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

ki11joyace

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MarsAtlas said:
Lots of people getting made over hair dye, is this what gaming culture has come to?

Westaway said:
These people realize sexual dimorphism is a real thing present in human beings right
You know that sexual dimorphism works on a bell curve, right? Its not a definitive indicator of what a person will be like.

ki11joyace said:
Westaway said:
These people realize sexual dimorphism is a real thing present in human beings right
Some don't. But I'll give it slight pass for this game, since it is cartoony. If this were a more realistic styled game, her muscle mass would be ridiculous. Although female body builders do exist.
You, that bit I bolded? That itself clearly undermines what you think sexual dimorphism is.



People like Zarya exist, both in regards to height (she seemed quite tall, but I could be wrong) and muscle, its just that there's more men with her build than women. Just because women with more muscular builds are less abundant does not mean that they don't exist, especially not without steroids or being trans like I've been seeing indicated in this thread. Its foolish to think that they don't, especially given the context that the roster in the game is a list of extraordinary people, and many those who aren't even people, as we've got at least one AI which believes it has a soul, a sentient gorilla, plus whatever Bastion is. Things aren't operating on a bell curve here.

You do make a good point. I don't have anything against her muscles. The design mostly fits within the games art style. The circumstances surrounding the character, and similarities of the character to the people asking for her make it look like pandering. Though pink died hair does not make a person or character a bad person or character. If this "SJW" character starts spouting "Die cis scum!" during a match, I will raise my emotion from "annoyed" to "concerned." If she is likable, like the TF2 Heavy, it is possible I will enjoy the character's personality and be pleasantly surprised.


Loonyyy said:
iller3 said:
LostGryphon said:
I mean, look at the blatant tumblr hair cut
WTF does tumblr have to do with that style???
Were you even conceived by the time Punk/Ska music was gaining momentum in the 80's??
your own avatar has pink hair ffs....
Cannot stop laughing. Well said sir. And it's definitely not like anything of the sort happened in the 90s either. Kool-aid crystals anyone?
His avatar is also a 4 eyed, red pupil monster :p

Joking aside, there is no denying that neon-died, sometimes short hair is definitely a part of the SJW/Tumblr culture that wanted this. I have been around them, they are not like punk rockers at all.

Though the punk rock culture has similar styles. Is this character a blatant pandering attempt towards SJWs? Maybe? I want to see more of this character's personality before she is *completely* judged, though I will judge the circumstances surrounding her creation.
 

kenu12345

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Aug 3, 2011
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I don't really have a problem with the design or the inclusion of the character (I actually think she looks pretty cool), but my only grief with this story is the people complaining bout diversity when all of the previous characters had completly different body types. I think this may explain it a bit more
http://thespectacularspider-girl.tumblr.com/post/113010314274/female-portrayals-in-video-games
 

Zhukov

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Dec 29, 2009
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Mong0 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?
Stop stuttering; you're typing, not talking.
My artistic vision for that post involved a stutter.

Quit trying to impose your ideals upon my expression of free speech.
 

kael013

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Gizen said:
kael013 said:
No, they're definitely going through a checklist too. That's why I had a parenthesis calling out publishers for executive meddling. Sure, on some level the devs think it's cool, but there were limits put in from the beginning. I hate that.
There will always be limits. Budgetary limits, time limits, content limits. These will always be there, they can never be removed, and when you try to remove them, it often makes the result worse. Duke Nukem Forever was a game born of no limits, because the developers had all the time and money in the world, and as a result it was never properly finished because there was always more that they wanted to do with it, until one day it finally just collapsed under its own weight.

Thing is, while limits certainly can stifle creativity, they can also encourage it, as properly set limits will breed creative solutions to get around them. Silent Hill 2's dense fog made the game a better horror game, but that fog wasn't initially put there to make the game scarier, it was a means to get around the PS2's meager power and rendering capabilities.
Maybe I should clarify: [i/]constricting[/i] limits are the ones I hate. The kind that start with "X says we need to..." (where X isn't working on the game). That should [i/]never[/i] be how a design decision starts. "Can we do this without going over budget/time" or "Does this fit with the existing content/premise?" are perfectly reasonable.

Now the stuff for more diversity, to me, doesn't come closer to that second set, but "X says we need to..." It's people outside the industry not asking for, but demanding, devs do what they (the consumers) want or else they'll be judged badly (sexist, racist, and all the other words people are flinging around nowadays). That comes too close to constricting limits for my taste.

