Jimquisition: Boob Wars and Dragon Crowns

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Both sides are equally bad? Last that I checked, the rape threats on the subject mostly came from the MRA male nerds defending the game.

Archangel357:
...
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.

They'll probably do another movie in the same vein though.

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.

Others making products in the same vein, that is. Others hoping to make a better RPG incorporating cartoonish version of classic D&D designs won't learn much from all this "critique" about sexy = evil. It's irrelevant moralizing based in anti-sexuality prudishness.

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.

Well, if the things eventually disappear, then it'll be hard to enjoy them.

I'm honestly more pissed about people insulting the artwork for being "bad" because it's "juvenille" than the sexism thing. I'm Not saying art isn't open to criticism, but the criticism I've seen of the sorceress is fucking dumb. "Ohhh, it looks like it was designed by a 14 y/o, thus shit". fuck you. There's so much more fucking finesse put into that design than what you could probably even realize even if you weren't looking at it through a lens of bias because you apparently think indulging a specific aesthetic preference makes you a man-child. Just say you find the big tits unappealing or the provocative design sexist. I'm not saying I'd be totally on board with what you'd be saying then, but at least it doesn't come off like an ignorant pot-shot. At least then you're not insulting artwork that you're clearly not even properly assessing from a stylistic or design standpoint.

I'm surprised how riled up I got about that.

But... the Elf looks near-identical to the Dead or Alive girls where Jim dedicated an entire video to disapproving their aesthetics. It does show how just how much not trying objectify a design alters its image, though. Not to mention how ironically adding clothes can make it sexier to some people.

While I'm going to get crucified for this, I could never appreciate how progressive Jade's design was. I didn't even notice how sensibly she was dressed, midriff aside, until this vid pointed it out. Her color scheme was green to the point of nausea-inducing that every time I saw her blotch of green lipstick, all I could think was it was an attempt to be hip and sexy gone sickly wrong. Then I look at a lingerie model punch a t-rex and think, "Yeah, that looks perfectly fine." Aside from being subjective, visual preference is so far divorced from logic, it's going to be one of those speed bumps in these discussions. People are going to be explaining how impractical and objectifying chainmail bikinis are while others like me get confused and go, "What do you mean? That color palette and composition are perfectly competent. You're just tasteless."

I think the most awkward thing about this is that ironically enough, Vanillaware is doing a lot to have respectable female main characters and Dragon's Crown is the exception, not the rule.

I've seen a lot of people see Gwendolyn as one of their favorite characters. The protagonists are often actually very small compared to the behemoths that the supporting staff can be as well.
Is that being ignored over mentioning Beyond Good and Evil again?

That and we're STILL using DOA and KOF as examples?
Itagaki is gone, and DOA5 is pretty conservative on the main outfits and character models.
(Outside that manual boob jiggle and Other M, but blame the latter on creator direction and godawful localization)
Meanwhile, its like Kula, King, Yuri, Elisabeth, Blue Mary, Leona, Athena, Vanessa, Whip, Chizuru, Foxy, May Lee, and others don't exist because Mai is in.

axlryder:
I'm honestly more pissed about people insulting the artwork for being "bad" because it's "juvenille" than the sexism thing. I'm Not saying art isn't open to criticism, but the criticism I've seen of the sorceress is fucking dumb. "Ohhh, it looks like it was designed by a 14 y/o, thus shit". fuck you. There's so much more fucking finesse put into that design than what you could probably even realize even if you weren't looking at it through a lens of bias because you apparently think indulging a specific aesthetic preference makes you a man-child. Just say you find the big tits unappealing or the provocative design sexist. I'm not saying I'd be totally on board with what you'd be saying then, but at least it doesn't come off like an ignorant pot-shot. At least then you're not insulting artwork that you're clearly not even properly assessing from a stylistic or design standpoint.

I'm surprised how riled up I got about that.

There are no shortage of ignorant people lining up to wipe their shit encrusted fingers all over the work done by very, very talented artists like George Kamitani who specialise in exaggerating the human form for effect. You only need to compare a selection of Mr. Kamitani's work against the monkey scribblings of an idiot like Rob Liefeld to better understand that an Mr. Kamitani has really strong grasp of his fundamentals. He doesn't draw in his trademark exaggerated style because he can't draw a realistic human figure, he draws in his trademark exaggerated style because a realistic human figure isn't a difficult enough proposition for an artist as talented as he is.

