New Overwatch Hero Is a Response to Body-Type Diversity Criticism

Cavouku

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theNater said:
Cavouku said:
I don't see how the bulky Russian female is really breaking open the diversity-sauce...
Can you name three AAA games in, say, the past five years that have had a bulky Russian female as a dev-designed playable character? 'Cause I sure can't.
Fair question, certainly not. Not under those conditions, and I'm admittedly kinda thinking more along the lines of some cartoons and films and the like, rather than video games. I've heard some people say she and Vi from League of Legends are pretty similar, but I don't know if Vi is Russian, and she's certainly not as large. Also, I don't play LoL, so I'm just going off of images.

I mean, it's not bad, and I'd say it's better than nothing. The article mentioned something about whether this was a step forward? I'd say yes, on the diversity scale. I'm just kinda iffy about it being a politically sound move to draw so much attention to just how diverse this really is.

I just... I don't think I've got the best vantage point on the issue, but something feels kinda off about being so explicit. Like there's too much focus on whether the character is diverse, and it feels like it marginalizes the character. It probably doesn't matter all THAT much in this game (I haven't kept up with it much, though I may peer into it more now), but there's still so much character to explore outside of whether or not they ARE diverse.

I felt like the Walking Dead did this pretty well. I was far more concerned with the character's personalities and motives than the fact that we had multiple non-white people and such. I mentioned Bill from The Last of Us, but Sam and Henry are another example. Yeah they were black, but that wasn't the point, and it never really felt like the point.

Actually, allow me to comment that the fact that the treatment of the (I feel, all of those) characters due to their differences felt very real without being something that tries to jar your attention so much on the fact that they're different. People have some prejudices against some things, and maybe not to others, and you're going to encounter these people, and they will respond accordingly. It's not a statement about diversity, it's a fact of life. I personally categorize that as "implicit", but that's just me.

I'm sorry, I jumped off on a tangent about far more narrative-focused games and their treatment of diversity, which isn't necessarily fair to Overwatch and its genre. To answer your question, I certainly cannot think of three AAA video games in the last five-ish years that have a dev-designed and playable bulky female Russian. Maybe if we crowbar those parameters open a bit more, I can google-fu something up, but we most certainly wouldn't be walking into my area of expertise one way or another. My personal game-favourites would certainly not see many of those anyhow (mostly western-style RPGs, fantasy settings, pre-industrial stuff, etc.).

Cheers, though. Maybe a little sauce spilled onto the plate. It's not ruining my dinner, but the sign-flipping waiter is kinda distracting.
 

El Portero

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Meanwhile, Overkill is adding an obese chain smoking trailer trash character to Payday 2.
Great body diversity there, Blizzard.
But seriously, I like Zarya's design.
 

Phrozenflame500

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Well, I like it.

I mean, a good portion of the game is wacky stereotypes played for laughs, might as well throw in some stereotypes that have less "traditional" body types.
 

Davroth

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loa said:
"Muscular russian soldier woman" is an overdone cliche in games?
Surely you can name 5 examples of it then cause I can't think of any.
So you don't think she looks like a stereotypical butch lesbian then? Just checking...

Beyond that, the buff russian soldier is a stereotype in all media. And just slapping some boobs on a stereotype doesn't make it all fresh and new, or somehow "progressive".

I just really don't feel like praising Blizzard for putting a potentially rather regressive stereotype into their games. But hey, I'm glad SJW types are so easily appeased. Makes me feel like at the end of the day, actually nothing will change.
 

Gizen

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kael013 said:
Steven Bogos said:
She is, of course, from Russia.
Of course she is. I mean everyone knows Russia has the monopoly on big, strong women with kinda deep voices, right? /s
Honestly, this is just a gender-swap of TF2's Heavy, so it seems to me that Blizzard just made her for diversity's sake.
"There is also talk about diversity in different body types in that not everybody wants to have the exact same body type always represented. And we just want you to know that we're listening and [b/]we're trying hard and we hope Zarya is a step in the right direction."[/b]
That statement pretty much screams that Zarya wasn't created because it was a character design Blizzard thought would be cool, but because it ticked off a few boxes on a bloody checklist.

