This time reblogging from @big-wired, who was smart enough to convert it from garbage chat post format into a text one AND made a valuable addition to the list of things that (cis) white males can’t handle in games (and other media) because ‘historical accuracy’… in largely fantasy worlds.
Though we would be here all day if we were to list ALL the common and perfectly normal (often historically accurate) kinds of things and people that “ruin” the immersion of a Status Quo Warrior gamer dudebro.
Back to addressing some stuff that accumulated over the last month!
As always, please don’t submit (or tag us under) content that isn’t credited and can’t be easily traced back to its author(s).
It should REALLY not need to be said at this point, but bikini armor or otherwise sexualized female outfits are the absolute opposite of a costume that enhances the wearer’s mobility. That’s the kind of nonsense that gave us the Female Armor Rhetoric Bingo in the first place.
If that was actually the case, you’d think there would be more museums showcasing metal speedo armor.
(Article does link to some tweets that, unsurprisingly, contain particularly sexist, racist and islamaphobic statements)
That’s right bros, the Red Menace is back and it’s already taken your fighting fucktoys from Mortal Kombat. Though if you’re wondering how, I’ll save you time – none of them have any theory on the how or why beyond buzzword salad.
Companies making or localizing games in a way that does not cater to the way a particular (insensitive, misogynistic) audience demands are not engaging in censorship; they are simply marketing to wider audiences. Ironically, the same people who claim to be fighting for free speech in video games are now trying to punish NetherRealm Studios for making a game they’ve deemed offensive. But what they consider “offensive” is reducing a character’s visible cleavage and slightly changing her facial structure.
Ironically, as the article points out – it seems that Netherrealm did make some backsliding in terms of their (minimal) LGBT+ representation.
But to finish on a positive note, finally Sheeva actually looks like a demon warrior who could break you in half:
When Samus was in armor, guys respected her (and even said they wanted her armor). But girls didn’t give a damn. They still don’t give a damn about her in armor, whenever I see fanart of it, the artist is almost always a guy. But now that Nintendo is pushing her as a big-breasted latex model with a nice butt, fangirls are drawing her, saying they idolize her and want to be her (and saying they want her SHOES). Care to weigh in on what’s up with that?
So… since I haven’t heard anything like this… I went and asked one of my gamer friends who happens to be a woman what she thought. Here’s how she started her response:
“Please provide sources, if you’re going to attempt to tar girls with the same brush that is clearly lubricated by entitled male gamer tears, then you must provide the burden of proof.”
From there the rage intensifies and it gets kinda nerdy, so I shall just share the highlights:
“You’re referencing art of ZERO SUIT Samus, which rose to popularity with Super Smash Bros, which has targeted a younger demographic. It’s become commonplace to see Samus OUT of her suit rather than in it, despite it being an iconic image of Metroid. Back in itty bitty pixels, we saw as a bonus at the end of a game that Samus was a girl, thats it.”
“If they’d spent any time actually IN the gaming community of tumblr … then they’d be aware that the community ISN’T vocal in favour of Samus’ new look”
“She’s 6 foot 3 too, mind you, and weighs 90kg. The recent sexualisation/slimming of Samus is a move on NINTENDO’S part, not the gamer fangirl base.”
So to make sure this wasn’t a one off, I asked another friend:
“Firstly, Dudebro McFedora, you have no basis to say that women don’t like Samus. The odds are that you’ve probably never talked to a girl that’s played the games.”
From there the rage intensifies – so I will just share some of the highlights:
“I will say that I particularly want her shoes. They’re spark shooting death heels to beat up people. It’s wonderful; who wouldn’t want that?
They are not appropriate for SSB though BECAUSE THEY’RE FUCKING PUMPS. You can’t run around in that shit!”
“Samus in her armor is fantastic because it creates this unique position where anyone can play her and entitled ‘macho boiz’ never think to say, “Oh shit I don’t want to play as the girl” or “Sweet, the girl character is fucking hot.””
“Samus Aran is my role model.”
Also, I seem to recall seeing amazing fan art by women:
And amazing cosplays:
This is not to say there aren’t female gamers who only discovered Samus when they announced her high heels of doom, female gamers who really want to cosplay Samus in heels because they’ll look cute and sexy or female gamers who like the Zero Suit better than the armors for other reasons.
I say this theoretically because I did look to try to find some of them, and between quick searches for them and searches to find choice examples of art and cosplays… I didn’t find a single woman who suggested that she only became interested in Samus due to the Jet Boot heels.
So if you have come across women who only got into Samus due to the high heels, it’s still quite ridiculous to decide those particular women are somehow representative of women or female gamers as a whole. Particularly since the character first appeared in 1986 – so has had quite a while to grow a diverse fan base.
Trying to dismiss and/or erase huge numbers of female fans just so that you can try to pretend gender stereotypes are facts is pretty much the reason why the rage intensified.
Fantasy does NOT have to follow real world rules. Fantasy does NOT have to relate to some real world event, country, concept, law, or history. Fantasy does NOT have to mirror any particular time period or country, even if you’re basing your world on a real world one. There is NO SUCH THING as “historical accuracy” in fantasy as it relates to the real world.
THE ONLY THING Fantasy has to do to be believable is follow the established rules OF ITS OWN WORLD. Fantasy can literally be anything you imagine it to be.
If your fantasy world excludes people of color or those belonging to the LGBT+ community, if it’s grossly misogynistic and white cis-male centric, that’s because YOU made it that way. Stop blaming “historical accuracy” or “believability”. It’s not the genre; it’s YOU.
Ultimately, no matter the justifying rhetoric, it’s the creative decisions that will be under scrutiny, not some superficially “objective” rules regarding a fictional setting.
The cool thing (that people sometimes forget), is that a fantasy setting, rather than being historical fiction (somehow), instead illuminates the values of its creator. Sure, it feels bad to be called out, but it really does make you a better creator if you ask yourself: why are all my characters light skinned/skinny/cis/straight/male/etc?
Sometimes, there are good reasons, like if the story is about (to use a basic example) race-based oppression, and all the characters are on one side of that. But sometimes the reason is just “cause that’s what i like.” And honestly, besides being a bad reason, that’s just boring.
If I hadn’t gone through this process myself, I wouldn’t have my favorite Pathfinder OCs! Just sayin’.
yeah but, cartoon women, any drawn women, aren’t wearing those skimpy and sexual clothes out of choice, they’re wearing it because someone drew them that way, normally for a reason. so so don’t go “oh maybe she chooses to fight crime in a bikini and high heels” bc a man sat at a desk and decided she was gunna wear those clothes, for a reason, for the audience or his gaze. so no, its not slut shaming, its creepy man shaming
*applause* A point that sadly needs to be constantly reiterated. I’ve been saying exactly this for a long time now!
We’d appreciate never again having this nonsense rhetoric thrown at us.
As a well-known cartoon woman once said:
I get it; people get attached to fictional characters. I do it a lot, too. But that doesn’t mean that they’re real and sentient. All I think of when I hear a creator justify a character design with “she chose to dress that way,” is that they probably only sees the character as an object with no actual motivations.
Speaking of My Hero Academia, the official stage play costume designers also agree that Momo would not dress like that if she was a real person.
It’s almost as if suspiciously many of female comic/cartoon character outfits were not designed to be worn by actual humans…
And for those already furiously replying how her power set requires exposed skin, note the life-action version’s most crucial improvement: a zipper. Wow, now she can just unzip to do the freaky shit with her chest and belly skin and just zip back after she’s done? Who would have thought? ╮(╯ل͜╰)╭