Jimquisition: Boob Wars and Dragon Crowns

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I'm not sure where I stand on this matter. It is up to the individual to decide whether or not he (or she) wants to objectify these characters. After looking at a few of the character and other miscellaneous designs, I buy the idea that this is some funny, satirical 2-D hack n' slash based off of universes like Conan. However, I can't really be upset at the detractors for looking down upon the Amazon and the Sorceress because I see where they're coming from and their heart is in a good place. Not only that, but I don't particularly care for "well-developed" female bodies anyway so I couldn't care less if they were to change the designs.

Also, the Elf is the prettiest out of all of them so she's the one I'm most likely to lust after. (If I were like that at least.)

I suppose I'll end on this: If I were making a historical movie based on slavery in North America, then I'd include the N-word quite a bit. If I were to make a game designed around medieval fantasy movie tropes, then I'd have a lot of busty women and overly-muscular men.

Not that I _disagree_ that people on the internet should stop being jerks and discuss things rationally, but, um... an internet video series characterized by shouting repeated insults at people in most episodes is not perhaps the proper high horse from which to admonish people for responding rudely to things on the internet.

I have a couple genuine questions I would like answered.

Whenever there is a gender issues thread I always see the following logic applied by someone who takes issue with a highly sexual woman character: A highly sexual female character it is offensive to women because it is objectifying women. However, a highly sexual male character is not offensive to men because that character is a male power fantasy.

My questions:

1. This reasoning seems to be a blatant double standard. Why must it be true that all sexy female characters are objectification and all sexy male characters are power fantasies?

2. Lets say a studio were to make a game based around fulfilling a female power fantasy. Am I correct in assuming that the main character would be very sexy?

im not dismissing the gender issues in gaming in anyway but its a symptom of a much larger issue and thats something thats been covered partially in this video. simply people have this weird concept at the moment that things can either be perfect,or the worst thing in existance. its the rarest thing where you find someone say "i like x but it did y bad"

Fiairflair:
...
Why? Because no man is an island. The nature of exchange is inclusive and exchange directly influences those who produce. The values of an artist are proliferated by the success of any one game or film or show they create. They are enabled through profits to produce more works which in turn further promote their values. Hence, we have a marketplace of ideas. No market is truly free when only those who enjoy a product are given credence. Products are not purged by criticism. Criticism is the mechanism by which produces evolve. Those unable to evolve fail.


Assuming it's on target
.

Criticism without the aim to improve the particular product, but instead of replacing it with something else entirely, is worthless.

So what?

Really, so what?

I like both in my fantasy escapism; I like seeing gratuitously hot female characters in some games, BUUUT I also like the more realistic representations that aren't sexualized at all in other games too! Why can't we have both? Why does it have to be so black-and-white, one or the other? I have one of each in my character roster in Skyrim, and I'm sure many others do too.

What I don't want is politicialy correct reality shoved into my fantasy escapism. I play games to get away from reality, not to emulate it... that's what sim games are for.

Women get their "mommy porn" with the likes of 50 shades of gray with powerful, assertive men, girls get their "romance porn" with many shows/movies/books now of hunky, shirtless forever-teen-looking creatures fighting for their love and attention... Can't us guys have our own fantasies? It's sexualized like everyone else's escapism, just a different medium, so why do we have to have to catch so much shit for enjoying the sight of pretty girls in various situations? It's no different. (I didn't even mention the yaoi fangirls).

Also, the amount of finger-waggling the gaming media has done to all gamers is rediculous. Everyone in it knows full well the majority of gamers are argumentitive assholes that yell at each other over EEEEEVERYTHING, and always have been, and always will be (and I don't mean only the guys). It's just the age demographic and internet combining into a perfect shitstorm. You can't change that, but the gaming media suddenly talking down to everyone in the last year and a half is extremely transparent.

Gamers will argue with anyone until they go away or become part of the sub-culture. To make things worse, the extremes on the other side, have started an "I'm the biggest victim" contest with many people who are socially or emotionally damaged in some way, and bitter, which is why they use gaming as an escape/hobby in the first place.

So they especially aren't going to let them win that one either, and the odds are sort of in gamers' favor because they have nowhere else to go. It's still giving nerds a hard time, except this time they get to be called "misogynists", "Creepers", and "potential rapists" now too, beyond the typical "neckbeareded basement dweller" thing.

TL;DR We can have both and everyone can be happy without name-calling.