[quote/]Because doing things this way gives the samey/safe/formulaic result. It's called 'safe' for a reason, because it's what little the majority can agree on. Thing is, not every developer/designer/artist is going to work on every part of the project, and by assigning different people to different tasks which suit their skillsets and interests, it's possible to find the room to get more people's ideas into the game. More things end up in there that appeal to a smaller subset of the population, but the larger variety means that an overall larger portion of the population can find something in there worth liking. In the end, it all comes down to there being multiple different valid approaches to creative works, but people often like to act or assume that there's only one right way to do things.[/quote]
I fail to see how that's any different from what I said. Even if you have certain people work on certain parts of the game it still has to go through committee, just a smaller one. Actually, I think we're on the same page, just looking at it from different angles. When I wrote that I was thinking about specific character design, so the "committee" would be the artist, the writer, the modelers, the artist's boss (art lead), and the writer's boss (writing lead). A small group of people working on a small part of the project. Depending on the people, this can lead to safe or diverse, but either way ii would lead to exactly what you said: a large variety to appeal to a large group, but with smaller niche things as well. Some of these people may not like the final result, preferring some of the earlier work. Nothing we've said really conflicts.

Did you notice that there was no name attached to the quote in the initial article? It was just attributed to Blizzard in general. Which means it was marketing speak. So of course it's going to come across as doing something just to please a crowd. That's the marketing department's entire job. To spin any and everything the company does as being in the consumer's best interest and solely for the consumer. You can't read one comment and immediately write everything off as being a crime against artistic integrity.
First off, I never said anything was a crime against artistic integrity. I was simply lamenting that politics seems to have become a huge part of the design process, when I feel they should have as little contact as possible.
Secondly, you have a point. I keep reading marketing statements and, if it touches a charged subject, forget about the spin. Something to work on.

[quote/]I'm not misunderstanding anything, no part of this conflicts with what I've said.[/quote]
My mistake, I misunderstood what you were saying.

[quote/][quote/]What I'm saying is that devs should listen to the consumers, but keep it secondary in their design decisions. If they come up with a lithe character that they like, they should add it. If they come up with a heavy-set design that works better and they like it as well, they should scrap the lithe one - remembering the consumers' demands - and add the heavy-set one instead. The consumers' opinions are heard, but don't influence the design decisions any more than just trimming down the potential designs - something that the devs have to do anyways.[/quote]

And here comes the most wrong thing you've said thus far. Because when they come up with two varying designs like that, unless it would cause them to otherwise go over-budget or miss their release, they should use both. That's the entire point of diversity. In the very example you've given, they like both the lithe and the heavy designs, so instead of being a zero-sum game where only one gets used, there's room to use both and satisfy more people. This is especially true in a game like Overwatch where the game will feature a wide variety of different characters to play as anyways so it becomes even easier to find extra space in the cast to utilize both designs.[/quote]
I think we're having a problem in communication. I'm talking overall design. In a game like Overwatch they should absolutely use both designs, they'd get more characters out of that and appeal to the mass market more. But in a game like Bioshock Infinite where they need one look for Elizabeth? No, they can't; it's one or the other. Sure they can use the castoff design for background models, but the final Elizabeth one is gonna get more attention (considered a step towards diversity or a step back) since that character plays a far greater role in the game.
 

LightningFast

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LightningFast said:
Huh, today I learned Hammerlock is a black guy...he looks and sounds like such a white Victorian era insufferable safari brat...[/quote]

I think I may have been confused by the lighting.

Grumman said:
Fappy said:
VanQ said:
"Not a woman of colour"
Have people actually been complaining about this?! They already have Egyptian and Indian women... do they not count?
I have heard one moron say that. According to him, Egyptians and Indians didn't count because they don't come from one of the handful of countries Britain hasn't invaded.
... Did someone seriously try to argue that Egypt and India weren't invaded by Britain?

What about those times that Egypt and India were explicitly invaded by Britain? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Egyptian_War, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Raj

ki11joyace said:
I think part of the problem is that some people are never quite satisfied with the "amounts" of diversity. Like you said, Overwatch already had a diverse roster of genders and races, but SJWs found the "body diversity" lacking. I'd say this character may not be entirely pandering (unless she starts spouting off stereotypical Tumblr/SJW phrases in game) but there is a degree of pandering here considering how she came to be and what she is.

