Skullgirls Artist Weighs In on Sexism Controversy

cynicalsaint1

Salvation a la Mode
Apr 1, 2010
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I agree with Alex.

Really the presence of sexy girls isn't in and of itself sexist. Its all about context.

Trying to ignore context in these sorts of debates makes it nothing but a witch-hunt.
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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I think the developers are taking the wrong track here. No offense but "our animator is a woman" *IS* a valid defense, even if the other side happens to dislike it.

It's sort of like someone looking at a piece of fantasy art and screaming "ZOMG sexist" and then finding out an artist like Julie Bell did it.

See, at the end of the day when it comes to visuals men and women like the same things here. The ultra-sexy babe is the girl women want to be, and the guys want to be with (so to speak). If you read fantasy written by women, largely for a female audience like Kim Harrison's stuff, or say the "Anita Blake" series you'll find that the the ladies involved are all really hot... as are the girls on the cover of most romance novels directed entirely at women.

So yes, female artists are drawing physical perfection... as all artists do.

The initial statements are correct actually about the complaints being a "misplaced form of chivalry" though I believe it's most accurate to say that it's desperate nerds who really don't get it, who hope that by taking a "hard line" against sexism they are making themselves more attractive to women, when really they are just making huge jokes out of themselves.

Oh and for the record, how many people have ever been to an SCA event, or Ren Faire? Looking at that latest Evony add the first thing that occured to me is that she actually looks like an attendee. Girls who have the looks to pull it off (and there are plenty of them) dress lin low cut dresses and such like that for those events both as employees and as guests. The only real issue with the picture is that the giant hoop earrings are a bit out of period (yes that's a joke).
 

Rect Pola

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May 19, 2009
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Now we have an issue about the statement he made about the issue. Great.

Assuming he just wasn't speaking clearly (perhaps he could use a PR department), I think he meant that some decrying sexism were disingenuous, attacking because they were under whatever pressures that suggested they should. However, merely throwing a point like "the art wasn't made by a man" was enough to make them stop pretending and move along.

We actually have a good perspective on how sexist this is from the Big Picture: Gender Games.
 

Mikeyfell

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Aug 24, 2010
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"The real issue comes from what their role and actions are," Ahad wrote. "If a character is a side-line character and their sole purpose is to be a sex object, then it is sexist. If the character is a competent contributor to the story, then it is not sexist, even if they look sexy. Looking at a screenshot by itself, or judging by the artwork alone is extremely shortsighted. People who make knee-jerk reactionary judgments should have never been acknowledged."
I declare this quote of the year.


It's interesting to see this supposed controversy evolve into a somewhat two-pronged debate. On one hand, there still exists a faction of those who believe the game itself to be sexist,
What? you mean the knee-jark reactionary judgmental twats that never should have been acknowledged in the first place? I suppose they count as a faction.

and Bartholow's comments as weak justification. On the other, there seem to be those completely fine with the game's art style, but in disagreement with his justifications in general. Even Ahad himself seemed to think some comments as regrettable, describing at least part of them to be "in poor taste" while attempting to defend them. With the game set for release early next year, it will be interesting to see how this back-and-forth affects sales. What do you think, Escapists? Will this recent attention drive publicity or just turn gamers off from purchasing it?
The most offensive part of this whole thing is that he felt he had to defend himself at all.
If someone says to you: "You drew a pretty picture so you're sexist." the appropriate response is: "Stop being so immature and stupid,[sub]you mentally retarded fuck-wit.[/sub]"
Admittedly, humoring the troll isn't the best approach. But when you are so obviously in the right sometimes an irresistible urge to win using the worst argument possible comes over you, just to make them look even stupider than they've already made them selves look. Inevitably some other retarded fuck-wit will hear this and declare you wrong on the basis that you argue poorly, and now you're suddenly in so deep that the only way out is to backpedal and make a real argument. THEN an even retardeder fuck-wit will say you're wrong because you flip-flopped on your initial argument.

Yeah, I've been on the internet before, I know how the system works.

Anyway, I probably would never have heard of this game at all if it wasn't for this (what ever you want to call it). I'm not particularly in to 2D fighters, but supporting a developer is as good a reason to buy a game as any so I'll check it out come release.
 

Ken_J

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Jun 4, 2009
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Anyone else really happy that this controversy is happening? Not because we can shout our opinions about sexism, but because this game is getting press off of it and more people will know that it exists.
 

yunabomb

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Nov 29, 2011
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Do you guys really think people who call games out on sexism aren't thinking things through?

yunabomb said:
From what I have seen so far, Skullgirls is sexist, but not nearly as bad as most fighting games.

The problem isn't really that the characters are sexy or sexualized. The problem is that a lot of this sexiness has the purpose of fanservice (take a look at the screen shots for Valentine. Her stances are designed to show off boobage). When characters are designed to show off to presumeably male, heterosexual players, it cheapens the characters. This is a big problem in gaming (just look at Mortal Kombat. All the female characters are showing off all the time).

Now, how the characters act and comport themselves makes Skullgirls's portrayal of its characters far better than that of other fighting games. Their actions show off their personality and style. Whereas in other games the female characters are frequently showing off their hotness for the players.
I was going to write a guest post for the Border House (a feminist gamer blog, but they also talk about other social issues in games, too) when the game came out, but I think I may write a post about the current reaction.
 

RoBi3.0

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Mar 29, 2009
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yunabomb said:
From what I have seen so far, Skullgirls is sexist, but not nearly as bad as most fighting games.

The problem isn't really that the characters are sexy or sexualized. The problem is that a lot of this sexiness has the purpose of fanservice (take a look at the screen shots for Valentine. Her stances are designed to show off boobage). When characters are designed to show off to presumeably male, heterosexual players, it cheapens the characters. This is a big problem in gaming (just look at Mortal Kombat. All the female characters are showing off all the time).

