and exchange directly influences those who produce. The values of an artist are proliferated by the success of any one game or film or show they create. They are enabled through profits to produce more works which in turn further promote their values. Hence, we have a marketplace of ideas. No market is truly free when only those who enjoy a product are given credence. Products are not purged by criticism. Criticism is the mechanism by which produces evolve. Those unable to evolve fail.

Assuming it's on target
.

Criticism without the aim to improve the particular product, but instead of replacing it with something else entirely, is worthless.

#### Nurb

##### Cynical bastard
So what?

Really, so what?

I like both in my fantasy escapism; I like seeing gratuitously hot female characters in some games, BUUUT I also like the more realistic representations that aren't sexualized at all in other games too! Why can't we have both? Why does it have to be so black-and-white, one or the other? I have one of each in my character roster in Skyrim, and I'm sure many others do too.

What I don't want is politicialy correct reality shoved into my fantasy escapism. I play games to get away from reality, not to emulate it... that's what sim games are for.

Women get their "mommy porn" with the likes of 50 shades of gray with powerful, assertive men, girls get their "romance porn" with many shows/movies/books now of hunky, shirtless forever-teen-looking creatures fighting for their love and attention... Can't us guys have our own fantasies? It's sexualized like everyone else's escapism, just a different medium, so why do we have to have to catch so much shit for enjoying the sight of pretty girls in various situations? It's no different. (I didn't even mention the yaoi fangirls).

Also, the amount of finger-waggling the gaming media has done to all gamers is rediculous. Everyone in it knows full well the majority of gamers are argumentitive assholes that yell at each other over EEEEEVERYTHING, and always have been, and always will be (and I don't mean only the guys). It's just the age demographic and internet combining into a perfect shitstorm. You can't change that, but the gaming media suddenly talking down to everyone in the last year and a half is extremely transparent.

Gamers will argue with anyone until they go away or become part of the sub-culture. To make things worse, the extremes on the other side, have started an "I'm the biggest victim" contest with many people who are socially or emotionally damaged in some way, and bitter, which is why they use gaming as an escape/hobby in the first place.

So they especially aren't going to let them win that one either, and the odds are sort of in gamers' favor because they have nowhere else to go. It's still giving nerds a hard time, except this time they get to be called "misogynists", "Creepers", and "potential rapists" now too, beyond the typical "neckbeareded basement dweller" thing.

TL;DR We can have both and everyone can be happy without name-calling.

===========

Just side note here; the group you're getting all these vocal complaints all of a sudden are the neo-victorian anti-sex feminists that don't want any woman/character openly showing or exposed to sexuality beyond their relationship. That is a real thing by the way! Feminism has many groups supporting different ideas; the other groups defended the boothbabes' choice of work and don't care about fictional characters... Just look up "feminist sex wars". Also, read stuff by Ellen Willis (a bigwig from the original women's rights movement), her books talk about the splintering of the movement in the 70's into various groups and shed light on how one group has cropped up in the early 80's she calls "neo-victorian", which is what I was mentioning here. I learned a lot about feminist history because of internet arguments XD

#### fwiffo

##### New member
This seems like the gaming equivalent of a crappy horror movie. Predictable plot ("classic gameplay"), bad special effects (2d), and boobs (boobs).

#### reciprocal

##### New member
My questions are:
1) How small do breasts have to be before you're considered a paedophile?
2) How big do they have to be before you're considered a pervert?
3) Is it entirely dictated by how much clothes she is wearing?
4) How thin is anorexic?
5) How heavy is obese?
6) What's a good guideline that someone can use so as to not offend people?
7) Should an artist / developer be allowed to offend people?
8) Should you let character designs decide if you buy a game or not?
9) Would you hold it against someone if they decided to (or not to) buy this game for the design of 1 character and ignored the other characters.

My opinion is that it was a small matter that got overblown but got resolved reasonably. Everything after that was just trying to re-ignite the flames.

#### Hakazaba

##### New member
I'm of the mind that it doesn't matter if its sexual or not.
It would be hypocritical for me to think it matters and still be a consumer of pornography wouldn't it?

Or find anyone sexually attractive for that matter.

#### Joseph Cortinas

##### New member
@Nurb So much win in your post was lost among the angry/fed up tone and the "side note" conclusion assuming that you know what group of people ALL the recent complaints come from, and promptly labeling them. So right and yet oh so wrong. I am disappoint.

@fwiffo I actually often prefer 2d spell effects over 3d ones, so 2d doesn't automatically mean "bad" but most of the rest of what you said Seems right.