I'm reserving a bit of judgement until the game comes out. I'm hoping she might be something like the female version of TF2 Heavy, a bit dimwitted in a humorous way, but strong and cheerful. That could be a nice character.
I never personally saw these sorts of demands, though I won't deny that petitions were made for greater "body diversity", since it's the internet and everything that can be said about something probably will be at some point or another. Still, I think you may be overestimating the actual amount of power that the "SJWs" have. If I had to venture a guess, this character was going to be in the game either way. Maybe they wouldn't have revealed her yet if it weren't for the uproar about "body diversity", or wouldn't have gone with the "diversity" statement when announcing her. I wish they hadn't gone with the "diversity" statement personally,

Calling her some sort of paragon of diversity just strikes me as publicity self-fellatio by Blizzard, yes, but that's my only objection to the situation. I have no objects to the character or how she was conceived one way or the other. Even if they are "caving" to the desires of some vocal minority, what's the harm? It's a new character unlike what we've seen before. People create demand for these diverse characters, and Blizzard supplies them. It's ultimately their decision, it makes business sense, and let's face it: it has little impact on the game itself. Absolute worst-case scenario, she's a bad character and nobody uses her. Best-case, she's an awesome character and the game is significantly improved. I have the right to call it a crappy character or a crappy decision, but I don't feel it's an issue of "caving" in this particular instance.

I can agree that judgement on the quality of the character itself should be reserved until the game has actually been released. If it turns out that the quality has been inhibited by an attempt to pander to a specific group as it often is in the gaming industry (though not in the way we're currently discussing), I'll beat my plowshare into a sword and join you in storming whatever metaphorical gate you like.

theNater said:
You may want to review this 11-page thread from last November. This isn't Blizzard starting an internet argument, it's them stating what side of an existing internet argument they're on.
I see the relevance, but this doesn't change my point of view. That's ultimately their artistic decision, and frankly, they're not wrong: to deny that we have a saturation of scantily-clad protagonists is silly. I personally enjoy staring at the asses of don't mind these characters, but it's not as though less revealing clothes are inherently worse design-wise or they're somehow devaluing their product or sacrificing their integrity by opting for less revealing ones. At the end of the day, that's their choice.
 

Vault101

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Sep 26, 2010
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Garlador said:
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.
uhh..I think she looks awesome? I mean I wish I had the confidence to pull of awesome hair like that

ki11joyace said:
obviously some "alternative" look WOOMAN is pandering to SJW's and therefore unacceptable its not like games EVER pander to gamer bros...nuh uh that's what we call "normal"

look people can we PLEASE remember the real world? where its not divided into "le gamers" and "SJW's" and full of people with all kind of nuances...SOME OF WHCIH have alternative styles and are *gasp* female?

iller3 said:
...coincidentally, we may also regard sexuality arguments the same way and look back at "SJW Progressives" the same way we look at Puritans / Victorians today... It's definitely not a stretch to compare some of their beliefs to religious fervor.
if anyone's going to be looked back on with that kind of aversion it'll probably be the insular "chan" fuled "internet" culture,

I mean For eff's sake your comparing "SJW's" with puritans...at least make it *kinda* applicable
 

Erttheking

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kenu12345 said:
I don't really have a problem with the design or the inclusion of the character (I actually think she looks pretty cool), but my only grief with this story is the people complaining bout diversity when all of the previous characters had completly different body types. I think this may explain it a bit more
http://thespectacularspider-girl.tumblr.com/post/113010314274/female-portrayals-in-video-games
I'm sorry, but that post (Not yours, the one you linked to) came off as really smug. "They're anti-sex and pro-ego". Lot of assumptions being made on her part. I'm currently writing a story where I want one of my characters to be sexuality liberated, she regularly frequents brothels and it's seen as "meh, whatever." But according to her I'm anti-sex. And pro-ego? Just slamming people that disagree with her. Zarya is a man with boobs? Well, I guess women can't be big and bulky, they're not "real" female characters. "Maybe they're puritanical or have low self-esteem" yeah this is what I was talking about with being smug. Peach...a diplomat. A diplomat. Peach in politics....AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA-HAAA-HAAA-HAAA! Peach DOING something. Oh that's hilarious. Peach being productive in ANYWAY front-line, supportive emotional or anything tends to be spin-off games bucking the trend of her doing absolutely nothing. Yeah she's running on 100% strawman, in general, she spends half the time lashing out at arguments NO ONE is making. Also "Oh, I'm a gay woman and I don't like this!" Well I know a transexual woman who does like it, do I win?

Ok, now that I've got that off my chest, let me talk about my problem with Overwatch. Yeah, upon closer inspection they do have different body types, but there's still something that bugs me. Compared to the male heroes the amount of diversity feels rather lacking. Yeah they're not all the same but the female heroes are a hell of a lot closer to each other than the male characters. Not to mention there seems to be an unwritten rule out there that male characters can be giant monsters or robots that don't even vaguely look human, but female characters are attractive aliens, human looking attractive robots (Fell into that bit myself, I am still kicking myself over it). Overwatch has giant robots, short dwarves, Buddhist robots and massive hulking dudes in power armor, while everyone was still roughly the same size, with exception to that Egyptian woman in power armor. I liked them I liked every one, but it felt kind of off.
 

