Why women criticise sexualised character designs |OT2| I have no pants and I must scream (READ OP)

GLAVONAK

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,057
Damn. Had no idea.

Looks like Nintendo acted preemptively before any real legal trouble started, and I think this was the first (and only?) DOA game on Nintendo hardware.

Still, it's probably why in the earlier games Tecmo hid the ages of Kasumi and Ayane in the western versions. If the intention behind Marie Rose is true, then combined with this it's safe to say Tecmo konws exactly what it's doing.
yeah, iirc they were listed as 16 or so in the japanese versions and ?? in the us
 

esserius

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,842
Recently read through the Art of Mana book and WOW is it fascinating in the consistency of what the artists were thinking. The best designs from most of the games were from a couple of artists, while the worst ones were pretty consistently from a handful of other artists. But what I think was particularly telling, was that the artists who made good designs had much more abstract concepts when talking about their characters. Talking about making characters like flowers, or like sheathed blades, stalwart castles, etc. Meanwhile, the character designers whose design is mostly shit almost unanimously talked about, "well she needed to look like a high school girl, innocent and sweet" or, "she needed to be sexy to show her changing into a young woman", "she needed to look like you'd want to protect her", "she was evil, so she needed to have a certain look." (evil is sexy trope). It's interesting, because hearing Amano talk about character design is very similar to the former, characters needed to "flow outward" or "embody chaos", while artists like Nomura have stated similar things to the latter, like, "she needed a certain look to show her maturity." And the more I read about artists and how they talk about character designs, I continue to see this pattern emerge.

It seems like there's a lot to be said in an artist's maturity that's heavily related to them being able to visualize characters as personalities rather than objects. Of course, the other thing I noticed about artists who embody characters this way is that they pretty much never talked about a character as an archetype (characters weren't good or evil, they were just themselves) or mentioned "sexiness" as some sort of prerequisite. The character was in service to something they represent. And I guess from that mindset it's hard to imagine a character representing "sexiness", since it's not related to personality. I think this also might explain why Soejima talks about his frustration with Hashino when he was told that the character needed to be "more sexy"; their frame of reference isn't about their looks.
 
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timedesk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,047
Already a thread going on the topic but felt it ok to post it here
This is a pretty interesting article, and articulates a bit of my frustration with Blizzard's narrative direction for a long time. When I got to the end of SC2 WoL and saw the direction they were taking Kerrigan, I knew I was pretty much done with Blizzard's stories. It had been a pretty big buildup too, starting with how Jaina and Sylvanas were sidelined into irrelevance during Wrath of the Lich King, and what happened to Leah in Diablo 3.

This was a company that had a fair number of iconic female characters. They had used some cliche and gendered tropes with them, but they had been supported by solid writing and great performances. Now I can't think of a single Blizzard character I even like anymore.
 

y2kyle89

Member
Mar 16, 2018
1,108
Mass
To add to the Sylvanas bit: somewhere along the line her facial tattoos turned into running mascara and I think it looks really dumb.
 

Finaj

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,617
I thought Jaina had a pretty good arc with her mom in Battle for Azeroth. The whole company really does need new writers though. Christie Golden is good, but she only writes dialogue for WoW cutscenes and I have no idea what that CD Projekt Red writer is working on.
 

Disclaimer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,449
To add to the Sylvanas bit: somewhere along the line her facial tattoos turned into running mascara and I think it looks really dumb.
Yeah. The tattoos were just a holdover from her placeholder Night Elf model in vanilla WoW, but they shouldn't have been turned into running mascara. That really doesn't fit her character. (At least, insofar as she's had a consistent character at all in WoW...)
 

Finaj

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,617
Strangely enough, the running mascara only appears in cinematics. Her skin color is also completely different from in-game for some reason.
 