The schizophrenic sorts who rail against the prevalence of realism in video games, but then turn around and insist that women be portrayed as 'realistically as possible' are especially amusing.

Zombie_Moogle:
The flame war over Dragon's Crown confused me a bit at first; sure, the women were ridiculously proportioned, but so were the men. I figured that was what they were going for. Super-stylized, over-the-top, beyond the pale to a point where it barely mattered to the gender discussion because it was too extreme to be compared

Then a few days ago, I took a step back & I saw what Jim saw: Insult, gay joke, trolling on all sides.

Yeah, I've only heard of the game when the first article went up here, but it included images of all the characters, and the styles pretty coherent in its treatment of everyone, guy or girl, having their super-exaggerated almost satirical take on Boris Vallejo style fantasy art. And the elf and the wizard being normal looking decent models for whatever reason. While you could discuss the silly portrayal on both sides (which is exaggerated to the extent of it being like discussing the Expendables for having a 80s action movie plot as if it were a serious oscar-contending drama piece), it seems like the first guy tried to sneak in a fast joke without context, and the designer responded in equal fashion right back.

Paradoxrifts:

axlryder:
I'm honestly more pissed about people insulting the artwork for being "bad" because it's "juvenille" than the sexism thing. I'm Not saying art isn't open to criticism, but the criticism I've seen of the sorceress is fucking dumb. "Ohhh, it looks like it was designed by a 14 y/o, thus shit". fuck you. There's so much more fucking finesse put into that design than what you could probably even realize even if you weren't looking at it through a lens of bias because you apparently think indulging a specific aesthetic preference makes you a man-child. Just say you find the big tits unappealing or the provocative design sexist. I'm not saying I'd be totally on board with what you'd be saying then, but at least it doesn't come off like an ignorant pot-shot. At least then you're not insulting artwork that you're clearly not even properly assessing from a stylistic or design standpoint.

I'm surprised how riled up I got about that.

There are no shortage of ignorant people lining up to wipe their shit encrusted fingers all over the work done by very, very talented artists like George Kamitani who specialise in exaggerating the human form for effect. You only need to compare a selection of Mr. Kamitani's work against the monkey scribblings of an idiot like Rob Liefeld to better understand that an Mr. Kamitani has really strong grasp of his fundamentals. He doesn't draw in his trademark exaggerated style because he can't draw a realistic human figure, he draws in his trademark exaggerated style because a realistic human figure isn't a difficult enough proposition for an artist as talented as he is.

The schizophrenic sorts who rail against the prevalence of realism in video games, but then turn around and insist that women be portrayed as 'realistically as possible' are especially amusing.

Absolutely agree. He is easily one of the most talented people working in the industry today and we have people lambasting his work simply for using exaggerated assets in an exaggerated design. Fuck the skillful use of draped fabric contrasted against the smooth texture of her thigh. Fuck the clever use of minimal details in places. Fuck the awesome shoes. Big tits thus bad. Thanks for validating my rage a bit lol.

I really dislike Agreeing with Jim. I find it leaves a poor taste in my mouth. But here we are again, Jim being one of the few people out there actually trying to have an intelligent discussion. If he would just be more polite about it. Oh well, too each his own style.

I like debates, I like to have them. I find (especially online) that I am enjoying a debate, but the other person is getting mad and having an argument. I never realize this until they are making threats against me or my family. I honestly do not understand, I debate so I have a better understanding of MY personal beliefs and the opposing sides beliefs. Far too often, I have observed, that if person "A" Disagrees with person "B", "A" vilifies "B" in ways that can only be called slander. Then "B" decides to up the ante, and create new (far less rational, but still fully fictional) reasons "A" is descendant of Nazis. "A" starts publishing news stories about "B" eating babies. "B" continues the cycle until the Lord Jesus Christ returns and tells BOTH sides to knock it off!!

Sorry, I got riled up about the stupidity of arguing. And how sad it is no one can have a debate anymore. I miss debates.

Why even bother having a proper "discussion" about this when everyone can just agree that different people like different things, learn to accept that and move on?

We're not talking about how people prefer to MURDER other people for entertainment, that would be unacceptable and against the law.
We're talking about how they prefer their entertainment media, a completely harmless thing done purely for enjoyment.

