bikiniarmorbattledamage:

I think it’s been long enough but if you find yourself getting ready to type up a comment related to Mass Effect: Andromeda’s animations please consider watching this educational video from Extra Credits and not commenting here instead.  This post is going to be a clarification of what we mean when we say Creepy Marketing Guy, and since the first post on this topic featured Samara, it’s only fair that Cora be the star of the clarification.

First, let’s start with what we do not mean when we refer to Creepy Marketing Guy.  It does not refer to:

What we instead refer to is a product where you can see the development team’s intentions are to create something where every element is involved in telling a specific story – and then someone (usually marketing) steps in and makes the change specific parts of them with the assumption that the cishet male demographic needs the sexual availability of at least one female character broadcast to them in order to be interested in the unrelated aspects.

In this case, they pick Cora Harper, who is an ultra-professional soldier (one of the most battle hardened in the team), introduced as being calm in a crisis, the second in command on the mission, and seems to use “male” set of animations for her running, etc (instead of the elbows-in butt wiggle run generally assigned to female characters, including fem!Ryder).

Then you see in the outfit in the top of the post before launching into the tutorial mission, during which she appears in cut scenes like this:

image
image

Pretty much every other female character in the establishing chapters of the game has pragmatic, non-gendered attire on and off the battlefield. But, since Cora is a romance option for bro!Ryder, she apparently needs to wear a fetish outfit sculpted around her boobs and butt, while on the battlefield. The other female member of the away team who is a romance option also similarly needs to broadcast she’s got a sexy side (she also only owns one set of clothes).

image

All other traits other than romance option to bro!Ryder are considered secondary – to the extent now Cora looks not just contradictory to her character but out of place in the game about exploring a new galaxy, finding wondrous alien technology and shaping humanity’s future. 

(This does not seem to apply to the male romance options, examples 1 & 2)

Ironically this now means she is so out of place cannot be included in marketing material without making the game look a ridiculous parody of a dramatic adventure exploring alien worlds in a new galaxy. It’s almost like they should have just given her one of the dozens of pragmatic outfits I am sure the concept artists designed for Cora before being told to sex it up.

– wincenworks

What is it with the “above boobs and under boobs belts” design feature that’s become so popular lately? Also, I thought Ashley’s outfit in Mass Effect 3 was insulting; the new BioWare studio really took it up a notch, though. … Good job?

I’ve read none of the promotional material for ME:A before it came out, so when I watched part of a Let’s Play of it out of curiosity, I couldn’t believe that Cora was this battle-hardened badass soldier type; I thought she was just another human on the ship. Her design makes me think of EDI before anything else. Those really sad attempts at actual armor pieces (like the baby plates on her shoulders) somehow make it worse, like Creepy Marketing Guy begrudgingly allowed it.

Also, send help, that butt window is staring into my soul.

-Icy

Cora Harper Official Character Sheet 

This throwback is as the reminder that the problem of ridiculous female armor design is a wide spread enough probably that even studios known for being progressive end up falling prey to it.

That and well I recently acquired the Mass Effect Adult Coloring Book, which features Cora in it, but she’s clearly more inspired by the costume design than the writing in the game…

image

So much good work can be lost by pandering to an unappreciative demographic.

– wincenworks

bikiniarmorbattledamage:

lifeofkj:

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:

image

The above reblog belongs with this one and this one, that’s why their mutual subject, creative freedom, gets its own tag now!

~Ozzie

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.

~Ozzie

As showcased in a link above, this is what Samara’s initial designs looked like, from The Art of the Mass Effect Universe:

image

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?”

-Icy

bikiniarmorbattledamage:

lifeofkj:

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:

image

The above reblog belongs with this one and this one, that’s why their mutual subject, creative freedom, gets its own tag now!

~Ozzie

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.

~Ozzie

As showcased in a link above, this is what Samara’s initial designs looked like, from The Art of the Mass Effect Universe:

image

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?”

-Icy

I think it’s been long enough but if you find yourself getting ready to type up a comment related to Mass Effect: Andromeda’s animations please consider watching this educational video from Extra Credits and not commenting here instead.  This post is going to be a clarification of what we mean when we say Creepy Marketing Guy, and since the first post on this topic featured Samara, it’s only fair that Cora be the star of the clarification.