#### Gunjester

##### New member
Before watching this video I made a response to a post where someone quoted me on how I mentioned the art style was satirical and therefore a bad example for gender issues arguments, only half-defending the game, and they said that their child etc. etc. would be effected and told that's how they should look etc.etc.
I answered rather violently, saying they shouldn't let their child play and it's their fault not Vanillaware's and then pointed out a girl would probably prefer playing as the elf anyways. I was humbled after watching this and although I made essentially the same points as Jim in this video, I made them the wrong way. Thus, thank God for you, Jim, you calmed me down and I edited the post to be more friendly and change an argument to a discussion.

#### Uhura

##### This ain't no hula!
Yes! I wish there would be less mud slinging in sexism discussions. And I think it's frustrating that so many of these discussions derail into some sort of meta-zone where we discuss wether we should have discussions about sexism in video games or not, instead of, you know, discussing sexism in video games.

To me the problem with these characters stems entirely from the over-saturation of sexualized female characters and personally I absolutely want more games to have more "sensibly" dressed female characters.

#### Prosis

##### New member
Nurb said:
So what?
Women get their "mommy porn" with the likes of 50 shades of gray with powerful, assertive men, girls get their "romance porn" with many shows/movies/books now of hunky, shirtless forever-teen-looking creatures fighting for their love and attention... Can't us guys have our own fantasies? It's sexualized like everyone else's escapism, just a different medium, so why do we have to have to catch so much shit for enjoying the sight of pretty girls in various situations? It's no different. (I didn't even mention the yaoi fangirls).
Yup. The tradeoff, though, is that there is a ton of books. You can find books on anything and everything, running the gamut of possible characters. While undoubtedly a few types prevail at different times (Harry Potter, Twilight, 50 Shades, etc.) there is always a huge number of books for any type of character through which the reader can feel some sort of connection/association with. Same for manga, same for movies.

And there's nothing wrong with games pandering to men. Nothing at all. The problem, however, is the lack of games which pander to women. The number of games with decent, interesting male characters (or at least a male protagonist) is pretty good, while the number of games with decent, interesting female characters that also lack jiggle physics is very low.

Do characters like the Sorceress need to be banned? No. Freedom of expression and all that. Could we use some more variety in the gaming industry, a few more games with female protagonists or interesting female characters? Definitely.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
evilthecat said:
Which is inspired by superman, one of the manliest men ever created (and yes Journey to the west)
It may be a Japanese style but it's still has western sensibilities.

#### QtheMuse

##### New member
^ Nothing makes a woman moist like bulging veins.

#### Joseph Cortinas

##### New member
I take issue with the idea that a female character has to BOTH be interesting/multidimensional AND have a specified yet not specified boob size. Whats wrong with a very well endowed character who is ALSO fun, interesting, quirky, smart, ect. why does it have to be all or nothing? why do people so quickly write off characters after the first look at their breast size? don't we usually hate it when that kind of quick judging is done irl?

why then is it ok for us to not even play the game, not even care about anything else other than the size of a characters breasts? because unrealistic or not there is always(or at least SHOULD always be) more to a woman than her breast size. and we should all be able to look past that both in games and in life.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
Imperator_DK said:
Well, that's debatable, but lets assume quality is objective.

To be constructive, any criticism must in that case still be aimed at the actual product and the purpose it serves, and how it could be served better. Constructive criticism of Sex and the City 2 would be aimed at how to improve it, in regard to serving its own intended purpose. Somebody telling people that they should just go watch Melancholia instead isn't offering up constructive criticism of the genre or purpose of Sex and the City; They're substituting them with their own interests, showing a complete lack of respect for the interests of the people they're purported advising.

A critic would aim for a better Sex and the City, or something which is better at conveying its intended messages and artistic vision. If you're a critic of Jazz, then you don't tell people that Jazz is shit, and they should be listening to classical music instead. To simply say that people should just watch something entirely different altogether isn't actual constructive criticism, so much as it's annoying and pretentious arrogance without any actual usefulness. It's on par with all the trolls telling all those people who like My Little Pony that they should feel bad for liking a children's show, instead of manly things. Which is also where the "critics" of Dragon's Crown would fall on the relevancy scale.
First, it's sort of silly to say how one would make a finished product better, especially one that takes years and tens of millions to make. It's not like the makers of shit movies then go back and redo the whole thing, innit.