I don't mind oversexualization in my entertainment mediums.

I have accepted and understood that some people DO mind oversexualization, and I also understand WHY they dislike it.

We are different people and like different things. But I'm not going to try and force anyone to be me, and nobody is going to force me to become them.

We understand each other.

IT'S THAT FUCKING SIMPLE.

And for those with really thick skulls who STILL can't understand after all this time why there is so much female oversexualisation and "objectitication" in videogames and other forms of media, let me dumb things down and introduce you to the concept of markets - there are some things that sell better than others. Sexy females (and feminine tropes to an extent) is one of those things. The female figure sells and there are entire industries which use females as a selling point, this has been happening for hundreds of years and the female body continues to drive some of the biggest markets today. Videogames are but a tiny portion of that market. I repeat, videogames are but a tiny portion of that truly gigantic market.

Understand it and accept it. Or protest against it in a calm and peaceful manner if that floats your boat. It's none of my concern :D

axlryder:

Paradoxrifts:

axlryder:
I'm honestly more pissed about people insulting the artwork for being "bad" because it's "juvenille" than the sexism thing. I'm Not saying art isn't open to criticism, but the criticism I've seen of the sorceress is fucking dumb. "Ohhh, it looks like it was designed by a 14 y/o, thus shit". fuck you. There's so much more fucking finesse put into that design than what you could probably even realize even if you weren't looking at it through a lens of bias because you apparently think indulging a specific aesthetic preference makes you a man-child. Just say you find the big tits unappealing or the provocative design sexist. I'm not saying I'd be totally on board with what you'd be saying then, but at least it doesn't come off like an ignorant pot-shot. At least then you're not insulting artwork that you're clearly not even properly assessing from a stylistic or design standpoint.

I'm surprised how riled up I got about that.

There are no shortage of ignorant people lining up to wipe their shit encrusted fingers all over the work done by very, very talented artists like George Kamitani who specialise in exaggerating the human form for effect. You only need to compare a selection of Mr. Kamitani's work against the monkey scribblings of an idiot like Rob Liefeld to better understand that an Mr. Kamitani has really strong grasp of his fundamentals. He doesn't draw in his trademark exaggerated style because he can't draw a realistic human figure, he draws in his trademark exaggerated style because a realistic human figure isn't a difficult enough proposition for an artist as talented as he is.

The schizophrenic sorts who rail against the prevalence of realism in video games, but then turn around and insist that women be portrayed as 'realistically as possible' are especially amusing.

Absolutely agree. He is easily one of the most talented people working in the industry today and we have people lambasting his work simply for using exaggerated assets in an exaggerated design. Fuck the skillful use of draped fabric contrasted against the smooth texture of her thigh. Fuck the clever use of minimal details in places. Fuck the awesome shoes. Big tits thus bad. Thanks for validating my rage a bit lol.

I wasted a couple of years of my life attending art courses in a fruitless attempt to try to be an artist like George Kamitani instead of yet another hack like Rob Liefeld. So you're certainly not alone in being annoyed by people writing off the work of a clearly very talented man because they don't happen to like the subject matter.

cynicalsaint1:

Zombie_Moogle:

It did make me wonder though, why wasn't there this outrage of Bayonetta? A few eyebrows were raised, but everyone seemed to accept it
Why? What made her different?
Is it because she was a bad-ass? That'd be a legitimate argument; she's an independent character of incredible power, she'll dress how she wants.

I think another factor is Bayonetta was a bit more tastefully done. Despite being highly stylized she was fairly reasonably proportioned and she was sexy for reasons beyond having giant tits that bounce every which way in a light breeze.

In this case the character in question can pretty much be summed up as "Hey look! Tits!"

Bayonetta happens to be a hugely divisive character - some see her as yet another character drawn for the purposes of fetish fuel, at the expense of any potential female player. Others see her in a more positive light, emphasising her confidence, motherly love and sexual control. She's a lot like (the old) Lara Croft in that respect, with some gamers pleased at seeing a strong, intelligent, self reliant woman as the hero, and others being put off by the gratuitous shower scenes, and the implication that she is there for the sake of the male gaze.

Really, the characters are a bit of both. That shouldn't be a problem in themselves, but if you follow the argument that there are already way too many female characters who only exist for fan service, then it is easy to see why some folks would take umbrage with Bayonetta and Croft.

