bikiniarmorbattledamage:

Brigitte and Overwatch’s continous female design problem

We talked already about Brigitte’s costume, but there’s a whole lot of other issues about her character design that shouldn’t be overlooked. Again, it’s a nice idea to have a new lady in actual armor in the game, though we wouldn’t be BABD if we didn’t point out some obvious and less obvious problems that can be spotted with her. 

She’s, after Moira, another white European lady in a row, while still the closest to black female representation among playable heroes is Orisa, a robot (and before anyone says it – nope, none of the dark-skinned female characters are black).
For a game that prides itself in having diverse international cast, Overwatch can not imagine people of color color coming from places that wouldn’t be POC-dominant already (also lots of their heroes of color somehow happen to be morally dubious compared to white ones). And just because Brigitte is a pre-established character doesn’t yet excuse prioritizing adding her to the game over someone with different background. 

It’s kind of funny how after being unnamed for no reason in her last major media appearance, the Reinhardt animated short, now Brigitte got elevated from a supporting lore character to one of main heroes. This, paired with ridiculous lack of consistency in her cross-media appearances gives us a strong feeling that no-one at Blizzard is overseeing writing and art direction of Overwatch as a franchise. Fans who spot constant retcons in the story would agree.

Speaking of no visual consistency, seems like from comics to the animated short to the actual game Brigitte finished her long journey from a unique-looking person to another standard issue pretty face. 

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And no, different artists working on each of those appearances isn’t an excuse for how only her hair and skintone remain relatively consistent. Her crucial features like jawline, freckles, nose shape and size, how big her eyes are and how strong her chin is shouldn’t alter so widely just because of art style change. Blizzard is perfectly capable of making and using style guides – and when they don’t, it’s either by choice or negligence.

And if you wondered what we meant by “standard issue pretty face”, this pic, for obvious reasons, has gained some major mileage around the Internet: 

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Congrats, Blizzard! You officially care about diverse female appearances as little Disney does! (image sources: [x] & [x]) 

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Or maybe the jokes are true and the (weak) excuse for looking like clones is the same as for the Frozen ladies? Mercy is Brigitte’s real mom!

Not to mention that Blizzard can’t make up their mind on what Brigitte’s body type is supposed to be. Is she thin and curvy as virtually every other Overwatch lady? Is she almost as buff as Zarya? Something inbetween? Who knows.

I saw some fans trying to excuse her twig arms from Christmas comic as being possibly earliest in the timeline, but no official channel would confirm or deny any speculation. Overwatch is pretty satisfied with fans using their headcanons to justify whatever information the story canon won’t commit to. Why make an effort when fans can do your job for you? 

~Ozzie

“Brigitte Lindholm, squire to Reinhardt Wilhelm, is a former mechanical engineer who has decided to take up arms and fight on the front lines to protect those in need.”

If I didn’t know anything about this character and was just reading her background blurb, I would be imagining a character design more akin to this:

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Why build a regular armor and shield when I can pilot a 12-foot-tall exoskeleton? Her father builds turrets during combat, it would have been cool if she had skills related to building and adjusting her own armor in-combat.

Her design doesn’t inform me of her character at all, which is a problem with several of the Overwatch cast (mostly ladies, I wonder why that is). She wears armor, but so does Pharah; is she also a soldier? She has no welding mask or a tool belt that would indicate that she’s a mechanic type. I get that she doesn’t want to just fix things on the sidelines, but she does throw out armor for her allies. It isn’t a stretch to flavor it as her fixing her team’s equipment in the heat of battle, and she does get a welding mask in a different skin but not the primary one?

Her color scheme is almost the same as Mercy’s, with silver (instead of white), yellow and black being the core, which really isn’t helping that same-face problem, Blizzard. Not to mention the shapes are very similar to Pharah’s. There’s just nothing new here design-wise, and I am disappointed.

-Icy

So since the screaming baby rage machine is still going full throttle, it’s probably worth bringing this back to highlight how this issue goes and the general expectations regarding fictional buff ladies.

After decades of pandering, capital-G gamers will accept buff ladies if:

  • They’re clearly in the service of a manly (cishet) man
  • They have some cute costuming to make them non-threatening
  • They are easily Disneyfied

They will lose their shit if the lady:

It’s never really about what they say it is – it’s always about “does this clearly prioritize me above everyone else, to the extent of excluding others”.