And despite what you may think, there is merit in pointing out flaws for its own sake. So that OTHERS may learn, for one. So they know WHY something is bad. It is not mere self-serving arrogance to point out plot holes, feeble characters, bad dialogue etc. It serves to remind those who care about such things that there are still some bloody standards in this world.

Plus, nobody is keeping you from enjoying anything. I enjoy my fair share of universally panned media, but a critical mind should know why it enjoys those things.

#### Something Amyss

##### Aswyng and Amyss
Zombie_Moogle said:
Yes, but it was much more muted than many other such discussion/arguments were

Could be that Bayonetta was more tasteful about it(no DoA-style jiggle physics)
Could be that the arguments for it were more valid in her case, as she was a better realized character in general
Could be because it was a good game & people were more willing to forgive it
Or maybe just that it was made by some of the same people that brought us Devil May Cry's Dante, another pretty, stylish, hardcore, swaggering, sexy character. Both are essentially the same character, just with the gender flipped. Lazy writing perhaps, but it makes for an interesting example on the subject
If it's worse now, there also exists the possibility that things have simply become more aggravated in the last couple of years. Bayonetta dropped about 3 years ago, well before Anita Sarkeesian (EDIT: Specifically TVW in video games, which is what really got people up in arms) and all that jazz. Well before we found out that common publisher logic says women can't sell games.

the December King said:
The way I see it, is when you spend months and months working on something, and then a troll tells you you are a 14 year old boy, you can get pissed off whether you are a boy or girl. Did he do the right thing? I don't think so, it was feeding the troll. But I can see WHY he'd be upset by a thoughtless stab like that. And I wonder how I'd react in a similar situation...
More aptly, it was essentially proving him right.

But the thing is, a lot of artists deal with criticism in a more mature fashion. Not everyone is George Lucas.

emeraldrafael said:
But the dwarf isn't making many people uncomfortable, because men don't get sexually harassed at PAX East. Because male designers don't get mistaken for receptionists. Because male reporters are never asked if they really play video games.

Because the sorceress is symbolic of a much bigger problem.
But he has a point in this, doesn't he? I mean, you can argue whether or not this is actually endemic of a larger problem (and yes, for the record, I think it is), but even if you don't agree it's clear he's pushing towards the point that the reason the sorc makes people uncomfortable is because of the overall treatment and perception of women in the media and the culture.

He's not just saying "it's okay because male power fantasy." In fact, he goes farther than I would in saying that the male models are as sexualised as the female models.

The point that both are tailored for men, however, is quite valid. There is no one "type" of man that women like any more than there's a "type" of woman men like, but if you look at what's commercially successful with women, it's generally not the type of thing referenced here. This is what guys like to see.

#### Otaku World Order

##### New member
Actually, the Elf kinda looks like a mix of Velvet and Gwendolyn from Odin Sphere... which is definitely a good thing.

Once again, it just goes to show that knee-jerk reactions are usually the worst kind. Next thing you know, everyone is hurling bile at each other and the end result is just a bunch of stains and the stench of puke everywhere.

#### Atmos Duality

##### New member
Regardless of where the discussion (or lack thereof) on gender has gone, or where the gaming business stands on gender issues (or how they profit), I know only two things:

-I don't see many well-written, believable female characters, in or out of leading roles and would like to see more for the sake of variety and exploring the related themes through the medium of gaming (C-culture? In video games???)

-I am really fucking tired of gender topics trolling the forums, and I know they aren't going away any time soon.

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
reciprocal said:
My questions are:
ooo! quiz!
1) How small do breasts have to be before you're considered a paedophile?
If she's under 18 go into hiding

2) How big do they have to be before you're considered a pervert?
if the nipples prod though, you hit the perv mark

3) Is it entirely dictated by how much clothes she is wearing?
nope, anyone can undress with their eyes

4) How thin is anorexic?
no considerable muscle tone, as in i shouldn't see your ribs, if so eat a burger.
5) How heavy is obese?
when your gut spills over the sides, if you have a Kankle, and if you have no knees. over 2 and you have to decide whether you like how you are.

6) What's a good guideline that someone can use so as to not offend people?
If they picking on more than one group and themselves, shut up and don't complain (that's my philosophy anyway)

7) Should an artist / developer be allowed to offend people?
Intent is everything, if the dev's and publishers don't see a problem till it's released, the artist can't be entirely blamed, where was Quality Control to say "hey, don't you think those jugs are a little too much?".

8) Should you let character designs decide if you buy a game or not?
for you and you alone yes, mostly. I guess. Nothings perfect.