Hey, was anyone aware of the vote in Bioshocks reversible cover? I wasn't till last week, the vote happened in December last year after the generic change. If the dev's had the ability to make a reversible cover why not just add the original so retailers and buyers then change it? Why is it we will complain about something that can't be changed but when we have a chance to have an active role in games representation fall flat, what does that say about the gaming community? I guess we're just that fickle.

I mean, this a bigger problem in comparison.

I find it kind of sad that so many people here think change through discussion might not be possible. I think maybe that attitude would be something that holds these discussions back. Sort of like "Well, that guy says it's not possible to be reasonable to I'm gonna rape yer face!" you know? I dunno, perhaps that's just me.

The video was good, though. Maybe if more people called for a discussion, rather than just producing videos that pander to an audience, we might get places.

There will, unfortunately, be no meaningful discussion. Any meaningful discussion will either be lost in the din of vitriol or simply fall on deaf ears and or the choir.

This whole ridiculous debate over... Over what at this point? Is it about sexism in general, women in games, what is the problem now? This whole ridiculous debate has degenerated into an excuse for two sides of the same coin to turn videgaming forums into their own private battle fields. Some people have embraced this because it gives them the chance to feel superior. Some people have embraced the causes! The rest of us wonder when TF game news sites started talking more about gender rolls then clinics and university classes about the subject.

This is all just an excuse for certain media sites - and YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE - to drum up attention for themselves. The problem is you're in a public forum and this is bound to continue deteriorating into more and more calls for public stoning. So whose next? What game, designer, graphic artist, or fellow forum dweller do we stone next to prove our moral superiority? Since when was the public forum - never mind the internet - a valid place to go off in search of 'reasoned debate'? Please.

The idea of something good coming out of all this noise in the west requires more suspension of disbelief then all the Fallout games combined. No wonder there's a shortage of good plots in videogaming, look at us, apparently we'll believe anything!

I can't believe we're wasting all this controversy energy on the player-character designs instead of tackling the real travesty of Dragon's Crown: if the trailer is any indication, they ripped off Reepicheep!

Incidentally, the race which is the race from which Kraang hails, is the Kraang. The name of the race of Kraang is revealed to the one known as Jim in the series in which Kraang appears, on the broadcast network known as Nickelodeon. The ones known as Jim's Followers may take exception to Kraang referring to Kraang as Kraang, but Kraang makes this unorthodox reconciliation of the two series regarding the ones known as Turtles, because it amuses Kraang to speak in the manner of Kraang.

I'd point out that the succubus from Atlus's game Disgaea: Hour of Darkness had about the same bust size as the Sorceress character this "controversy" was based on. The major difference seems to be one has animated physics.

Just sayin.

Kelgair:
I'd point out that the succubus from Atlus's game Disgaea: Hour of Darkness had about the same bust size as the Sorceress character this "controversy" was based on. The major difference seems to be one has animated physics.

Just sayin.

the difference is that was a Succubus. Sex (exaggerated or otherwise) is how it lures men to steal their souls, take away the sex and it's just a regular demon.

zefichan:
Both sides are equally bad? Last that I checked, the rape threats on the subject mostly came from the MRA male nerds defending the game.

Why can't I hold all of this straw?

The issue some people have with the general tone of the anti-sexuality crowd is the continual subtext of "Ignore all other aspects of the game, breasts are visible, therefore the game is horribly sexist, and so is everyone involved." A bit of strawman there, but apropos. You don't have to be an MRA to see that as anything more than annoying flame-bait. Sexuality is not objectification, blah-blah-blah, why do I feel like I'm repeating myself in each of these threads? The Sorceress and Amazon characters will be perfectly able to keep up with the other characters, and male and female characters BOTH take on a variety of combat roles in the general D&D atmosphere. I'd see a reasonable complaint here if the Sorceress was the only caster class, or the Amazon played to the typical high-speed, low-strength archetype, essentially playing the Elf's role without the bow, but they are NOT.

Also, trying to frame the Anita Sarkeesian-Adria Richards rape "threats" as anything other than raw 4chan vitriol (A relatively tame version of it, honestly.) is completely fitting with your general inability to see and/or focus on reality.

