Infamous gacha game Genshin Impact is introducing Kujou Sara, and I have to say… this is probably the most bizarre “sex sells but keep it family” outfit I have seen in a while.(If you’re not familiar with gacha games, they’re basically a micro-payment scam that uses fake randomness).

Not the mask used as a fascinator, not the inexplicable window on her back, not the skirts that seem to only exist only to blow up and show her legs – nor the odd peakaboo slits on the sides of her shorts, nor the or the skin tight top – but rather the weird piece of cloth that sits on top of of the vacuum sealed top to incorporate underboob and nipple tease without actually showing any torso skin.

She is also possibly the worst archer in the history of bad archers.

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Now… obviously expectations are low for this genre of game, but this particular gacha game has had made spread in the market and multiple articles about tis monetization techniques – so this remains an example of how this kind of trash design goes unquestioned in modern media.

– wincenworks

This Instagram account, mind_flayer_meltdown has been re-titling classic Dungeons and Dragons covers with hilariously accurate commentaries.  These particular examples are glorious.

Of course, sometimes they get political and it’s just perfect.

It’s easy to dismiss this as “product of its time” or just something of by-gone days, particularly as the current management of Wizards of the Coast and the connected companies have been very actively trying to do better – but its important to remember that these are essentially formative works both in tabletop roleplayiing games and fantasy in general.

That’s… that’s a problem.

– wincenworks

(h/t: Slovenly Trulls for drawing my attention to this gallery of masterpieces)
Specific sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

eschergirls:

cover of Zenescope comic's escape from monster island with a brunette woman in a boba fett outfit except with her back bent 90 degrees and the outfit being a skintight boob window version

Originally published at: https://eschergirls.com/photo/2021/07/01/way-escher-girl

Mandalorians are trained in many forms of combat, such as the battle bikini rubber spine style.

(Cover of Escape From Monster Island #1, Zenescope Entertainment)

Okay, now we’ve all recovered from the psychic damage caused by this… not-anatomy, I’d like to make matters worse. This is the “cosplay variant” cover which I guess means its “inspired” by a cosplayer… possibly in the same creepy manner J Scott Campbell was with some of his personal artworks.

In order to find out who they did this to, I had to do a worrying amount of searching: It’s Leeana Vamp (who I have met in person and can confirm, she is very lovely) cosplay of Boba Fett, lingerie version specifically:

I was also able to confirm that they did not credit her, contact her regarding it or even respond to her tweet asking about it:

Now that may not be all of it – because early in the searches my first thought was that based on the face and hair, it was inspired this is the cosplay by Lauren Browne and was very confused why they’d altered her outfit so much and removed her tattoos.

That’s because in a lot of Vamp’s cosplay pics, she’s wearing pants (conventions are usually family friend events) and the helmet… because Boba Fett; and Lauren just happens to look a little more like Generic J Scott Campbell Paul Green Babe.

It’s almost impossible to match a “likeness” with in individual using this “style” typical of companies like Zenescope, which take objectifying women to new levels. Neither Zenescope, nor the artist himself gives any vague credit to any cosplayer.

And he has a whole calendar of this shit that Zenescope is selling (note, this artwork was from 2016 ):ites, he doesn’t follow groups run by cosplayers – he looks at those creepy as fuck “sexy cosplay girls” sites/groups that don’t credit the models and are avoided by cosplayers because of the comments sections.

And he has a whole calendar of this shit that Zenescope is selling (note, this artwork was from 2016 and the current year is 2021):

So what I’m saying is: Fuck Zenescope

– wincenworks 

Selected art of Bryan Syme

I was originally going to feature Siobhan largely due to excitement about the consistency applied to celtic imagery (including using braids instead of locs).

However I felt this selection of his work showcases how once you get away from the expectation that your female characters must be sexy and wear poorly observed/designed bikinis.

Heroic, sinister, rebellious, elegantly powerful, knife gremlin…

…when you commit first and foremost to character design, the potential is limitless.

After all, you can always have them show some skin (nsfw) under more personal circumstances.

– wincenworks

Saoirse from Empires and Puzzles
Referred by @jesuswasbatman

This one is particularly interesting, because Saoirse does have many traits that we don’t often get to see in heroines.

  • Advanced age
  • Powerful stance
  • Evidence of experience (scars and muscles)

However, when juxtaposed with, Anzogh, the first male barbarian I could find, looking in the 5 star heroes, she also serves as a great example of how media tends to present female barbarians differently.

The key consideration on this work is why is the armor and why the specific placement and design of the armor? Why this design? Particularly if its a more complicated design than regular armor.

Anzogh has a ridiculous cow skull on his belt, and a strap across his chest, bone bracelets to emphasise how little he has – it conveys that his is powerful and needs none of the convenience of civilization (like armor). Sometimes these characters have massive pauldrons to give them a more menacing silhouette

Saoirse has armor on her arms, and bits of her legs, the gaps in her armor are not to show power or independence, but to showcase her body from tits to hips. It’s to assure you that despite these weapons, her age and being on the battlefield… she’s got it going on. Generally when characters like this get shoulder, hip or thigh armor it’s to accentuate their hips and frame their torso pleasingly.

This is, of course, completely redundant. She’s got it going on, she’s an experienced woman with immense power – that is a guaranteed recipe for unmitigated horniness from large portions of the audience. Her appeal comes not despite these things, but because of them. There is absolutely no need to give her a battle bikini with a flimsy loincloth.