I'm sure I'm gonna get flak for this, but I'm not sorry. If a dev creates a character it should be because they've got a collection of ideas they think would be pretty cool together, not because a vocal portion of their consumer base is telling them what to do (that goes for you too publishers). Basically, let the artists create whatever the hell they want and either take it or leave it. But if you're one of the people telling devs what to make: congrats, you're one step closer to becoming a dev yourself! Get some skills, go grab some friends, and start up your own indie studio. Solve the character and workplace diversity issues at the same time.
And everytime any company adds a sexy female to their game, it's ONLY because they think it's cool and not just ticking a box on a checklist to appeal to people who think sexy females are awesome, right? Everytime a ruggedly handsome and confident and/or powerful male character is added, it's only because it's cool, not because it's just filling out a checklist that has been determined to appeal to as much of the mass market as possible, right?

The argument you're espousing is flawed on multiple levels, not the least of which being that games need to make money. This isn't the life work of some starving artist who's sacrificing everything to create his perfect vision, this is a product by a large corporation produced with the goal of making money. As such, there's a certain degree of giving the audience what they want that's mandatory. Then take into account that a game is not produced solely as the creative product of a lone individual, but by a large team of hundreds of people, each of which likely to have their own interests and thoughts on what qualifies as interesting or cool. Do you really think that not a single person working on Overwatch thought this concept looked good and that every single person on the entire development team is genuinely interested in this? Then there's the interview Christ Metzen (one of the creative leads at Blizzard) gave where he said that his desire to create more varied female characters came from his own daughter asking him why all the women looked like super models, which, you will find very few sources that can provoke a more genuine desire to do something different than that.

But then there's also this to take into account. Any one who's focused on creating, anyone who makes art of any kind, whether it be visual, or audio, or writing, if all you ever do is make the same thing you like non-stop, your work will eventually stagnate. Good artists force themselves out of their own comfort zone and force themselves to create things that maybe they normally wouldn't think to, and maybe might not even normally enjoy, because it forces them to utilize and improve different skills than they normally would. Not everything they make will be a hit out of the park, but in the long run it leads to improvement.

So, no, there isn't anything inherently wrong about making diversity just for the sake of diversity.
 

Vivi22

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Paradoxrifts said:
Zhukov said:
B-b-b-but the artistic vision!

Won't somebody please think of the artistic visions being violated by all this diversity?
True artistic vision and creative freedom is the first casualty of a culture war.

Right now we are at the stage of the conflict where each side has dug their trenches and written out a checklist of what they do and don't find acceptable. They then go about trying to destroy, ruin or sling shit at anything that doesn't fit within their critera of what is to be considered acceptable in terms of artistic and creative expression.

Design via checklist, whether that checklist was created by social justice advocates or a marketing team targeting specific demographics is artistically bankrupt. What annoys me about this entire situation is how many dishonest participates claim to be on the side of the artist, but are infact are either trying to preserve the old status quo or establish a new status quo on top of the ashes of the old.

Both of these positions are anti-art positions
The post you quoted was a tongue in cheek jab at people such as yourself, then you come in being all serious about this.

For the record, being upset that all women in games tend to be of the exact same body type isn't anti-art. Being so limited in perspective that the only art you and others create has the exact same view of the female form is.

And please feel free to explain what checklist this character is working from. Because the people who want more diverse portrayals of women in games don't have a checklist. They aren't even saying you can't have thin women with huge tits in games. All they're saying is that not all women look exactly alike, and if games already have that figured out with male characters, it's time to grow up and do the same with female characters.

The people making and playing games, by and large, aren't horny 13 year olds who get excited when they draw girls with big tits and it's time we start acting like it.
 