UrKnightErrant:
Misogyny has very few safe havens left. Through hard work and perseverance woman have managed to tear down most of the "no girls allowed" signs, and every club and golf course that went through it had to deal with these guys. While sexism has by no means been defeated, it has been forced into hiding on many fronts.

You seem to have ignored all the "no men allowed" gyms and clubs that women demand to have. It seems that sexism won't be defeated while woman condemn men for doing one thing, while doing the same thing themselves.

For a long time misogyny has found a safe haven in the gaming community; not because girls weren't allowed to join, but because for the most part they just didn't want to be a part of it.

Women also don't want to be street cleaners, garbage collectors, or sewer workers. Are you also claiming that these professions are safe havens of misogyny because few women want to join these profession?

A whole generation has reached adulthood in the glow of video game consoles, and more and more girls are discovering that they actually want to join in the fun. As long as those girls were girls it was easy enough to keep them down. The shouting and bullying that predominates these discussions is a very effective tactic against children. But the NES is almost 30 years old now, and so are the girls that grew up with it.

Who is meant to be "shouting and bullying" girls to "keep them down"? Do you have any idea what you are talking about?

We need to accept that some members of this community, even older generally respected members, have no desire to see these women take their rightful place beside us as both gamers and developers, and we need to come to grips with the idea that this is NOT always an issue of "perception" or a "misunderstanding", but is often just a case of good old fashioned male-chauvinism trying desperately to cling to one of it's last safe refuges.

Nearly all male gamers couldn't care less whether women are involved or not (especially in offline games). They only object to women demanding that everything be changed to suit them. This isn't chauvinism but a reasonable objection to women making unreasonable demands.

Zer_:

Toilet:
The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.

Exactly right. It amazes me that so many people fail to make that connection. Once again, it's our responsibility to our younger generations to teach them that violence is wrong.

Given how violent crime is falling while violence in video games and movies is rising it's more likely that violence in the media reduced violence in real life. So Zer_ Toilet was correct.

Voulan:
Well, since I'm not a feminist, I can't really say. But why would you dismiss their past accomplishment? Feminism is a social movement, not an actual organisation, so it's brilliant that its done that much.

If feminism hasn't done anything recently then why should people continue to support it?

No, I'm not angry at the people that play the game. What I'm angry at its advertising and design as a game about sexualised women. The ads I've seen show the characters in suggestive poses with tags like "it's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes" and "wanna play with me?". That's blatant pandering. It's even worse that some of the characters are clearly underage. It's the same issue I had with the Hitman Absolution trailer, as did many people.

Marketing is about selling your game to your audience in whichever way is the most effective. If pandering works the best then pandering is how the game should be marketed.

Personally, I prefer when a woman is sexual, not just sexy, so the designs inspire little... I know plenty of hot prudes, and they just aren't attractive to me, and I feel that's the larger part of the problem: It's not sexy that's a problem, it's that we aren't willing to discuss sex and sexual relations and the like without it being the center of the game. This is fertile ground for any group who thinks they can: First game to do this will be amazingly received. There's been a lot of games touching on it, I'm told P4 does a great job (I'm still grinding through The Answer, so no head-hanging needed), but considering that sex and sexuality are the crux of many interactions, the almost complete lack of it in gaming, outside of a few high-profile examples, is very telling.

As far as designs, I don't have an issue. I like big tits, and so does my gf, and we like the designs of the Sorc and the Elf. I also consider the wizard to be close to my idealized male, and my gf agrees. That we like it is something that's nearly intrinsic. We own Vallejo prints, so it makes sense for us. In this game, and in it's subject/idealism, it makes sense, for a number of reasons, and that's fine. What isn't is that there are devs who wouldn't mind a chunky chick to take the lead, but publishers wouldn't let them. There are people who wouldn't play a game that actually tackles tough issues. I've heard people bash Spec Ops for making them uncomfortable, when that's the fucking point, when it's the goal of the game. The medium has room for all of the above, and that it's so slanted is a problem that, I feel, is also a problem in general society, manifested in such a way because most people really do feel like this, but act otherwise in the day-to-day. That they think like this at all is the problem, and the roots of that are few and simple, but that delves into sociology and psychology, and isn't really what this is about, because they'd still be hard to repair.

Personally, I'm curious as to how a game two years announced and still a few months away from release (after delays...) is being pulled up.