===========

Just side note here; the group you're getting all these vocal complaints all of a sudden are the neo-victorian anti-sex feminists that don't want any woman/character openly showing or exposed to sexuality beyond their relationship. That is a real thing by the way! Feminism has many groups supporting different ideas; the other groups defended the boothbabes' choice of work and don't care about fictional characters... Just look up "feminist sex wars". Also, read stuff by Ellen Willis (a bigwig from the original women's rights movement), her books talk about the splintering of the movement in the 70's into various groups and shed light on how one group has cropped up in the early 80's she calls "neo-victorian", which is what I was mentioning here. I learned a lot about feminist history because of internet arguments XD

image

This seems like the gaming equivalent of a crappy horror movie. Predictable plot ("classic gameplay"), bad special effects (2d), and boobs (boobs).

My questions are:
1) How small do breasts have to be before you're considered a paedophile?
2) How big do they have to be before you're considered a pervert?
3) Is it entirely dictated by how much clothes she is wearing?
4) How thin is anorexic?
5) How heavy is obese?
6) What's a good guideline that someone can use so as to not offend people?
7) Should an artist / developer be allowed to offend people?
8) Should you let character designs decide if you buy a game or not?
9) Would you hold it against someone if they decided to (or not to) buy this game for the design of 1 character and ignored the other characters.

My opinion is that it was a small matter that got overblown but got resolved reasonably. Everything after that was just trying to re-ignite the flames.

I'm of the mind that it doesn't matter if its sexual or not.
It would be hypocritical for me to think it matters and still be a consumer of pornography wouldn't it?

Or find anyone sexually attractive for that matter.

@Nurb So much win in your post was lost among the angry/fed up tone and the "side note" conclusion assuming that you know what group of people ALL the recent complaints come from, and promptly labeling them. So right and yet oh so wrong. I am disappoint.

@fwiffo I actually often prefer 2d spell effects over 3d ones, so 2d doesn't automatically mean "bad" but most of the rest of what you said Seems right.

Before watching this video I made a response to a post where someone quoted me on how I mentioned the art style was satirical and therefore a bad example for gender issues arguments, only half-defending the game, and they said that their child etc. etc. would be effected and told that's how they should look etc.etc.
I answered rather violently, saying they shouldn't let their child play and it's their fault not Vanillaware's and then pointed out a girl would probably prefer playing as the elf anyways. I was humbled after watching this and although I made essentially the same points as Jim in this video, I made them the wrong way. Thus, thank God for you, Jim, you calmed me down and I edited the post to be more friendly and change an argument to a discussion.

Yes! I wish there would be less mud slinging in sexism discussions. And I think it's frustrating that so many of these discussions derail into some sort of meta-zone where we discuss wether we should have discussions about sexism in video games or not, instead of, you know, discussing sexism in video games.

To me the problem with these characters stems entirely from the over-saturation of sexualized female characters and personally I absolutely want more games to have more "sensibly" dressed female characters.

Nurb:
So what?
Women get their "mommy porn" with the likes of 50 shades of gray with powerful, assertive men, girls get their "romance porn" with many shows/movies/books now of hunky, shirtless forever-teen-looking creatures fighting for their love and attention... Can't us guys have our own fantasies? It's sexualized like everyone else's escapism, just a different medium, so why do we have to have to catch so much shit for enjoying the sight of pretty girls in various situations? It's no different. (I didn't even mention the yaoi fangirls).

Yup. The tradeoff, though, is that there is a ton of books. You can find books on anything and everything, running the gamut of possible characters. While undoubtedly a few types prevail at different times (Harry Potter, Twilight, 50 Shades, etc.) there is always a huge number of books for any type of character through which the reader can feel some sort of connection/association with. Same for manga, same for movies.

And there's nothing wrong with games pandering to men. Nothing at all. The problem, however, is the lack of games which pander to women. The number of games with decent, interesting male characters (or at least a male protagonist) is pretty good, while the number of games with decent, interesting female characters that also lack jiggle physics is very low.

Do characters like the Sorceress need to be banned? No. Freedom of expression and all that. Could we use some more variety in the gaming industry, a few more games with female protagonists or interesting female characters? Definitely.

evilthecat:

Which is inspired by superman, one of the manliest men ever created (and yes Journey to the west) :P
It may be a Japanese style but it's still has western sensibilities.

^ Nothing makes a woman moist like bulging veins.