In conclusion, she’s better than the average bikini armor babe, but still such a missed opportunity for a genuinely great design due to general trends of female armor design that lead to the prevalence of the bikini armor babes (and the shortage of truly empowered men).

A powerful topless barbarian woman she ain’t.

– wincenworks

Fuck Activision-Blizzard and anyone who looks like ‘em

Fuck ’em with a cactus

If you follow news regarding video games, or anything vaguely relating to feminism you’ll be aware that in the last few months there’s been numerous outings of video game developers running their offices as some sort of hellscape where white men are encouraged to act on worst impulses.

Content warnings for racism, sexual harassment mention of suicide

Activision-Blizzard

Currently the state of California is engaged in a lawsuit against Blizzard-Activision since it has determined, based on its history of complaints and the seriousness of those complaints – that the company is literally a hazard to the well being of the state.

Charges include a massive amount general harassment and truly horrifying behaviour including, but not limited to:

  • One employee feeling so harassed she committed suicide on a work trip where she had to accompany her main harasser – who also brought sex toys on that work trip.
  • Having a “Bill Cosby” suite at conventions which was a hotel room that existed primarily for managers (including a HR manager) to offer a lot of booze to attractive female con goers in the hopes of then coercing them into sex.
  • Harassing a Black woman employee to the extent she was required to write a one page essay explaining what she would do with the leave she was entitled to, before they would consider approving it.

The company’s responses to this were to pretend it was insulting they could be accused of such, issue a fauxpology for anyone upset and then hire a union busting law firm to suppress their staff who have begun actively protesting them.

Then there is well… this headline… being a real thing…

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Sadly, Blizzard is far from the only company that is having this sort of thing going on.

Ubisoft

Much like Blizzard employees, Ubisoft employees have been publicly voicing that they have to endure a “culture of abuse” and was responded to by their CEO, Yves Guillemot, who acted like this was a complaint about a coffee machine not working.

Its not surprising since review of the conglomerate finds that its founders have basically been treating it like their own personal West World for decades, with everything ranging from subsidy abuse and tax avoidance to horrifying instances of sexual harassment.

This is separate to, but following up how this same culture of abuse led to several of their key staff getting outed as sexual abusers last years. Employees are pointing out that CEO claiming in the last year or so that he will fix things, has actively and obviously continued to support abusers.

Quantic Dream

Sometimes it seems that David Cage spends more time in court than he does in his studio – a couple of months after managing to overturn charges of being a toxic workplace on appeal, the studio essentially confirmed they’re much worse than that in a defamation case around the reporting of said toxic work environment – perhaps best summarized by a single quote…

“But I’m not under oath, so can I lie?” – Quantic Dream co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumière

David Cage also reported threw a tantrum in the court because he felt it was impinging on his honour. Try imagining working at a place where the man in charge, who famously doesn’t keep promises (cw: Elliot Page deadnamed due to old article here), does that sort of thing when called out. Yeah.

So if you’ve ever wondered why we’re sceptical of claims that “x is actually a great place to work” or “well it wasn’t proven so those reports of employee abuse can’t be trusted” statements – now you know.

Riot Games

The company makes League of Legends, and which employees former Blizzard executive and Biil Cosby suite enthusiast and which tried to get out of trouble by offering to pay $10 million to settle gender discrimination cases in 2019, the amount was described as “measely” by law professionals and rjected by the Department of Fair Employment, also has an ongoing lawsuit against them from the state of California.

Also earlier this year they advised that their CEO Nicolo Laurent “did no wrong” when he fired a female employee for not being interested in having sex with him.

So many more….

The worst part is these are just the biggest companies, which have had the most public outings of their abuse – thousands of reports of abuse by others have been surfacing in the wake of these stories.

Most heart-breaking of all are the women who talk about having experienced these companies, or just the wider industry, first hand they couldn’t bring themselves to be surprised or shocked.

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This isn’t just video games. This isn’t just the entertainment industry. This is every industry where people are told they’re “lucky” to work there and become beholden to the whims of parasitic corporate shitlords who are used to getting away with everything.

There are, of course, also a staggering number of other abuses such as crunch, labour exploitation, and tax avoidance… such is the world we live in.

– wincenworks &~Ozzie

Okay Google… show me what happens when Nier: Automata imagery gets to outright fetish levels….

Now, my housemate assures me to that 2P is a quality character but this is really an eye gouging example of what happens when certain types of executives lean into a particular mythical aspect of a complex work of media that happens to have some uniquely honest rhetoric.

Particularly I would like to draw attention to who’s not present in this marketing material ignores literally some of the most important characters in Nier: Automata.

This is why we don’t trust explanations for why female protagonists have to have convoluted sexy costumes…. because if nothing else it means that they’ve decided they’re comfortable with making that a cornerstone of their brand.

And… I don’t even know what to do with this except cringe.

– wincenworks

So… Fortnite is supposed to be a game for kids, hence there’s no blood and lots of tactics to make kids scream at their parents that they totally need a skin or a dance.

So it’s kind of weird that when I did a search for best female skins, this weird rip off of Blizzard’s style pops up with her inexplicably bared armpits (do children really care if women shave their armpits?) and overly complicated boobplate.

Oh well, at least this was only the second item on the list… the first is well… I wouldn’t say its great armor but at least I can see how it is for children…

Still… can’t find any sort of female equivalent of the John Wick Skin, the Totally Not John WickReaper Skin or… wait are kids watching John Wick?

I’m starting to think that maybe, a large part of their market is maladjusted adult men who throw tanrums at the slight hint of diversity in anything.

– wincenworks