HockeyBird

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,636
Can't really speak to most of the Blizzard characters but Kerrigan was one of my favorite villains up until Starcraft II. I loved the way hers and Jim Raynor's arc ends in Brood War. Kerrigan betrays her Terran and Protoss allies, she ambushes them, and kills Fenix. Jim retreats but vows to her that he'll kill her one day. The original Starcraft was a pretty brutal world where significant characters died. The end of Brood War presents Kerrigan was someone that can't be redeemed or saved and that yes, Jim would have to kill her someday. Fast forward to Starcraft II, Jim is moping around around, depressed over a woman he barely knew when she was human and who murdered his friends and allies. And of course she does ultimately get redeemed and is actually the key to saving the universe. Bleh. Such a disappointing turn.
 

SchrodingerC

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,524
Kerrigan’s design in Starcraft 2 caused many eye rolls. The Zerg heels were peak dumb character design, including her weird addon breasts on top her carapace-like chest.

Speaking of Starcraft 2, I don’t think anyone’s character survived that meat grinder of terrible writing.
 

Xaszatm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,472

...ok I bash on Persona 5 a lot but really? really? Out of all the callbacks to past Persona games you go with this one? And like forget the fact that this is horrific as a trope to begin with, ANN IS A FUCKING VICTIM OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT! Her entire arc is dealing with how wrong sexual harassment is! How one of her friends nearly kills herself over it! Her entire arcana arc is (supposedly) about being there for her friend! And we just go "you know what would be cool? If we can perv on her some more!" GAH!
 

HockeyBird

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,636

...ok I bash on Persona 5 a lot but really? really? Out of all the callbacks to past Persona games you go with this one? And like forget the fact that this is horrific as a trope to begin with, ANN IS A FUCKING VICTIM OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT! Her entire arc is dealing with how wrong sexual harassment is! How one of her friends nearly kills herself over it! Her entire arcana arc is (supposedly) about being there for her friend! And we just go "you know what would be cool? If we can perv on her some more!" GAH!
I don't remember that last scene playing through the original Persona 5. It is from Royale? I didn't beat the game but I did make it to the second to last dungeon. Interestingly, there is a seen early on where Ryuji suggests going to the bath house. Anne says she's not in the mood, Ryuji is fine with it and he goes with just Joker. But in the anime, Anne does to go the bath house and they do that typical anime thing where the guys are anxious about there being a naked woman on the other side of the wall.
 

Xaszatm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,472
I don't remember that last scene playing through the original Persona 5. It is from Royale? I didn't beat the game but I did make it to the second to last dungeon. Interestingly, there is a seen early on where Ryuji suggests going to the bath house. Anne says she's not in the mood, Ryuji is fine with it and he goes with just Joker. But in the anime, Anne does to go the bath house and they do that typical anime thing where the guys are anxious about there being a naked woman on the other side of the wall.
Royale add-in

EDIT: Nevermind, it's from Scramble sorry for the misinformation.
 
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timedesk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,047

...ok I bash on Persona 5 a lot but really? really? Out of all the callbacks to past Persona games you go with this one? And like forget the fact that this is horrific as a trope to begin with, ANN IS A FUCKING VICTIM OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT! Her entire arc is dealing with how wrong sexual harassment is! How one of her friends nearly kills herself over it! Her entire arcana arc is (supposedly) about being there for her friend! And we just go "you know what would be cool? If we can perv on her some more!" GAH!
Are you kidding me? You know, years ago I used to defend Persona 4. I would excuse the homophobia, the fat shaming, the horrible camp gay stuff, all of it. I was so impressed that a game would even try to tackle subjects like questioning your sexuality and toxic masculinity, that I thought it excused all it's "missteps". I truly thought it was the start of a progressive trend in JRPGs, and when Persona 5 was announced I was still believed that. Yeah Golden had pushed the fanservice, and Q and Dancing all Night had reduced the characters to empty quirks, but a mainline game, I still had faith in that.

I was such a freaking idiot. I should have known what this game was going to be the second I saw Ann's outfit. The game is so freaking awful in how it undermines its few good points and moments. And of course the Royal version and the spinoffs just make it worse. One of the only effective bits of social commentary the game had was how destructive sexual harassment can be, and the second they move away from it, out come all the usual sex jokes and objectifications, and obsession with making every single woman a potential love interest. I want to hope a change in leadership could fix this franchise, but I think it will probably only get worse.
 