– wincenworks

bikiniarmorbattledamage:

krixwell:

dare-to-dm:

feministgamingmatters:

I am really struggling to write academically about this trend of developers making up bad excuses for not including women because what I really want to say is that it sucks and it’s adding insult to injury and could you please just be honest and say you don’t wanna.

Oh yeah, I’m sick of it too.  And it feels like it just keeps happening and it’s insulting to our intelligence.  Like

Ubisoft: We can’t have a female protagonist because they’re too hard to animate!

Logical Retort: What about all those female characters you already animated?

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What they should have admitted: We didn’t want to make a woman protagonist.  

~~~~~

Konami: Quiet can’t wear clothes because she’s infected by a parasite that makes her breathe through her skin and she’d suffocate!

Logical Retort: Well then how come that other guy with the same parasite was covered head to toe?

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What they should have admitted: We wanted her to be eye candy.

~~~~~

Bungie: Cortana is rendered without any clothes because it gives her a psychological advantage over her opponents!

Logical Retort: Then how come the “male” AIs are rendered with clothing?

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What they should have admitted: We wanted her to be eye candy.

~~~~~

Nintendo: Link can’t be a woman because no one would relate to them!

Logical Retort: 48% of gamers would probably love to see a character like them.  And much of the other 52% may appreciate the novelty.

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What they should have admitted: We really like making the exact same concept over and over.

Stop.  Your BS excuses are honestly almost more insulting than the truth.

@bikiniarmorbattledamage

First let us begin with a summary of many of the reblogs by individuals who have very predictable responses.

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The basic arguments being spewed up are the usual suspects:

Basically all variants on the “I am threatened by examination of my hobby and would prefer we maintain a world where I am unfairly celebrated than move toward one where I am expected to recognize other people as human.”

Really there’s only two reasons we keep getting this trash:

  1. Developers who want to make out their personal fantasies and expect everyone to praise them unconditionally for it
  2. Creepy Marketing Guy convinces the stakeholders to follow an old myth that sounds appealing but, in reality, doesn’t work.

Obviously, neither of these is really a good explanation so instead of the honest truth we get the a worrying state on ongoing denial of both the problem and the consequences.

– wincenworks

More on rhetoric on BABD | BABD’s Rhetoric Bingo

I figured this would be an appropriate throwback, in the light of Ubisoft, one of developers mentioned, being exposed last month for their massive sexual misconduct claims, and then, on top of that, evidence of absolutely shamelessly toxic, cishet white male-centric development philosophy at their studios, despite  bragging about having diverse teams working on games

When not insisting that sex sells”, Creepy Markerting Guy and his Creepy Executive buddies, are literally on record saying that “women (as protagonists) do not sell”. And pushing back against their development teams fighting for even slightest bit of inclusivity in their games. 

We’ve been saying for years, one way or another, that there’s a direct connection between toxic white masculinity and the refusal in entertainment industry, including games, to acknowledge women as more than eye candy and that people other than white straight cis men deserve to have their stories told. 
We’re not surprised by the disturbing revelations – there were similar ones before. Moreover, the product itself reflects the toxic environment it was made in, if you know where to look. 

~Ozzie 

adobsonartworks:

godloveyell:

thesinlesssinner:

imgoingtogobacktheresomeday:

ain-individual:

simonalkenmayer:

loudaussieunicorn:

adobsonartworks:

The alt-right and conservatives don’t mind strong female characters… so long as those strong female characters are ones they can objectify and ogle. Alita is literally objectified and infantilized by her surrogate father figure in her own movie, whereas Captain Marvel is never seen in a revealing or skimpy outfit. Brie Larson also made fun of trolls who told her she should smile more, and was openly outspoken about harassment she had received over her role. Is it any wonder that the alt-right would not take her side?

PS: I knew the connection to the alt-right was strong, but upon researching this topic again I realized that the guy who created the “alitachallenge” hashtag in the 3rd panel is the same troll who managed to get James Gunn fired from Disney.

So… I made this a week ago, and in that time a NEW story has dropped which only goes to confirm what this comic is talking about.

And yup. Sure enough, the same people who complained about Captain Marvel are now going after Birds of Prey. Why? Because they’re unhappy with how Harley Quinn looks in the film, and because the film is being directed by a woman. Which again goes to prove this point. They don’t mind strong female characters, as long as those strong female characters are dressed in a way that they approve of. Harley’s outfit in the new film is far less objectifying/infantalizing and has a lot more personality.