I take issue with the idea that a female character has to BOTH be interesting/multidimensional AND have a specified yet not specified boob size. Whats wrong with a very well endowed character who is ALSO fun, interesting, quirky, smart, ect. why does it have to be all or nothing? why do people so quickly write off characters after the first look at their breast size? don't we usually hate it when that kind of quick judging is done irl?

why then is it ok for us to not even play the game, not even care about anything else other than the size of a characters breasts? because unrealistic or not there is always(or at least SHOULD always be) more to a woman than her breast size. and we should all be able to look past that both in games and in life.

Imperator_DK:

Well, that's debatable, but lets assume quality is objective.

To be constructive, any criticism must in that case still be aimed at the actual product and the purpose it serves, and how it could be served better. Constructive criticism of Sex and the City 2 would be aimed at how to improve it, in regard to serving its own intended purpose. Somebody telling people that they should just go watch Melancholia instead isn't offering up constructive criticism of the genre or purpose of Sex and the City; They're substituting them with their own interests, showing a complete lack of respect for the interests of the people they're purported advising.

A critic would aim for a better Sex and the City, or something which is better at conveying its intended messages and artistic vision. If you're a critic of Jazz, then you don't tell people that Jazz is shit, and they should be listening to classical music instead. To simply say that people should just watch something entirely different altogether isn't actual constructive criticism, so much as it's annoying and pretentious arrogance without any actual usefulness. It's on par with all the trolls telling all those people who like My Little Pony that they should feel bad for liking a children's show, instead of manly things. Which is also where the "critics" of Dragon's Crown would fall on the relevancy scale.

First, it's sort of silly to say how one would make a finished product better, especially one that takes years and tens of millions to make. It's not like the makers of shit movies then go back and redo the whole thing, innit.

And despite what you may think, there is merit in pointing out flaws for its own sake. So that OTHERS may learn, for one. So they know WHY something is bad. It is not mere self-serving arrogance to point out plot holes, feeble characters, bad dialogue etc. It serves to remind those who care about such things that there are still some bloody standards in this world.

Plus, nobody is keeping you from enjoying anything. I enjoy my fair share of universally panned media, but a critical mind should know why it enjoys those things.

Zombie_Moogle:

Yes, but it was much more muted than many other such discussion/arguments were

Could be that Bayonetta was more tasteful about it(no DoA-style jiggle physics)
Could be that the arguments for it were more valid in her case, as she was a better realized character in general
Could be because it was a good game & people were more willing to forgive it
Or maybe just that it was made by some of the same people that brought us Devil May Cry's Dante, another pretty, stylish, hardcore, swaggering, sexy character. Both are essentially the same character, just with the gender flipped. Lazy writing perhaps, but it makes for an interesting example on the subject

If it's worse now, there also exists the possibility that things have simply become more aggravated in the last couple of years. Bayonetta dropped about 3 years ago, well before Anita Sarkeesian (EDIT: Specifically TVW in video games, which is what really got people up in arms) and all that jazz. Well before we found out that common publisher logic says women can't sell games.

the December King:

The way I see it, is when you spend months and months working on something, and then a troll tells you you are a 14 year old boy, you can get pissed off whether you are a boy or girl. Did he do the right thing? I don't think so, it was feeding the troll. But I can see WHY he'd be upset by a thoughtless stab like that. And I wonder how I'd react in a similar situation...

More aptly, it was essentially proving him right.

But the thing is, a lot of artists deal with criticism in a more mature fashion. Not everyone is George Lucas.

emeraldrafael:

But the dwarf isn't making many people uncomfortable, because men don't get sexually harassed at PAX East. Because male designers don't get mistaken for receptionists. Because male reporters are never asked if they really play video games.

Because the sorceress is symbolic of a much bigger problem.

But he has a point in this, doesn't he? I mean, you can argue whether or not this is actually endemic of a larger problem (and yes, for the record, I think it is), but even if you don't agree it's clear he's pushing towards the point that the reason the sorc makes people uncomfortable is because of the overall treatment and perception of women in the media and the culture.

He's not just saying "it's okay because male power fantasy." In fact, he goes farther than I would in saying that the male models are as sexualised as the female models.

The point that both are tailored for men, however, is quite valid. There is no one "type" of man that women like any more than there's a "type" of woman men like, but if you look at what's commercially successful with women, it's generally not the type of thing referenced here. This is what guys like to see.