Minsc

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,428
This post is probably one of the best I've seen calling out / exposing people to just how bad Persona 4 & 5 really are (though it does require one to understand how terrible SAO is to really have it deliver). And the reactions are just as gold in the thread following the post. But since Persona an arguably fun, popular, higher budget, quirky JRPG, it gets away with it to a larger degree than it should imo.
 

Manu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,461
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Going back to MH Riders, opinions on Clouet?




I only wish she was wearing more clothes but at the same time I kinda admire the fact they gave the skimpiest outfit to a bigger girl and didn't play it as a joke? Especially since there isn't any body diversity in Monster Hunter usually.

I'm so conflicted on her design lol

She'd be perfect with some pants/a longer skirt imo.
 

DealWithIt

Member
Oct 28, 2017
888
Been playing Xenoblade chronicles X. There's a bunch of boob armor designs, but there are also a lot of reasonable designs, complete with a fashion gear setting to let you choose a look, no matter what armor you choose for stats.

There is also some male sexualization, though there's less. I'm wondering how this game comes off to people around here. Is it okay to have sexualized designs if you can opt out with fashion gear? Does some male sexualization balance out female sexualization?

https://m.imgur.com/a/7Ivr5 a sampling of designs at the link.
 

Famassu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,036
Is it okay to have sexualized designs if you can opt out with fashion gear?
No

Does some male sexualization balance out female sexualization?

https://m.imgur.com/a/7Ivr5 a sampling of designs at the link.
No, not really because male sexualization simply doesn't carry the same weight, generally isn't framed in the same manner, and the answer overall really isn't to start making everyone into sex objects. Let's just take context into account. People saving the world in bathing suits is dumb no matter what the gender. People participating in a fancy party = having a sexy dress isn't out of the question (though framing should be taken into account). Two people developing a relationship and having sexy times = nudity is ok. Traversing deserts, mountainous terrain and forests in high heels = not ok.
 

Joe2187

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,995
What yall think of Seths story mode?


Seth is basically a broken shadow of their former self, literally a blind berserking psychopath hell bent on proving their more than just a mass produced doll unit, desperate to form their own personality and identity and seemingly permanently lost inside their madness.
 

RedHoodedOwl

Member
Nov 3, 2017
10,267
What yall think of Seths story mode?


Seth is basically a broken shadow of their former self, literally a blind berserking psychopath hell bent on proving their more than just a mass produced doll unit, desperate to form their own personality and identity and seemingly permanently lost inside their madness.
Well, that's a downer ending. Seth just want to confront Bison but he is still dead.
 

Platy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,653
Brazil
What yall think of Seths story mode?


Seth is basically a broken shadow of their former self, literally a blind berserking psychopath hell bent on proving their more than just a mass produced doll unit, desperate to form their own personality and identity and seemingly permanently lost inside their madness.
I think it is inclusive to have a character call seth "they" and STILL have a huge butt shot in a cutscene

¬¬
 

FallenGrace

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,406
So finally played Darksiders 3, Furys design is not great. It's very 90s comic book style as the Darksiders series is so I expected it. That said I quite like her character.

I'd heard positive things about Lust though and I fully concur. They could have gone the obvious route but went in a much better direction and even gave them a good explanation. Was pleasantly surprised.
 

misho8723

Member
Jan 7, 2018
1,640
Slovakia


Hugo, in a interview, said they went with a design that they can use in marketing.

"Series' first female demon"
Someone already forgot about Spider Mastermind and Summoner (atleast to the team they were designed to be feminine in contrast to most other demons)? Or Mother Demon from 64 ? And what about Vagary from Doom3?

Or are they talking about the series in this case as just the 2016 game and Eternal? And don't think that SM was really a demon and that Summoner was just made to look feminine but isn't actually a male or female?
 

Dary

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,730
The English Wilderness
"Series' first female demon"
Someone already forgot about Spider Mastermind and Summoner (atleast to the team they were designed to be feminine in contrast to most other demons)? Or Mother Demon from 64 ? And what about Vagary from Doom3?