And here’s some evidence for good measure:

#OP is right and deserves to say it

I think it important to note that the one they considered exemplary of female virtue was literally…a robot designed by a man.

??? They don’t think HQ in Birds of Prey is sexy?

Are they blind and deaf?

Just backwards as all hell and probably don’t wash their butts

Me reading all these idiot men’s comments be like:

Note that the whiny pissbaby fanboys came out in either greater droves for Captain Marvel, amping up their campaign of abuse and vitriol than they did for Wonder Woman. They did embark on a hate campaign for Wonder Woman, but not with the same level as what they brought to Captain Marvel. Why is this?

The reasoning is obvious: with Wonder Woman, they still had the hope that this movie would fail like most of the other female superhero movies of the past and then they could take comfort in knowing that it would be decades before they have to :gasp: suffer the indignity of seeing of seeing a female superheroine in the lead, kicking ass and taking names, her plot :gasp: being about something besides getting a man or being fetish material they could jerk off to.

Because when a male hero fails, Hollywood’s like, “Whelp, shouldn’t have gone with that script/director,” and hero gets a reboot before too long. When a female hero fails, Hollywood’s like, “Whelp, guess people don’t want female superhero-led films,” and women have to wait years, possibly decades before they get another film.

Before Wonder Woman, the last female superhero movies were Elektra and Catwoman. Do the math to figure out how many years separated those movies and Wonder Woman. While you’re at it, count how many male superheroes we got in that time period. Freaking Ant-Man got a film before Wonder Woman, even though Wonder Woman is part of DC’s trinity and is a hella much more prominent character than Ant-Man.

It never seems to occur to Hollywood that maybe people would go to female superhero movies that didn’t suck. Nope, must be the female hero. That’s clearly why the film failed. Women pretty much had to do constant “Please don’t let this suck” prayers/dances to the movie gods because if it failed, it’d be decades before we would ever see another one again.

The whiny pissbabies could also reassure themselves with the knowledge that the DCEU’s quality had been incredibly uneven at best. With all this in mind, they weren’t too scared about Wonder Woman.

But Wonder Woman didn’t fail. Wonder Woman brought audiences in droves, the film critics adored it, and it is still seen as the best DCEU film by many. Basically, it proved their beliefs to be bullshit. People can and will see female superheroes and might, nay, prefer those movies over ones with :gasp: :choke: :pearlclutch: male heroes.

So now they’re running scared and it’s for this reason, they redoubled their efforts to try to sink Captain Marvel. I’m afraid we’re going to have to put up with this for a while.

Here’s hoping Hollywood continues to cram as much diversity into these fuckers’ faceholes as possible. The way I figure, either the pissbabies will scream themselves into apoplexy or they’ll be like, “Hey I like and relate to this character, even though they have [a different gender identity/higher melanin count/orientation] than I do,” and grow the fuck up. Either way, the world would be a much better place for it.

Though frankly I thought that Black Panther was even more radical in its usage of female characters, almost as radical as their usage of Black characters. By virtue of :gasp: :choke: having more than just one character to represent women as a whole, we were able to see, relate to, and understand women with a wide variety of viewpoints.

The multiple female characters was also another reason why Birds of Prey was so great. Having multiple female characters allows them to be actual characters with flaws, ambitions, and actual personalities, rather than token representations of half the world’s population.

It’s insane how rare this phenomenon of multiple female characters is.

In addition to this (which is a spot-on observation BTW), there’s the added fact that Wonder Woman and Alita are presented in a more “conventionally attractive” sort of way. Both Wonder Woman and Alita follow the “born beautiful yesterday” trope, and Alita is infantalized in her own film. While they are strong female characters, they’re also easier to objectify too.

Captain Marvel on the other hand goes out of her way to signal that she’s not “available” so-to-speak. In Captain Marvel there’s literally not a single shot of her that could be taken as objectifying. She is never in a skimpy outfit, shown naked, has her skin exposed…etc. And the actress is vocally open about sexism and misogyny in the industry.

The idea that a woman could be strong and powerful and NOT be openly available to them is the root fear and cause of so much of their outrage. Like I said before, they don’t mind if a female character is strong and powerful… provided that they’re conventionally attractive to men.