Actually, the Elf kinda looks like a mix of Velvet and Gwendolyn from Odin Sphere... which is definitely a good thing.

Once again, it just goes to show that knee-jerk reactions are usually the worst kind. Next thing you know, everyone is hurling bile at each other and the end result is just a bunch of stains and the stench of puke everywhere.

Regardless of where the discussion (or lack thereof) on gender has gone, or where the gaming business stands on gender issues (or how they profit), I know only two things:

-I don't see many well-written, believable female characters, in or out of leading roles and would like to see more for the sake of variety and exploring the related themes through the medium of gaming (C-culture? In video games???)

-I am really fucking tired of gender topics trolling the forums, and I know they aren't going away any time soon.

reciprocal:
My questions are:

ooo! quiz!

1) How small do breasts have to be before you're considered a paedophile?

If she's under 18 go into hiding

2) How big do they have to be before you're considered a pervert?

if the nipples prod though, you hit the perv mark

3) Is it entirely dictated by how much clothes she is wearing?

nope, anyone can undress with their eyes

4) How thin is anorexic?

no considerable muscle tone, as in i shouldn't see your ribs, if so eat a burger.

5) How heavy is obese?

when your gut spills over the sides, if you have a Kankle, and if you have no knees. over 2 and you have to decide whether you like how you are.

6) What's a good guideline that someone can use so as to not offend people?

If they picking on more than one group and themselves, shut up and don't complain (that's my philosophy anyway)

7) Should an artist / developer be allowed to offend people?

Intent is everything, if the dev's and publishers don't see a problem till it's released, the artist can't be entirely blamed, where was Quality Control to say "hey, don't you think those jugs are a little too much?".

8) Should you let character designs decide if you buy a game or not?

for you and you alone yes, mostly. I guess. Nothings perfect.

9) Would you hold it against someone if they decided to (or not to) buy this game for the design of 1 character and ignored the other characters.

yes(??) I don't play GoW because of Coltrane (whom i find offensive on an intellectual level), I'm not wowed by the game in general.

My opinion is that it was a small matter that got overblown but got resolved reasonably. Everything after that was just trying to re-ignite the flames.

pretty much :)

That was fun, everybody else, you should try this :D

> giving a fuck about how "inclusive" a game is instead of how much it appeals to you or how good it is
> rating FarmVille and The Sims Online 10/10 for "inclusivity", no matter how shitty the games might be
> starting to give really good games (The Witcher, Deponia) and TV series (The Wire, Mad Men, Rome, Banshee etc.) that dare to not be "inclusive" to every possible member of the audience for the sake of telling a better story and having a more realistic setting than "good guy kill bad guy" bad marks for not doing just that and saying it's "problematic"
> using a sentence about an imaginary character like "the elf is sensibly clothed" and "any skin shown makes sense in the context of the characters role" without any hint of irony
> wanting to discuss matters of personal taste (as if that first part ever goes well, but there's also...) that some people like and other people want to destroy/eliminate because it doesn't appeal to them reasonably

Yeah, I'm done here.

At least this video reminded me of this game:

Prosis:

Nurb:
So what?
Women get their "mommy porn" with the likes of 50 shades of gray with powerful, assertive men, girls get their "romance porn" with many shows/movies/books now of hunky, shirtless forever-teen-looking creatures fighting for their love and attention... Can't us guys have our own fantasies? It's sexualized like everyone else's escapism, just a different medium, so why do we have to have to catch so much shit for enjoying the sight of pretty girls in various situations? It's no different. (I didn't even mention the yaoi fangirls).

Yup. The tradeoff, though, is that there is a ton of books. You can find books on anything and everything, running the gamut of possible characters. While undoubtedly a few types prevail at different times (Harry Potter, Twilight, 50 Shades, etc.) there is always a huge number of books for any type of character through which the reader can feel some sort of connection/association with. Same for manga, same for movies.

And there's nothing wrong with games pandering to men. Nothing at all. The problem, however, is the lack of games which pander to women. The number of games with decent, interesting male characters (or at least a male protagonist) is pretty good, while the number of games with decent, interesting female characters that also lack jiggle physics is very low.

Do characters like the Sorceress need to be banned? No. Freedom of expression and all that. Could we use some more variety in the gaming industry, a few more games with female protagonists or interesting female characters? Definitely.