Vivi22

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Teepop said:
I never made out that it is only female behaviour. Remember this topic is about female characters. The news story specifically mentions it. That is why I was referring to female players.

I am sure male players prefer traditional/stereotypical portrayals of attractiveness too. I talked about female characters because *that is what the news story was about*. That's the topic we are discussing.

However I believe that males have slightly different ideas of what constitutes attractive or cool in that a big muscle-bound orc is considered as attractive as a muscle-bound human male even though the former is "ugly". I mean I'm guessing here but I think males will favour traditionally desirable male traits such as strength, dominance, power, agility or general badassery over pure "beauty". This will lead to some deviation from the females choices.

Also in my experience the casual guilds have a higher percentage of female players than the hardcore raiding guilds so racial perks probably have more sway over male race choices. This no doubt leads to a more even racial choice spread for males.

I'd expect males to favour Human/NE/Belf too, but I'd expect female racial choices to be massively more skewed in favour of those races versus males.

E.g. you mention 38% of all players, I bet you for females it is close to double that. As I say I bet that Humans, NE, Belf and Draenai (I forgot them) account for almost all female player choices and those would be followed by Gnomes and Dwarves/Pandas.

I bet Undead for example are fairly well represented by males but extremely rare choices for female players.

Anyway there is no point debating over guesses and assumptions, I am calling on Blizzard to back up their statement by publishing the statistics that they most definitely hold.

At any time they can prove that there is genuine demand for diversity and that they are not just trying to get cheap headlines/publicity by exploiting the conflict between these two tiny but vocal pressure groups. My opinion is that they are exploiting (or being bullied by) the publicity over these pressure groups and that their own figures for female players categorically conflicts with their statement.

Blizzard can disprove my assertion any sweet time they like....
Why the hell do you even care? No seriously?

Even if you were right that most players want to play as female characters who meet some arbitrary standard of physical attractiveness (and I don't buy it until you can provide evidence to back up that assertion), exactly how does giving players more options interfere with that? Want to make a stereotypical female game character with a non-existent waist and huge tits and ass in a game like WoW? This isn't stopping you so there's no actual problem there. Want to play as such a character in the very game being discussed in this thread? Well there's no shortage there either.

It's rare that people get this worked up over something that literally doesn't impact the thing they say most people want so my only conclusion is that you feel somehow slighted or threatened by this in some way. Otherwise such a non-issue wouldn't bother you since it has no real impact on the games you play. And it's frankly quite sad that you care so much about things not changing.
 

loa

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Davroth said:
loa said:
"Muscular russian soldier woman" is an overdone cliche in games?
Surely you can name 5 examples of it then cause I can't think of any.
So you don't think she looks like a stereotypical butch lesbian then? Just checking...

Beyond that, the buff russian soldier is a stereotype in all media. And just slapping some boobs on a stereotype doesn't make it all fresh and new, or somehow "progressive".

I just really don't feel like praising Blizzard for putting a potentially rather regressive stereotype into their games. But hey, I'm glad SJW types are so easily appeased. Makes me feel like at the end of the day, actually nothing will change.
None.
So you have no examples. Gotcha.
Anyone else?
 

Erttheking

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inmunitas said:
erttheking said:
inmunitas said:
Ark of the Covetor said:
Cartoon characters aren't the same as real people. I'm pretty sure most people look to real life human beings as role models, not a collection of pixels on a screen. Looking to cartoon fantasy characters to "feel represented", that's like scraping the bottom of the barrel, must be pretty depressing.
You do realize this is a website mainly dedicated to gamers correct? As in gaming is our preferred hobby? And short of games like Tex Murphy, games don't actually have real people in them, and I'm pretty sure a lot of gamers grew up idolizing game characters. Heck, we still do if the popularity of characters like Master Chief and Commander Shepard is anything to go by