This is something we discussed before, in regards to Strong Female Character™/”weaponized femininity”/Fighting Fucktoy trope. Women are basically expected to pay a “female representation tax” by seeing female bodies in media framed almost exclusively through male gaze, even in woman-centric stories. 

Movies that include female characters being badass without objectification are scarse, and the few that exist get cyber-dogpiled by the whiny manbaby alt-right trolls even before they’re released. Often in favor of just another Fighting Fucktoy film that undermines its heroines with creeper-friendly framing, regardless of how well they’re written. 

I think this comic and the subsequent commentary thread (especially @godloveyell’s addition) perfectly summarize the systemic problem of dudebros telling us womenfolk that we’re not allowed to see ourselves in movies (and comics/games/etc.) without their “hot enough for a cishet guy to masturbare to” stamp of approval. And how they insist that the rare media in which women aren’t sexualized just so happen to be much worse… because they say so and no other reason, really. 

~Ozzie 

Hyrule Warriors – A Link to the Pants, Part 1 

Hyrule Warriors has been on our radar for some time, so we finally decided to try making its female characters live up to the game’s name.
Basically only Impa is anywhere close to consistent with how male warriors are depicted, while other ladies at best look like they’re on a runway rather than battlefield, and at worse are Cia the Boobplate Witch

Linkle 

First planned either as female version of Link or his sister, Linke apparently ended up as a separate character who just happens to be very similar to him… And also to many other green archer ladies, especially the Elf from Dragon’s Crown

Reminder that, based on concept art released before inclusion of the character in the game, it could have always been much worse than just cute and vaguely derivative. Bingo-worthy worse [image source]:

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Her final costume is quite fashionable, just not very functional when directly compared to how Link presents in this game, wearing layers of armor, including chainmail under his green tunic. 

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While all she gets is short poofy sleeves and the fetishy “absolute territory” of bared flesh between a her skirt/shorts and thigh-high boots. 

So, of course, my aim with her redesign was to give her some layers and basic armor while retaining her individual fashion sense. 

Now her poofy white blouse is gambeson padding that she wears chainmail over, much like Link does. And the poofy sleeves  are bigger, cause why not? 

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Speaking of sleeves, she also gets some additional orange undershirt that matches her skirt. And her gloves got a lot longer, to cover her forearms from harm.
Sorry for the botched shading on chainmail, I copied it from Link, but didn’t have time to  re-shade properly… or to layer it in a way that makes sense 🤔

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Finally, poofy pants, to match the sleeves, and to properly protect her legs. Covered with some more layering of chainmal and longer skirt. And the boots have functional knee-high length now. 

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All in all, with the amount of edits this went through, I’m not unhappy with the results. Hope you guys like it too! 

~Ozzie

h/t for post title: @filipfatalattractionrblog​ 

ronaaz:

feministgamingmatters:

feministgamingmatters:

flamingtrashcans:

feministgamingmatters:

Whilst Overwatch does have some diversity in its female cast, I find myself incredulous that people can’t see the sexism in the predominant tropes: skin tight outfits; boob plates; and very skinny women are the most commonly occuring design choices. There are no conventionally unattractive female heroes, whereas there are male heroes like Winston, Junkrat, and Roadhog. There are good elements to Overwatch’s character design too, but plenty to critique.

THANK YOU and THANK YOU for the tag about the racism

The pants aren’t just tight, either, they’re so tight they practically go up into their assholes, like a reverse camel toe (I wouldn’t be surprised if they made versions with camel toe, just like the artists kept naughty drawings of Jessica Rabbit on their cubical walls). I won’t get into the sexism too much except to add that the combination of infantilizing and sexualising women at the same time disturbs the fuck outta me, and Blizzard did it unashamedly. You can make a character sexy without turning them into a sexual object but apparently Blizzard didn’t get that memo.

And then there’s the racism. What I find absolutely outstanding is that this game was Blizzard’s attempt at diversity and being less sexist. And people (mostly white people, I’ve noticed) have just lapped it the fuck up. As a non-white, non-American I’d like to tell Blizzard to stay in its fucking lane because it’s so painfully obvious that they looked at other cultures and races through a white ‘murican lens that I want to break something. But of course, the fans are very quick to jump on anyone who claims or even mentions it. Nah, there’s nooo problem with the offensive skins, no problem with the white-washing of characters, no problem with the fact that some skins are from the wrong fucking culture to the character it’s on! We’re just being over sensitive! It’s just a fun game! It’s just a stereotype! Eat my entire ass. People would rather bury their heads in the sand than admit that they like something racist. Fun fact, we have an Indigenous tv show here called Cleverman and the writers and producers are Indigenous and had to ask their elders for permission to show the world parts of their culture/history/knowledge before they could begin the project. They had to earn the right to make a tv show like this. Because funnily enough, just having diversity doesn’t get you a get out of jail free card on racism. If the characters and their culture aren’t treated with respect, it means dick all.