Or are they talking about the series in this case as just the 2016 game and Eternal? And don't think that SM was really a demon and that Summoner was just made to look feminine but isn't actually a male or female?
It's all sounds a bit "Lightning is the first female protagonist in a Final Fantasy game"...
 
Yeah in a way, because people are aware of wanting inclusiveness in the media (this case games), they wanted to be upfront even if the series was kinda already doing it thing. Personally, making the character is a good move but the approach of marketing or stating the demon is questionable.

I do question if a game should be upfront if characters are queer so that the audience is aware of a character's sexuality and orientation. But is that harmful to do so in terms of story of the game or invasion of the character's privacy.
 

Jamesac68

Member
Oct 27, 2017
570
On my list of things I never thought about, "Is pinky male or female?" wasn't even on the list because due to the sheer volume of not-thinking-about-it I did.
 

Redcrayon

Zoinks!
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
6,801
I remember criticising XB2 designs in this thread a lot when the site launched, mainly as the two things occurred around the same time. For that reason I always associate the discussion with this community and Era in general.

I hope they move past such reliance on sexualised design in terms of art direction for the next one. Much like how Fire Emblem Fates was heavily criticised for it (often by me in here), but then Three Houses, despite a few missteps, is largely spoken about for the branching plotline and wider characterisation of the cast. That’s a step forward and away from the murk that I didn’t think would happen so quickly.
 

hat_hair

Member
Oct 26, 2017
751
Xenoblade will absolutely crop up again when the remake comes out and people who haven't played it are introduced to Sharla and 7th's outfits in HD.
 

Dice

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,017
Canada
I honestly think I'd make less a stink about this issue if the reasons people defend weren't so damn stupid.

It is LITERALLY. THIS. over and over.

 
Oct 26, 2017
9,434
I honestly think I'd make less a stink about this issue if the reasons people defend weren't so damn stupid.

It is LITERALLY. THIS. over and over.

I've seen this posted before, but never clicked until now. I'm dying here....I love the slow buildup, and his constant glasses adjustments.

Just noticed you actually jumped into the thick of it in that thread, Dice. Hats off to you. I'm not that strong or brave. I noped out fast.
 
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FallenGrace

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,406
I've seen this posted before, but never clicked until now. I'm dying here....I love the slow buildup, and his constant glasses adjustments.

Just noticed you actually jumped into the thick of it in that thread, Dice. Hats off to you. I'm not that strong or brave. I noped out fast.
Yeah Dice has been great in that thread. I've been reading it but mostly staying out the way as it just makes me angry people can be so blind to what is obvious to me.

It's like watching a car wreck in a lot of cases.
 

grandjedi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,735
Xenoblade will absolutely crop up again when the remake comes out and people who haven't played it are introduced to Sharla and 7th's outfits in HD.
Maybe. Maybe not. Those designs are bad but it's nothing compared to Xenoblade 2's nonsense. Plus those designs only show up deep in the game and I feel like the common perception of Xenoblade is based on the early hours (which also includes a decent design for Fiora).

But there is also new character designs and nothing riles up the internet like changing something. I wouldn't be surprised if the new designs of Sharla and Fiora piss people off even if they have the same problems as the originals.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Oct 26, 2017
11,795
Madrid
My SO and myself are binging Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (amazing show, terrible title). One of the songs managed to encapsulate a feminist paradox I've been thinking over quite a lot myself. This being kind of Era's unofficial feminism thread (there's no official one as far as I can tell), I wanted to know what others in this thread thought about this topic. Sorry, Morrigan; at least it's not anime. :D

I've seen this posted before, but never clicked until now. I'm dying here....I love the slow buildup, and his constant glasses adjustments.

Just noticed you actually jumped into the thick of it in that thread, Dice. Hats off to you. I'm not that strong or brave. I noped out fast.
ProZD is just too good for this world. If you haven't, I recommend binging his skits, they're pretty much all 10/10.
 
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ObbyDent

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,464
Los Angeles
Just started Witcher 3 a few days ago. The female characters designs in the game are fucking bullshit. So many plunging necklines, some all the way down the torso. Not to mention have of them have the same face.

Not leaving me very excited for Cyberpunk tbh