First, let’s start with what we do not mean when we refer to Creepy Marketing Guy.  It does not refer to:

What we instead refer to is a product where you can see the development team’s intentions are to create something where every element is involved in telling a specific story – and then someone (usually marketing) steps in and makes the change specific parts of them with the assumption that the cishet male demographic needs the sexual availability of at least one female character broadcast to them in order to be interested in the unrelated aspects.

In this case, they pick Cora Harper, who is an ultra-professional soldier (one of the most battle hardened in the team), introduced as being calm in a crisis, the second in command on the mission, and seems to use “male” set of animations for her running, etc (instead of the elbows-in butt wiggle run generally assigned to female characters, including fem!Ryder).

Then you see in the outfit in the top of the post before launching into the tutorial mission, during which she appears in cut scenes like this:

image
image

Pretty much every other female character in the establishing chapters of the game has pragmatic, non-gendered attire on and off the battlefield. But, since Cora is a romance option for bro!Ryder, she apparently needs to wear a fetish outfit sculpted around her boobs and butt, while on the battlefield. The other female member of the away team who is a romance option also similarly needs to broadcast she’s got a sexy side (she also only owns one set of clothes).

image

All other traits other than romance option to bro!Ryder are considered secondary – to the extent now Cora looks not just contradictory to her character but out of place in the game about exploring a new galaxy, finding wondrous alien technology and shaping humanity’s future. 

(This does not seem to apply to the male romance options, examples 1 & 2)

Ironically this now means she is so out of place cannot be included in marketing material without making the game look a ridiculous parody of a dramatic adventure exploring alien worlds in a new galaxy. It’s almost like they should have just given her one of the dozens of pragmatic outfits I am sure the concept artists designed for Cora before being told to sex it up.

– wincenworks

What is it with the “above boobs and under boobs belts” design feature that’s become so popular lately? Also, I thought Ashley’s outfit in Mass Effect 3 was insulting; the new BioWare studio really took it up a notch, though. … Good job?

I’ve read none of the promotional material for ME:A before it came out, so when I watched part of a Let’s Play of it out of curiosity, I couldn’t believe that Cora was this battle-hardened badass soldier type; I thought she was just another human on the ship. Her design makes me think of EDI before anything else. Those really sad attempts at actual armor pieces (like the baby plates on her shoulders) somehow make it worse, like Creepy Marketing Guy begrudgingly allowed it.

Also, send help, that butt window is staring into my soul.

-Icy

Cora Harper Official Character Sheet 

omaaoc:

dragonreine:

harrumphandhuzzah:

lesbianrey:

mirandaputsherbestbuttforward:

knight-enchanter:

Sarah and Scott Ryder covers, side by side [x]

thank god n7 armor conforms to my feminine 20 inch waist

And gives my boobs little hatches, i mean we wouldnt want my boobs to NOT have little hatches they could escape thru before the rest of the body dies

@kathteamonroe this just in on “stupid design for female characters”

@bikiniarmorbattledamage

So, after the posing double standard fiasco on promotional image last year, Mass Effect Andromeda fixed it and gave female and male character the same exact pose in more recent artwork… yet introduced a whole slew of new double standard problems instead, like obvious body type difference and what seems to be the next stage of boobplate: nipple hatches.

One step forward, two steps backwards. This is very awkward, Bioware.

~Ozzie

I’ve been holding back on commenting too much on Andromeda promotion material just because it’s been a wild ride and, as we’ve covered previously, Mass Effect has an odd history of jumping back and forward with quality of female costumes.

image

Given the juxtaposition between Dragon Age’s general design shifts and Mass Effect’s I can’t help but worry part of this this problem is that since Mass Effect is science fiction and hence seen as more accessible it gets more interference from Creepy Marketing Guy.

This is doubly a shame since it would be nice if we could have a vision of the future where these kind of double standards are not an issue.

– wincenworks

me4fanart:

Men of the Normandy – Kaidan by Me4Fan

Cover art for Men of the Normandy

The fic makes it clear this is Kaidan volunteering to help out but as we know from Samara’s design – this is a totally practical way to go into battle if you’re a highly skilled biotic warrior.

So really it’s just oppressive uniform regulations that prevent Kaidan from going into battle like this all the time. Think of all the empowerment we missed out on.

– wincenworks