In particular, Symmetra broke my fucking heart. My dad is from India, I get a lot of news from India. I grew up with a lot of stories. I have Indian friends. The rape culture is – bad. Very bad. Worse than you can imagine. And I stand with the women of India, who have to fight tooth and nail to be treated like human beings not their fathers/husband’s possessions. Who have to fight even outside of the country. So when I saw her design and broken-doll pose, I felt my heart sink. And when I saw the pathetic attempt at a Kali skin I felt my face get hot with anger. Kali is supposed to be like this:

Kali is represented with perhaps the fiercest features amongst all the world’s deities. She has four arms, with a sword in one hand and the head of a demon in another. The other two hands bless her worshippers, and say, “fear not”! She has two dead heads for her earrings, a string of skulls as necklace, and a girdle made of human hands as her clothing. Her tongue protrudes from her mouth, her eyes are red, and her face and breasts are sullied with blood. She stands with one foot on the thigh, and another on the chest of her husband, Shiva.
 –

Subhamoy Das

She’s ferocious power, she’s terrifying, she’s empowering – and what did Blizzard do? Ignore all that (like most men do) and turn the skin into an utterly incorrect, utterly ignorant pinup costume. A sexual object yet again, one of the many things Indian women are fighting against. Her skulls aren’t even on her neck! She only has two arms! They moved her skulls to her hip so they didn’t cover her breasts! The fact that people are going around calling it “the devi skin” says volumes about the utter ignorance surrounding this. Ignorance might not be done maliciously, but it doesn’t excuse people or make it less racist. It just proves that the majority of people don’t care about the cultures that Blizzard is using for profit. 

Thank you for this really important addition.

This post has picked up almost 5,000 notes since the addition which I’m super glad about because the added detail deserves all the attention; but I just want to point out that this is the post where the first thousand reblogs (and my inbox) are full of people telling me that no one cares, or that it’s just a game.

Well, clearly, we care. Don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t.

Hey, @bikiniarmorbattledamage, what are your thoughts on this?

Anyone who followed us for extended amount of time would know that we agree entirely. We’re sick of Overwatch being given all the credit for doing diversity right/doing women better when at best it’s just the minimal token effort, sprinkled generously with overt sexism and racism on top. 

All the while competing games with comparably more care about representation fall into obscurity, by the virtue of not being made by a huge studio with big marketing budget and overzealous fanbase. 

Speaking of which, Blizzard fandom is easily one of the most belligerent ones, consistently replying to any post we make about their games with defiance, trolling and abuse. And often insisting that their headcanons should be accounted for in judging the quality of OW’s designs, story and characters. 

@feministgamingmatters‘ and @flamingtrashcans’ posts above are almost 4 years old and no less topical than they were back in 2016. If anything, the amount of problems with Overwatch piled on since then and we have an archive of posts to prove it. 

Further BABD reading on the game’s problems with representation and diversity

(Note that vast majority of the links here are dated after the original publication of the above post. And it’s by no means a complete list of all the problems with sexism/racism the game has.) 

~Ozzie 

Some stats, counting out of 30 heroes, since Bastion doesn’t have gendered pronouns:

Total female-coded characters: 14

Women of color (robots don’t count): 6

Lady characters who are not human: 1 (counting the robot) (vs 3 men)

Lady characters whose entire face is hidden: big fat 0 (not counting the robot) (vs 5 men, also no robots) 

-Icy 

Aphrodite in Lingerie, How Original 🙄

When picking out a goddess out of the SMITE pantheon to redo this time, I decided I wanted to try to make a “sexy” design that doesn’t rely on the Victoria’s Secret catalog. So here we are.

I didn’t change her body proportions at all, I only took the “in bra cup” shape out of her boobs. I gave her a draping shirt that’s more similar to ancient Greek attire. Isn’t it weird that the male Greek gods are designed to look more inspired by ancient Greek styles…. hmmmmm.