9) Would you hold it against someone if they decided to (or not to) buy this game for the design of 1 character and ignored the other characters.
yes(??) I don't play GoW because of Coltrane (whom i find offensive on an intellectual level), I'm not wowed by the game in general.

My opinion is that it was a small matter that got overblown but got resolved reasonably. Everything after that was just trying to re-ignite the flames.
pretty much

That was fun, everybody else, you should try this

#### Jimothy Sterling

##### New member
> giving a fuck about how "inclusive" a game is instead of how much it appeals to you or how good it is
> rating FarmVille and The Sims Online 10/10 for "inclusivity", no matter how shitty the games might be
> starting to give really good games (The Witcher, Deponia) and TV series (The Wire, Mad Men, Rome, Banshee etc.) that dare to not be "inclusive" to every possible member of the audience for the sake of telling a better story and having a more realistic setting than "good guy kill bad guy" bad marks for not doing just that and saying it's "problematic"
> using a sentence about an imaginary character like "the elf is sensibly clothed" and "any skin shown makes sense in the context of the characters role" without any hint of irony
> wanting to discuss matters of personal taste (as if that first part ever goes well, but there's also...) that some people like and other people want to destroy/eliminate because it doesn't appeal to them reasonably

Yeah, I'm done here.

At least this video reminded me of this game:

#### Nurb

##### Cynical bastard
Prosis said:
Nurb said:
So what?
Women get their "mommy porn" with the likes of 50 shades of gray with powerful, assertive men, girls get their "romance porn" with many shows/movies/books now of hunky, shirtless forever-teen-looking creatures fighting for their love and attention... Can't us guys have our own fantasies? It's sexualized like everyone else's escapism, just a different medium, so why do we have to have to catch so much shit for enjoying the sight of pretty girls in various situations? It's no different. (I didn't even mention the yaoi fangirls).
Yup. The tradeoff, though, is that there is a ton of books. You can find books on anything and everything, running the gamut of possible characters. While undoubtedly a few types prevail at different times (Harry Potter, Twilight, 50 Shades, etc.) there is always a huge number of books for any type of character through which the reader can feel some sort of connection/association with. Same for manga, same for movies.

And there's nothing wrong with games pandering to men. Nothing at all. The problem, however, is the lack of games which pander to women. The number of games with decent, interesting male characters (or at least a male protagonist) is pretty good, while the number of games with decent, interesting female characters that also lack jiggle physics is very low.

Do characters like the Sorceress need to be banned? No. Freedom of expression and all that. Could we use some more variety in the gaming industry, a few more games with female protagonists or interesting female characters? Definitely.
Well you're talking about demographics now. In regards to E-Lit and young-adult romance novels, women make up the majority of the fans there and are made to appeal to them, while guys are the majority in games. Just how things work out.. probably something to do with brain wiring.

A problem in games, as with any female main characters in any medium, are hard to write for because they are judged so much more by groups of people who have different ideas of how that character "should be", even when written by another woman. An example would be any female character that steps up to fight off an antagonist in a game is typically seen as an improvement in number of roles they have, but some groups and people like Anita Sarkeesian claim that is a negative role for female characters because they are "forced to act like men". Then they raise a fuss on youtube or tumblr or whatever.

So I agree and think the number of characters out there could use a boost, but they are not going to satisfy someone's checklist and that person could raise a stink in the gaming community, contiually trying to say any effort isn't good enough.

Gamers are getting more diverse, so it'll happen as there's more demand. Gay and bisexual characters that aren't defined by their sexuality are even rarer, but that attitude is changing too. It's all positive for the future.

#### Mahoshonen

##### New member
Urm, I feel kinda dumb for joining in the mud slinging yesterday. I blame booze. Booze and the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory.

I will say that anonymity really hurts any chance of having an intelligent discussion. I never have to worry about my family and co-workers finding out I act like an ass on the internet as long as I have a username that I thought was clever a decade ago to hide behind. I'm not recommending getting rid of anonymity either in general or on the Escapist, at least not yet, just pointing out that forums like these are not good venues to have this debate.

#### Baresark

##### New member
I was glad that some sort of civilized discussion finally came from this. I stand by my original point though: of all the fights to pick, this one is not the one to fight. They are just character designs for character who are not actual characters in the sense they have a strong and interesting back story and that is wrecked by the terrible art direction of this game. Also, who gives a shit about what a writer from Kotaku actually thinks. We get it, he has opinions, so what. Complaints like this are just for click throughs, nothing else. It's the hot button issue of the moment so of course people like him are going to go and find things to contribute that that particular "discussion".