Well you're talking about demographics now. In regards to E-Lit and young-adult romance novels, women make up the majority of the fans there and are made to appeal to them, while guys are the majority in games. Just how things work out.. probably something to do with brain wiring.

A problem in games, as with any female main characters in any medium, are hard to write for because they are judged so much more by groups of people who have different ideas of how that character "should be", even when written by another woman. An example would be any female character that steps up to fight off an antagonist in a game is typically seen as an improvement in number of roles they have, but some groups and people like Anita Sarkeesian claim that is a negative role for female characters because they are "forced to act like men". Then they raise a fuss on youtube or tumblr or whatever.

So I agree and think the number of characters out there could use a boost, but they are not going to satisfy someone's checklist and that person could raise a stink in the gaming community, contiually trying to say any effort isn't good enough.

Gamers are getting more diverse, so it'll happen as there's more demand. Gay and bisexual characters that aren't defined by their sexuality are even rarer, but that attitude is changing too. It's all positive for the future.

Urm, I feel kinda dumb for joining in the mud slinging yesterday. I blame booze. Booze and the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory.

I will say that anonymity really hurts any chance of having an intelligent discussion. I never have to worry about my family and co-workers finding out I act like an ass on the internet as long as I have a username that I thought was clever a decade ago to hide behind. I'm not recommending getting rid of anonymity either in general or on the Escapist, at least not yet, just pointing out that forums like these are not good venues to have this debate.

I was glad that some sort of civilized discussion finally came from this. I stand by my original point though: of all the fights to pick, this one is not the one to fight. They are just character designs for character who are not actual characters in the sense they have a strong and interesting back story and that is wrecked by the terrible art direction of this game. Also, who gives a shit about what a writer from Kotaku actually thinks. We get it, he has opinions, so what. Complaints like this are just for click throughs, nothing else. It's the hot button issue of the moment so of course people like him are going to go and find things to contribute that that particular "discussion".

as I foray into a career which will likely involve writing, I agree with Jim that sometimes I will likely be mistaken or have an opinion that goes in an unintended direction. people who are willing to respond with a calm and thoughtful discussion in opposition is much appreciated. but only if it can be done without snark and sometimes a really emotional reaction just barely withheld heh...that's like asking for the moon tho :/

Roger:

Pat Hulse:

Aside from just being funny, the point isn't that the sorceress looks unrealistic, it's that the parts of her that are unrealistic are the parts that are perceived as appealing to a particular gender/sexuality. A guy might say that they have no problem with the unrealistic male characters, but if there was a male character whose junk was enormous and wobbly, it probably would make you feel at least a little bit uncomfortable.

One might counter by saying that they still wouldn't mind because they could just pick a different character who doesn't have weird junk, but imagine if almost every male character in the industry had weird disproportionate junk and the women didn't. Doesn't that seem a teensy bit alienating? What if this game had three male characters, two of them had enormous balls, and only one of them looked normal? Wouldn't you feel a little bothered that you essentially only have one character choice that didn't make you feel uncomfortable?

Again, this isn't necessarily a condemnation of this particular style. I actually kinda like it in a weird perverse way. But it's not difficult to understand why a lot of women feel alienated by this industry, and it's also not difficult to remedy that. We don't have to get rid of these character designs, but the people who complain about them have a right to be upset and to feel uncomfortable with how their sex is portrayed in general.

That some people think a breast is on par with a penis really shows how puritanical of a culture we live in.

m19:

Pat Hulse:

http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/i-svhrTpg/0/950x10000/i-svhrTpg-950x10000.jpg

Aside from just being funny, the point isn't that the sorceress looks unrealistic, it's that the parts of her that are unrealistic are the parts that are perceived as appealing to a particular gender/sexuality. A guy might say that they have no problem with the unrealistic male characters, but if there was a male character whose junk was enormous and wobbly, it probably would make you feel at least a little bit uncomfortable.

The problem with that image is it is a false equivalence. The sorceress was made to appeal to men. The guy with a giant member was made to annoy... men. The equivalent would be something made with women as the target.

I'll respond to both of these because they're kind of in the same ballpark of "false equivalence".

Roger, people will find attractive what they find attractive. However, the power of any visual medium is the ability to impart your own vision onto the audience. To illustrate my point, I personally don't find anything inherently sexual about feet, but some people do. That said, I find it really hard to watch a lot of Quentin Tarantino films and not see that he's trying REALLY hard to sexualize a lot of feet. I love those movies, and I don't have a problem with QT's tastes, but I can tell just by how the material is framed that he is portraying these body parts sexually.