Grumman

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LightningFast said:
Grumman said:
I have heard one moron say that. According to him, Egyptians and Indians didn't count because they don't come from one of the handful of countries Britain hasn't invaded.
... Did someone seriously try to argue that Egypt and India weren't invaded by Britain?
No, they tried to argue that Egypt and India were invaded by Britain, and therefore were just token British colonies and not "real" African/Asian countries.
 

ki11joyace

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kael013 said:
Maybe I should clarify: [i/]constricting[/i] limits are the ones I hate. The kind that start with "X says we need to..." (where X isn't working on the game). That should [i/]never[/i] be how a design decision starts. "Can we do this without going over budget/time" or "Does this fit with the existing content/premise?" are perfectly reasonable.
I agree. If X isn't not working on the art or product, and the developers have not explicitly promised X anything from the art of product, then X should not be trying to change the art or product to specifically suit them. The character herself is not at all what people dislike. It is how she came to be.

I said in a previous post that I wished Blizzard would include a free option to change the hair color. I may wish it, I may politely ask, but I will not pressure them to do it, especially if they have better things to work on. This current situation seems like the result of pressure from a vocal minority rather than an organic design decision.

Ironically, I don't think many gamers of either gender or any body type care about being "represented" by this character. It is a loud but small set of people who whined for it.
 

kenu12345

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erttheking said:
kenu12345 said:
I don't really have a problem with the design or the inclusion of the character (I actually think she looks pretty cool), but my only grief with this story is the people complaining bout diversity when all of the previous characters had completly different body types. I think this may explain it a bit more
http://thespectacularspider-girl.tumblr.com/post/113010314274/female-portrayals-in-video-games
I'm sorry, but that post (Not yours, the one you linked to) came off as really smug. "They're anti-sex and pro-ego". Lot of assumptions being made on her part. I'm currently writing a story where I want one of my characters to be sexuality liberated, she regularly frequents brothels and it's seen as "meh, whatever." But according to her I'm anti-sex. And pro-ego? Just slamming people that disagree with her. Zarya is a man with boobs? Well, I guess women can't be big and bulky, they're not "real" female characters. "Maybe they're puritanical or have low self-esteem" yeah this is what I was talking about with being smug. Peach...a diplomat. A diplomat. Peach in politics....AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA-HAAA-HAAA-HAAA! Peach DOING something. Oh that's hilarious. Peach being productive in ANYWAY front-line, supportive emotional or anything tends to be spin-off games bucking the trend of her doing absolutely nothing. Yeah she's running on 100% strawman, in general, she spends half the time lashing out at arguments NO ONE is making. Also "Oh, I'm a gay woman and I don't like this!" Well I know a transexual woman who does like it, do I win?

Ok, now that I've got that off my chest, let me talk about my problem with Overwatch. Yeah, upon closer inspection they do have different body types, but there's still something that bugs me. Compared to the male heroes the amount of diversity feels rather lacking. Yeah they're not all the same but the female heroes are a hell of a lot closer to each other than the male characters. Not to mention there seems to be an unwritten rule out there that male characters can be giant monsters or robots that don't even vaguely look human, but female characters are attractive aliens, human looking attractive robots (Fell into that bit myself, I am still kicking myself over it). Overwatch has giant robots, short dwarves, Buddhist robots and massive hulking dudes in power armor, while everyone was still roughly the same size, with exception to that Egyptian woman in power armor. I liked them I liked every one, but it felt kind of off.
Never said I agreed with everything in that. I referred to that mostly for an example on how the cast was already pretty diverse.
 

Erttheking

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kenu12345 said:
True. Like I said, I like the characters in overwatch and in terms of AAA Overwatch is head and shoulders above everyone else. It's just that I feel like we're just starting to explore the boundaries of possibilities.
 

kenu12345

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erttheking said:
kenu12345 said:
True. Like I said, I like the characters in overwatch and in terms of AAA Overwatch is head and shoulders above everyone else. It's just that I feel like we're just starting to explore the boundaries of possibilities.
Oh most certainly and I am loving it. Just wish they didn't answer cry for diversity (even if I don't find it that well founded) with a stereotype itself even if its kickbutt
 

kenu12345

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ki11joyace said:
kenu12345 said:
Don't worry about erttheking. Anyone that strawmans that much and uses CAPS LOCK CRUISE CONTROL so much is not worth a reply.
Oh its no problem really. I don't usually get bothered by people.
 