I did not give her pants, due to the ancient Greek influences, but I decided to make something out of the fact that she floats (for whatever reason). I ended up giving her a weighted skirt that would drag behind her when she moves. I imagine she could use it to great effect to look sexy or intimidating.

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I left the belt in-place mostly because I didn’t have anything better to replace it with, but it’s definitely a bit much for the redesigned version. I think my shapes ended up being all over the place, but it’s still more interesting than the original. And I didn’t have to rely on lingerie for my design, what a shocker.

And last but not least, I changed her face to have more of an attitude and confidence.

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Being beautiful and sexy doesn’t mean only having a specific type of face.

-Icy

De-failing League of Angels Part 2: The Angel of my Personal Hell

You’d think I would have learned my lesson, regarding picking The Worst Things for redesigns, but not before I had to fix this!! I didn’t even have alcohol to keep me company while I worked on it.

I’ll start by briefly noting that every redesigned element, besides the face, took up to 4 tries to figure out, just in terms of shapes alone! I wanted to keep certain elements from the original, such as that belt motif, so I spent a lot of time just trying to figure out what the hell I could do with them. At least one ended up in a weird place.

I will also say that while working on this piece, I decided that this character feels more like an agender rather than a woman angel, so they’re agender now. On that note, let’s begin with what I loved working on the most: the face. I made the eyebrows and nose more interesting, made the makeup more gender-neutral, and changed the palette. Definitely one of my favorite and least painful edits.

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After doing that… I just changed everything else about the design! Oh, except I did keep the foorwear and the arms. The under-boobs belt became a breastplate, with the crotch armor (?) belt thing incorporated into it. The cloth thingie hanging off the crotch armor (?) got moved up to probably be part of some shirt under the breastplate.

Everything besides that is me exercising my painting and suffering skills, so y’all better appreciate it. I decided to go with some gambeson for the legs, instead of our regular poofy pants, because the cloth thingie was conflicting with the poof. I added black pants and a similar undershirt visible in the armpit to tie the design to the background a bit. Also, I needed another color besides light grey, sky blue, and white. The original palette is pretty limited when you’re not distracted by the tiddy.

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My rendering skills are obviously not as good as the artist for the original, but I tried (Oh my God, did I try). And I do believe that at least in the design aspect, my reworking is an improvement.

Bonus closeup of the breastplate because it sucked to work on.

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-Icy

pressfirmlytoclose:

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?

bikiniarmorbattledamage:

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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:

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And amazing cosplays:

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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. 

– wincenworks

Fan Artworks:

Cosplays

Bringing this old ask post back, because I couldn’t help but be reminded of it while browsing through other people’s reblogs of the Kitana/Jade redesign post

The “Girls didn’t give a shit about Samus before she became sexy and therefore cosplayable!rhetoric makes just as much sense as “Women in Mortal Kombat are floss-bikini titninjas because it’s the female power fantasy and the cosplayers want that!, which seems to be the go-to contrarian reaction to Brendan George’s slightly less misogynistic art direction in Mortal Kombat 11

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[image related to a Soul Calibur, not Mortal Kombat, character, but the “argument” is literally the same

Once again, all the props to @wincenworks​’ friends for how eloquently they described the nonsense of the asker’s (and, by proxy, all the other Dudebros McFedora’s) “logic”. 

TL;DR: People who obviously never spoke with any woman sure do feel the most eager to mansplain what women really want from female video game characters. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ 

~Ozzie 

notice: This is a reposting of this throwback, due to Tumblr queue being a total goober and initially publishing the Throwback Thursday post on Wednesday. 

SAO/GGO Figurine Redraws, Part 2: The Incest Fairy 

Continuing the fixing of Sword Art Online heroines with Alfheim arc’s notable addition to the harem party, Leafa.  

Why do I call her The Incest Fairy? Well… people even remotely familiar with SAO’s lore are aware that this character’s sexualized design is only worse in the context of her story >_> 
The interesting twist is that this girl who joins the main character in the game  turns out to be his adoptive sister/cousin, literally playing in the next room. The creepy twist is that she happens to have a massive crush on him. 

As the Anime Pope sayeth, DON’T FUCK YOUR SISTER! 

