Isn’t it interesting how often the response to criticisms such as the armor bingo card boil down to “but I have to keep using these tired offensive cliches because creativity”? Are they even listening to themselves? Why not take it as a challenge? “How can I create beautiful and original character designs without falling back on tropes that thousands and thousands of artists have used before me?” Now that would be creative.
Defending your “right” to use offensive tropes in character design (or writing, or whatever your creative endeavor of choice) isn’t “artistic integrity”. It’s laziness.
Yup. This^ Pretty much. Emphasis mine.
Whenever someone uses those arguments I’m all like:
Bringing this back as a lot of readers brought to our attention that Overwatch art book is due to come out next week and from the bits that were
revealed leaked, there was a lot more experimentation and actual diversity among early female character designs than there are in the final game.
Which confirms what we always said about supposed creative freedom among game industry artists. Namely, that designers don’t just start out only with generic sexy thin young ladies we’ve seen in every piece of pop media ever and get them approved right away.
Multiple concepts for the same character come through many, many revisions before being approved. And what gets approved, usually ends up on the safe side of the sliding scale of innovative vs. easily marketable ideas.
The process is long and involves many people (including artists of considerable talent and skill), but if the final product doesn’t challenge the intended (cishet white male) customer’s views and tastes in any way, it’s a safe bet that some iterations of the Creepy Marketing Guy and the “sex sells” philosophy got into it.
That’s exactly how we end up with armies upon armies of barely distinguishable pretty young video game ladies and grizzled stubbly white video games dudes.
As showcased in a link above, this is what Samara’s initial designs looked like, from The Art of the Mass Effect Universe:
And in the end, they went with the sexy red concept in the middle row, out of these 23 options of varying levels of sexualization. These are probably not all of their initial ideas, either. So what does that say about “creative freedom?”