When you see the sorceress, it's pretty obvious that the intent is to titillate. Pretending otherwise is silly. Are breasts sexual organs in the same way a scrotum/penis is? No. Do they provoke responses that are inherently sexual in nature when portrayed in this particular manner as much as actual sexual organs would? I'd say yes.

Which brings me to m19's point, which implies that the explicit intent of the fighter's design in the Penny Arcade comic is to annoy men rather than to appeal to women, which makes it a false equivalence.

First of all, I'd imagine that a lot of straight women who first saw designs similar to the sorceress had a moment of "Does anyone actually find this attractive?" And then they quickly found out that quite a few men do, and lost a little bit of faith in humanity. In that light, you'd probably be surprised to learn that this kind of male anatomy would probably be appealing to more women (and probably men) than you'd think. Probably not a LOT, but honestly, not all that many straight men would find the sorceress particularly appealing. Most men would probably not be BOTHERED by it, but it's not like every single straight man would find the sorceress sexy. Many would probably just find it comical. Similarly, I doubt a lot of women would be terribly bothered by the Penny Arcade fighter design and likely just find it humorous.

But still, you're right. Penny Arcade's intent was to make a point by creating a design that explicitly annoyed/discomforted men.

Now... you do realize that a great deal of women find the sorceress' design to be annoying/discomforting, right? Just because it isn't INTENDED to doesn't mean it doesn't. The fact that this was designed with the intent to appeal to the sort of people who find it appealing doesn't really help. If anything, it just says that the desire of some to stare at unearthly breasts outweighs the discomfort of those who find that appearance annoying.

That said, I'm not suggesting that one person's discomfort towards a design is enough reason to discredit someone else's enjoyment of it. However, it's important to acknowledge that this dynamic when it comes to sexualized character design is SERIOUSLY one-sided in western media, particularly in video games. The fact is, there are very few male characters in western media that are sexualized to the point of making straight men uncomfortable.

So what's my point? Just that it's very easy for men to disregard the annoyance/discomfort of women who are bothered by this kind of character design when we don't really have to deal with anything like it ourselves. Even if the Penny Arcade comic and things like the Hawkeye Initiative aren't an exact equivalence, they still provide a certain degree of context to help give men an understanding of what this kind of representation feels like.

It isn't that women are bothered that the sorceress looks ridiculous or that some men find her attractive. It's that the design is just generally unappealing to a lot of women, makes them uncomfortable because of the overt sexualization, stating their discomfort often gets them chewed out by those who like the design, and this sort of design decision is practically inescapable in the medium.

Atmos Duality:

-I don't see many well-written, believable female characters, in or out of leading roles and would like to see more for the sake of variety and exploring the related themes through the medium of gaming (C-culture? In video games???)

The last Story and Xenoblade had pretty good female characters (Seiren is my favourite)

-I am really fucking tired of gender topics trolling the forums, and I know they aren't going away any time soon.

should it? I mean the world is funny where if know one says anything it's assumed everyone accepts the way things are. Kamitani's work I don't think should have sparked this whole "blargh" but at least it can bring up even more important examples.

Imperator_DK:
snip

You know what, I give up..

I don't care about the sales of a game I have absolutely no interest in and never did. Whether or not it sells does not concern me. Plenty of people working in the game industry are pricks who wouldn't know PR if it beat them on the head, and yet are still able to make commercially successful games because they actually make good games, and that's fine. Most people are capable of separating human personality from the ability to make a good product.

While it's possible for a game to be overhyped because of some irrelevent feature or internet status which doesn't actually make it a good game, most people don't buy games unless they have some preexisting idea that they will be worth buying, i.e. that the gameplay will actually be good or interesting.

Thus, I suspect you're severely exaggerating the impact of a controversy over concept art and social media etiquette on actual sales data. Most people who buy games don't care about this shit. They aren't going to read some article about this controversy and go "wow, some dude implied another dude liked cock on facebook, I'd better check out this game he's making to see if it's any good". Even concept art is pretty crappy as marketing material, because it's nothingmore than an out-of-context snapshot of one particular part of the game with a very small impact on gameplay, namely the visual design.