Now, how the characters act and comport themselves makes Skullgirls's portrayal of its characters far better than that of other fighting games. Their actions show off their personality and style. Whereas in other games the female characters are frequently showing off their hotness for the players.
,
Sonya Blade's costume in the new Mortal Kombat annoyed me a lot. I mean what serious cop would wear an outfit like that. Her bullet proof vest was more boob the vest. I doubt it is very effective at stopping bullets.
 

Yokai

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Oct 31, 2008
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I think this is one of those situations where everyone would benefit from just shutting the hell up. Fanservice is a bit silly, but not sexist in and of itself, especially in a game like this that clearly doesn't take itself seriously and you don't have boobs distracting the viewer from some grand storyline. There are plenty of actual examples of sexism in games--Dead or Alive and a good bit of DNF come to mind.

At the same time, the arguments against the sexism accusations come across as petty and grasping at straws, and I noticed at least one case of
The developers are really only making it worse for themselves by trying to justify the fanservice in their game, which invariably comes across as creepy in the eyes of those on the other side of the debate.

Let these guys draw their scantily clad anime girls, and those of us who enjoy that sort of thing can buy the game, and the rest can move on and find something useful to yell about.
 

Lt. Vinciti

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Nov 5, 2009
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Hmm....cartoony fighter game with women beating each others ass...

or

an AXE depicting all women as cum guzzling whores when you use their product


Which is moar sexist...

This is all stupid...Stupid Crusades over Stupid Shit
 

ckam

Make America Great For Who?
Oct 8, 2008
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The entire debate is stupid. Justifying it with such reasons was even worse.

Here's the solution: We should just forget about this issue, because there isn't any.
 

Jodah

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Aug 2, 2008
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RoBi3.0 said:
yunabomb said:
From what I have seen so far, Skullgirls is sexist, but not nearly as bad as most fighting games.

The problem isn't really that the characters are sexy or sexualized. The problem is that a lot of this sexiness has the purpose of fanservice (take a look at the screen shots for Valentine. Her stances are designed to show off boobage). When characters are designed to show off to presumeably male, heterosexual players, it cheapens the characters. This is a big problem in gaming (just look at Mortal Kombat. All the female characters are showing off all the time).

Now, how the characters act and comport themselves makes Skullgirls's portrayal of its characters far better than that of other fighting games. Their actions show off their personality and style. Whereas in other games the female characters are frequently showing off their hotness for the players.
,
Sonya Blade's costume in the new Mortal Kombat annoyed me a lot. I mean what serious cop would wear an outfit like that. Her bullet proof vest was more boob the vest. I doubt it is very effective at stopping bullets.
I feel there is an implant joke to be made here but I would be lowering myself by doing it...

OT: Everything anyone ever said, did, or thought is sexist and racist. This is a fact. Hell, what I just said is sexist and racist.
 

Frankster

Space Ace
May 11, 2020
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Well gotta give credit to the skullgirls devs, they've turned it around from "minor PR incident" to "awesome free advertising".

No real reason to keep beating on this horse.

RoBi3.0 said:
Sonya Blade's costume in the new Mortal Kombat annoyed me a lot. I mean what serious cop would wear an outfit like that. Her bullet proof vest was more boob the vest. I doubt it is very effective at stopping bullets.
What annoyed me even more was lack of original mk3/1 costume for her. But yeh her default costume was verging on hilarious, the whole thing was an exercise in defying physics.
 

Madara XIII

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Sep 23, 2010
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The_root_of_all_evil said:
I think Skullgirls has got a lot more column inches from this than it would have got otherwise.

Make of that what you will.

Now, how do I generate some more controversy for my new book "Was Hitler Gay?"
LMFAO I can imagine the Westboro Baptist Church using that argument for their agenda.

Secondly IDGAF what he was. He was a Twat in essence
 

Clankenbeard

Clerical Error
Mar 29, 2009
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Rooster Teeth verified the inadequacies of female fighter attire:
http://roosterteeth.com/archive/?id=1802

The Skullgirls are likely already fighting an uphill battle against their clothing. Let's not drag sexism into this.
 

Korbo

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Mar 2, 2011
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So, where are all the people looking at Ultimecia from FFVII and saying that game is sexist? Sexism is discrimination, not giving them miniskirts and J-cups. Jeez.
 

CK76

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Sep 25, 2009
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Yokai said:
At the same time, the arguments against the sexism accusations come across as petty and grasping at straws, and I noticed at least one case of
Thanks for posting that comic, a curious insight.

I play a lot of Japanese games (JRPGs) and one thing my friends point out is "many of the men are feminine in design" meaning lean like your comic depicts. Oddly, I identify more with lean male protagonist as opposed to bulky ones and prefer them (likely to do with fact I am lean).

Duke Nukem makes me more uncomfortable than Cloud Strife.
 

2733

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Sep 13, 2010
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This is an outrage! this is the clearest sexism in a game I have ever seen! to think in this day and age they could get away with producing a game with no male characters. I am offended and I say good day to you Sir!
 

Ravison

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Feb 9, 2011
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The_root_of_all_evil said:
Good Lord, I haven't seen an Evony advertisement in years. Does that game still exist? I knew a kid who actually played it, and it was so hilarious seeing the actual game compared to the advertisements.

The game itself doesn't so much as attempt to be titillating.

OT: When this topic first came up, I thought it looked like a fun and somewhat hilarious game. I'd say the controversy over this, if it isn't just two tiny groups getting into a public online shouting match, is way overblown. Besides, it's not like actually sexist media is at all hard to find. I think the gameplay in this game is going to hold it up, rather than the fact that the girls happen to be drawn to be cute.