Davroth

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loa said:
None.
So you have no examples. Gotcha.
Anyone else?
Ah, I see. So if you make your category narrow enough noone can give you examples. While you are at it, you might as well add "face scar" and "Short pink hair" to the list.
 

VanQ

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Fappy said:
VanQ said:
"Not a woman of colour"
Have people actually been complaining about this?! They already have Egyptian and Indian women... do they not count?

The funny thing is that these complaints are the least of Blizzard's worries. You know they will be quickly replaced by people bitching about game balance two days after the game comes out.
I'll give you one guess where I've seen that exact complaint. They both start with a "T" and one is quite aptly named for the "Twit"s that often use it.
 

loa

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Davroth said:
Ah, I see. So if you make your category narrow enough noone can give you examples. While you are at it, you might as well add "face scar" and "Short pink hair" to the list.
Well it wasn't me who started derailing this topic about body type with that "this character trope is a tired old hat" nonsense, I only checked if it really was, if there was actually any shred of substance in that unrelated whinery.
It appears that no, not even that is the case and that these are indeed children in their club treehouse who are out of actual arguments and just fling whatever comes to mind.
It's not like I came up with the criteria, I quote:

"it's just playing off the whole "Buff Russian Super-soilder" trope."

"She looks pretty stereotypical to me: the big, burly, Russian strong woman - with a prettier face, sure, but still very grounded in the stereotypes."

"As a relatively masculine Rusky female, however, it's still just another stereotype as opposed to anything particularly original or new."

I will again point out that this has nothing to do with body types in case you missed it.
No one introduced this character as this mind blowing, original concept even though it seems that this has indeed never been done this way in gaming and may very well be a first.
Innovation isn't what this is being sold on yet it is what people call into question.
Ironic, isn't it?
 

Erttheking

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VanQ said:
Fappy said:
VanQ said:
"Not a woman of colour"
Have people actually been complaining about this?! They already have Egyptian and Indian women... do they not count?

The funny thing is that these complaints are the least of Blizzard's worries. You know they will be quickly replaced by people bitching about game balance two days after the game comes out.
I'll give you one guess where I've seen that exact complaint. They both start with a "T" and one is quite aptly named for the "Twit"s that often use it.
You know, aside from one post that I've been showed (About how everyone who complains about women in gaming is anti-sex. Ugh) Tumblr has pretty much been giddy over this new character. From what I've seen at least.
 

Davroth

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loa said:
Davroth said:
Ah, I see. So if you make your category narrow enough noone can give you examples. While you are at it, you might as well add "face scar" and "Short pink hair" to the list.
Well it wasn't me who started derailing this topic about body type with that "this character trope is a tired old hat" nonsense, I only checked if it really was, if there was actually any shred of substance in that unrelated whinery.
It appears that no, not even that is the case and that these are indeed children in their club treehouse who are out of actual arguments and just fling whatever comes to mind.
It's not like I came up with the criteria, I quote:

"it's just playing off the whole "Buff Russian Super-soilder" trope."

"She looks pretty stereotypical to me: the big, burly, Russian strong woman - with a prettier face, sure, but still very grounded in the stereotypes."

"As a relatively masculine Rusky female, however, it's still just another stereotype as opposed to anything particularly original or new."
Why are you telling me that then? Have I made that argument? Besides, you then turned around and asked for examples only from other video games and nothing else. As if video games exist inside some kind of special bubble, separated from all other sorts of media.

Fact: Russian super soldiers have been a media trope since the cold war at least.

Fact: She looks like a stereotypical butch lesbian character.

Mixing a stereotype (one that is used to marginalise and make fun of a specific group of people) with a trope doesn't make an original, fresh design. And it's not progressive. It's lazy lip service. And apparently that's all it takes to appease people.
 

loa

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Davroth said:
Why are you telling me that then? Have I made that argument?
You replied to me and, well you know, I never addressed you.

Davroth said:
Besides, you then turned around and asked for examples only from other video games and nothing else. As if video games exist inside some kind of special bubble, separated from all other sorts of media.
I think that's fair.
It is its own medium and if the stereotype is as ubiquitous as people make it seem, listing 5 examples present in that medium should be easy.

Davroth said:
Mixing a stereotype (one that is used to marginalise and make fun of a specific group of people) with a trope doesn't make an original, fresh design. And it's not progressive. It's lazy lip service. And apparently that's all it takes to appease people.
Do you read?
The things you complain about why I tell them to you, do you read them?
Or do you think that variety = innovation? Because it's not.