The only thing I have seen regarding this controversy which might realistically make someone interested in the game is the gameplay footage which Jim showed in this video, and even then while there's no accounting for taste it's not exactly making me want to throw down my money. So really, we can debate the minor publicity merits of controversy all we want, but what will ultimately determine success or failure of this game, as with any game, is whether it's good and whether people are likely to enjoy playing it, because really.. what proportion of people will buy a game (an interactive experience based on gameplay) because it has tits in it, particularly when the concept art is already on the internet for everyone to wank off to for free? Now we're talking statistically insignificant.

How do we know if a game is good? Sure, the developer is going to tell us it's good, but we expect that. I mean, where can we get a second opinion of whether a game is good? Well, nowadays we can often read user reviews, but let's say we want someone with a name we can recognize and whose opinions we hold to a certain standard, well obviously we're going to find a game journalist.. you know.. like someone who writes for Kotaku or something.

There's a good reason why it's unprofessional to throw tantrums upon receiving criticism, and that's because the relationship between artists and critical journalism is to a large extent symbiotic. While game journalists and critics certainly need games to comment on, it's not like they particularly needed to comment on this one. The fact is, Kotaku was already talking about this game before Kamitani did his lolgay thing and they certainly didn't need to do that. Neither do they particularly need to follow it's development further, or indeed the development of future games from the same studio, if nothing else because it's a relatively small studio in Japan without a very strong English language media division and with a CEO who clearly doesn't understand how social media PR works in the most basic sense.

You can wheel out the cliches about all publicity being good publicity, but the reality is that any industry functions to a large extent on mutual cooperation between professionals, and that makes professional reputation important. Precisely how important, I'm not qualified to say because I don't work in either game development or game journalism, but there's a fucking good reason why any company which can afford to hires dedicated media relations professionals rather than having CEOs publicly air their farts on social media in the hopes of attracting a whiff of controversy.

So yes, there is "damage" to this kind of thing. Perhaps not in the short term, but then if behaving like an ass was really the best way to sell a product, what the fuck is this? Why write this?

I don't harbor any ill-will to Jason Schreier for the article he originally posted about the Sorceress or his follow-up. Although it may be negative feedback, I am very thankful for having one of our titles being covered.

...

It's okay if it was just me who was criticized, but it is not my intention to cause problems for Dragon's Crown publisher (ATLUS) and all the other people who are involved in this project. From now on, I will limit myself about transmitting something personal out in the public.

The answer, of course, is because you have to. Professionalism is not optional.

I'll be honest, I like all the designs. I find the Amazon, Sorceress and Elf all attractive in their own way. Then again, I have things for chicks with big thighs, huge boobs or just tall and statuesque. Hell, I don't find the male designs sexy but I do find them nice to look at. He went with several extremes with the character designs, like one being "soft", one being "hard" and one being "average". And he shouldn't have had to apologize to ANYONE for drawing those characters the way he did. Hmmm, not sure if still on topic or not. Anyway, still can't wait till the game comes out, looks awesome.

Saw this one going into meltdown on Dtoid.

I don't think the designer chap should have to apologise for his character designs as Dragon's Crown is a japanese game and they have a different view (not necessarily a positive one on the female front) on things. However, since Dragon's Crown is being sold globally, I do feel that while he's being creative, he should also be mindful of what he's creating and how they might be seen to different audiences. Sometimes an editor is a good thing.

There are female gamers as well as females that want to enter the industry. If we want to move forward it helps if they can tag along too.

Good to see some discussion come out of it, though. I feel the Kotaku chap should have done the right journo thing and approached the designer for an interview, to find out why the characters are the way they are. Its too easy to misunderstand and sound off online sometimes, without that magic word 'context'.

I hope Dragons Crown sells well. I'll be using some points on it.

Way too much arguments about this particular topic. It's the game designers choice to make the women/men how they please. If they are sexualized then fine, it's their decision.

If you don't like it then don't buy it, easy.

Red X:

9) Would you hold it against someone if they decided to (or not to) buy this game for the design of 1 character and ignored the other characters.

yes(??) I don't play GoW because of Coltrane (whom i find offensive on an intellectual level), I'm not wowed by the game in general.

Actually, the Cole Train (WHOO BABY!) is actually one of the better characters in the series (along with Baird). They do a terrible job of it in the games, but in the books he is a much more-fleshed out character and a lot of his attitude in the games is made clearer by the books.

Did we REALLY have to do another episode on this? This horse has been beaten, shot, stabbed, burned, and then served as burgers.

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