And what's so bad about relating with someone who's a fictional character and not live action? I relate to plenty of video game characters like you wouldn't believe.
They fantasies about being that character and/or elements of the ideas present in that character/story that resonate with themselves. Not idolize that character as if it were a real person with agency they can look up to.
You can look up to a person despite that person not being real. Christ, John Henry is practically a symbol of the civil rights movements despite the fact that he's nothing more than a tall tale.
 

inmunitas

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erttheking said:
inmunitas said:
erttheking said:
inmunitas said:
Ark of the Covetor said:
Cartoon characters aren't the same as real people. I'm pretty sure most people look to real life human beings as role models, not a collection of pixels on a screen. Looking to cartoon fantasy characters to "feel represented", that's like scraping the bottom of the barrel, must be pretty depressing.
You do realize this is a website mainly dedicated to gamers correct? As in gaming is our preferred hobby? And short of games like Tex Murphy, games don't actually have real people in them, and I'm pretty sure a lot of gamers grew up idolizing game characters. Heck, we still do if the popularity of characters like Master Chief and Commander Shepard is anything to go by

And what's so bad about relating with someone who's a fictional character and not live action? I relate to plenty of video game characters like you wouldn't believe.
They fantasies about being that character and/or elements of the ideas present in that character/story that resonate with themselves. Not idolize that character as if it were a real person with agency they can look up to.
You can look up to a person despite that person not being real. Christ, John Henry is practically a symbol of the civil rights movements despite the fact that he's nothing more than a tall tale.
Isn't that just projection though? You're projecting an idea onto a symbolic representation of that idea, thus what you see in not a "person" but a projection/symbol of your own ideals, as such its deeply subjective to what you personally believe in and not everyone is going to see the same thing.
 

Gatlank

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loa said:
Davroth said:
loa said:
"Muscular russian soldier woman" is an overdone cliche in games?
Surely you can name 5 examples of it then cause I can't think of any.
So you don't think she looks like a stereotypical butch lesbian then? Just checking...

Beyond that, the buff russian soldier is a stereotype in all media. And just slapping some boobs on a stereotype doesn't make it all fresh and new, or somehow "progressive".

I just really don't feel like praising Blizzard for putting a potentially rather regressive stereotype into their games. But hey, I'm glad SJW types are so easily appeased. Makes me feel like at the end of the day, actually nothing will change.
None.
So you have no examples. Gotcha.
Anyone else?
If you attach nationality to the stereotype i can't remember many except maybe in comics or movies. I think in the soviet party scene of the movie Patton there was one that could fit in the category.
In games the ones i remember are mostly secondary characters but they aren't russian like Yoko Harmegeddon from Street Fighter, Helga von Bulow from Return to castle Wolfenstein and Rachael Townsend from Binary Domain.
 

Erttheking

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inmunitas said:
And this is a problem how? People see different things in fictional characters? People see different things in real people too. I fail to see the problem.
 

Colour Scientist

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Garlador said:
Oh no! Look at this, people! LOOK AT THIS! This is what your incessant demands for inclusivity and diversity has wrought! Look at all the artistic vision that's been tossed away! Look at how creativity has died and developer passion has ceased to exist! This is all your fault; you gamers and all you SJWs out there that demanded women be treated with more equality and respect. Look at this scourge, this abomination, this wastrel abandonment of everything gaming has always stood for!

This must be stopped. If we don't stop this right now, we may get MORE playable women in game, in possibly even MORE shapes and sizes! Don't you wish to preserve gaming's integrity? Do none of you care?

We all know that most women don't look like this, thus NO woman should look like this in a game. It's not like the male characters, whom we know men in real life come in all shapes and sizes. This is pure, wanton acquiescence to the whims of other people, not our special little bubble where everything must be made just for us, as it has always been and should always be. The developers have shown themselves to be cowards, COWARDS I tell you, taking an interest and effort in stepping outside of their comfort zone and trying something new because they felt it was worth doing and might make gaming a better, more diverse place. The fools; such choices make me actively lose interest in this game, so much so that I'm still writing about it at length!