So, there’s a lot of emphasis on Leafa’s ample cleavage here, with the creepy anime waifu hand gesture which I hate. I redrew her hand completely. 
Then I reworked her weird impractical cincher into something combined with a leather vest, to contain her breasts with something more than just the white top (which I made less boobsocky). Keep in mind her breasts aren’t smaller now, they’re just held together by actual clothes. 

I also decided to give her a bit less generic anime facial features, with a more prominent nose, chin and eyebrows. Also subtly changed her eyes’ expression and added some detail to the shading on her face and hair, so that it’s all more interesting and not as weirdly 2-dimensional on a 3D figurine. 

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Or course, her waist was tiny and her limbs stick-like, so I gave them some heft. The most head-scratching part of her costume were the tights that somehow just… disconnect in the middle of the thigh, then continue below like nothing happened. I made them whole, then added thin green stripes, to match the one stripe on each of her arms. Also, since there was little to no contrast between where the tights end and the boot begins, I recolored the upper part of the boots into golden rings, matching ones on her wrist. Now her legs and arms don’t look like designed separately. 

I also noticed what seems like a minor case of Imperial Walker Hip, or at the very least that her right leg is disjointed from her pelvis. Did the best I could to fix it with limited time and liquify tool at my disposal. It’s not ideal, but at least I also took that opportunity to not make her crotch visible from the cut in front of her skirt. I would probably repaint the whole pelvis section if I had to do it today, because even with some painting over the current results are kinda awkward. 

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I have no idea what those white… pillows she was standing on were, but they looked so weird and suspiciously boob-shaped (a thing really hard to not think about when looking at this figure), so I decided to erase them the best that I could with my Photoshop stamp tool skills. 

Overall, not the most creative or technically proficient of my work, but hopefully she ended up as something with more balanced design than just “DID YOU NOTICE I HAVE A CHEST?”, which seemed to be the principle of the original.

~Ozzie 

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So… this incredible encapsulation of so many things wrong with “gamer” culture actually happened.  An “esports apparel” shop somehow managed to make a dress that was more cheerleader outfit (or chair) and in order to “show respect” to “female gamers” (also known as women) and decided to brand it as a “new identity” as though none of them have worn a dress before.  Unsurprisingly, more people liked this amazing parody than the real thing. 

They were naturally shocked to discover that most people consider it a good idea to involve women in the design of clothing for women (assuming you’re not aiming for your dress to end up on Game Grumps or you to beg men to give it to a “gamer girl” rather than wear it themselves). 

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So how did they respond to this?  Obviously, by asking for people to literally tell them let them know what “female gamers” (also known as women) wear: 

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That’s how they hilariously ended up with telling a competitor that they liked their designs as suggestions… apparently not realising that “female gamers” women who enjoy games can already get comfy clothes and gaming-themed clothes by people who talk to women before releasing the product

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But needless to say, they learned an important lesson about women’s clothing and considerations to make. Certainly not considerations like wanting gaming gear to comfy for hours of sitting around playing games.  They learned about marketing, specifically “delivery of tweets”:

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So of course, as of the time of this post their ratio’d tweet is… pinned and their most recent “likes” entry was… more like “yikes”. 

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Yes, literally all they actually learned after a full 24 hours of free feedback is that “female gamers” are women… and frankly I’m not convinced they’re going to remember that when they sober up.

– wincenworks 

Yikes indeed. There’s… so much to unpack in this and I don’t even know where to start. 

I suppose what amuses me the most about this case is that Cranium Apparel somehow could not be assed to involve any women in creating that outfit, yet once called out on casual gender essentialism of selling a cheerleader dress as their exclusive piece of “female gamer” apparel… THEY NOW ASK THEIR FEMALE CRITICS to do the job of marketing team for them for free (and calling feedback they dislike “hate”). 

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All the while shamelessly claiming that they did their market research beforehand and none of the “few females” they asked foresaw the backlash.

This company desperately needs to replace its PR and marketing departments, preferably with an all-female staff. 

~Ozzie