I can't be alone. Surely other people see what a horrible state the industry is in once it starts catering to demographics outside of young men. Did you not see the signs back in 1986 when Metroid revealed it's super strong, super tough hero actually lacked a Y chromosome?

And, seriously, a butch strong Russian girl? How stereotypical can you get! This is not improvement. Remember the lessons Homer Simpson espoused, "you tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is NEVER TRY." I think we could all learn from such a paragon of logic and common sense.

I'll leave you with this: should BLIZZARD's attempt to diversify the industry succeed, they will no doubt continue to do so. This may cause other developers to take risks on women, even minorities, and we may end up with games staring strong women, black people, or even, gasp, gay people, and those games could be great and be successful. Do you really want to live in a world where that's a possibility?

So look at this, gamers. Look at the face of regression, the face of devolution, the face of cowardice, and the face of lost artistic integrity.


You have no one to blame but yourselves.
Will you marry me? :3
 

TheRealCJ

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Genocidicles said:
So we get a character made to combat complaints by the SJWs... and how do they take it I wonder?

Well going by Kotaku's article... The first comment you see is someone complaining:

https://archive.today/wOu3K

There's just no pleasing these cunts.
Funny, I've seen more griping about how the "SJWs have won waaaaaah!"
 

Nixou

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True artistic vision and creative freedom is the first casualty of a culture war.

Mass Effect doesn't end with Shep's absolute triumph?
The audience: "It Suuuuuuuuuucks! Change It NOW!"

Next game from Blizzard includes female character with muscle
The same crowd: "butbutbutbutbutbutbutbutbutbutbutbut Artistic Vision!"

***

It looks like they took the stereotypical male body, stuck a female head on it, put some armor with boobs on it and called it a female

Worked well enough for the Sistine Chapel.

***

Anyway, now that Blizzard got the hint, maybe one can hope that Nintendo will get rid of focus-tested-barbie-doll Samus and bring back her original design [http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/metroid/images/d/d8/Samus_Aran_Varia_suit_Super_Metroid_Player%27s_Guide_1994.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130627200806].
 

inmunitas

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erttheking said:
inmunitas said:
And this is a problem how? People see different things in fictional characters? People see different things in real people too. I fail to see the problem.
Well it becomes a problem when you expect people to see those characters in the same way you do, with real people they have agency so you have at least some element of proof that everyone is able to agree on, where as with fictional characters you're basically creating a belief system/ideology/religion.
 

Gatlank

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TheRealCJ said:
Genocidicles said:
So we get a character made to combat complaints by the SJWs... and how do they take it I wonder?

Well going by Kotaku's article... The first comment you see is someone complaining:

https://archive.today/wOu3K

There's just no pleasing these cunts.
Funny, I've seen more griping about how the "SJWs have won waaaaaah!"
Really! I'm okay with her. Well... Change the hair and i'm okay with her!
 

Gatlank

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Nixou said:
True artistic vision and creative freedom is the first casualty of a culture war.

Mass Effect doesn't end with Shep's absolute triumph?
The audience: "It Suuuuuuuuuucks! Change It NOW!"
Theoretically it ended in triumph. The menace was dealt with either way.
The writing quality however was hedious. I've seen better fan fiction written by kindergartners.
 

Erttheking

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inmunitas said:
erttheking said:
inmunitas said:
And this is a problem how? People see different things in fictional characters? People see different things in real people too. I fail to see the problem.
Well it becomes a problem when you expect people to see those characters in the same way you do, with real people they have agency so you have at least some element of proof that everyone is able to agree on, where as with fictional characters you're basically creating a belief system/ideology/religion.
It's a good thing I'm not expecting people to see the same thing I am. Seriously man, you just go off on these tangents making claims to counter points that I never made.