And fuck it, it looks like Golden Axe meets Gauntlet in HD.

Gilhelmi:
I really dislike Agreeing with Jim. I find it leaves a poor taste in my mouth. But here we are again, Jim being one of the few people out there actually trying to have an intelligent discussion. If he would just be more polite about it. Oh well, too each his own style.

I like debates, I like to have them. I find (especially online) that I am enjoying a debate, but the other person is getting mad and having an argument. I never realize this until they are making threats against me or my family. I honestly do not understand, I debate so I have a better understanding of MY personal beliefs and the opposing sides beliefs. Far too often, I have observed, that if person "A" Disagrees with person "B", "A" vilifies "B" in ways that can only be called slander. Then "B" decides to up the ante, and create new (far less rational, but still fully fictional) reasons "A" is descendant of Nazis. "A" starts publishing news stories about "B" eating babies. "B" continues the cycle until the Lord Jesus Christ returns and tells BOTH sides to knock it off!!

Sorry, I got riled up about the stupidity of arguing. And how sad it is no one can have a debate anymore. I miss debates.

But that is kind of the problem. he created this really excellent character model. Everything about it is superb. Than it was all hidden behind this massive pair of independently animated breasts that are so grotesque and un ignorable that you almost cannot see the character standing behind them. And that is what is making some people uncomfortable. It wasn't just that the character has large breasts. It's that every motion of the character puts these large pink floppy beasts wobbling around on top of the avatar such that you cannot see anything else. It's just too much.

I think this was my favorite video you've done for the site. It kind of seems like the industry's problem is a little circular though. We'd probably benefit from more female games designers but this kind of stuff out trumps our Bioshock Infinites 3:1, which turns people away, which in turn leads people to market games to a demographic more likely to buy them which...well starts the whole thing over again.

I've always been a bit confused as to why people care. I mean, yeah, these characters are blatant exaggerations but I don't complain when someone makes an adult movie that objectifies the people involved. I understand that it has its place and its demand and just continue to personally avoid them because it's not my cup of tea without demanding that they change their work to suit me. The proliferation of sexualization in the gaming market isn't unique by any stretch of the imagination and people generally understand that sex sells. We see this in movies, TV shows, books, and pretty much anything that people consume products or services. I was walking by a jewelry store the other day and saw a large poster advertising their watches. It was just a female soccer player with skin-tight athletic clothes with her backside turned to the camera. She wasn't wearing any watch and was purely there to get attention and generally succeeded. The only thing indicated that it was to advertise watches was an image of a watch hovering just to the right of her butt as well as words at the bottom.

The problem for us isn't so much that it exists as it is that there is an apparent lack of alternatives for people who would like to see a genuine human female in games. Also, when this is the norm it can mean that AAA games are lost to those of us who don't buy based on such qualities. The difference between games and movies is the lack of diversity in the consumer market. In 2008 when women made up 40% of the gamers, 80% of female gamers who used consoles only used the Wii with 9% using ps3 and 11% using 360s. Fast forward ahead 5 years and there's no evidence to state that this proportion of gaming style has changed in any significant way and you could be looking at the mainstream gaming market still being a veritable sausage fest despite the overall gaming market being roughly equivalent by gender (47%/53%, girls/guys). If anything, the increase of 7% over those 5 years roughly coincides with the adoption of iOS gaming and smart phones which really isn't the target demographic for most big title developers.

What we need to establish is a viable demand for sensibly dressed females. We can complain about it all day long but if changing their methods doesn't improve their bottom line then it'd be a bad business move to make because, again, sex sells. For better or worse, this fiasco has provided a huge boost to market awareness of this game. It wasn't even on my radar until everyone complained about it and I would be surprised if the result is a huge boost in consumers that would otherwise have never found the title. To that effect, this has become an immensely profitable move on their part.

If there was only one female character in Dragon's Crown and it was the sorceress, and the rest of the characters looked normal, I would feel more down on it. As it stands, while the Amazon is pretty exposed, I don't find the design attractive, and the elf looks perfectly reasonable. Combine that with the other over-exaggerated characters and I really don't have an issue with this game in particular. Though I do wish there were more reasonable female videogame protagonists overall.

I love the Elf designs a lot more than the other characters. I don't know how much I would call them "sexy", but they're certainly not the eyesore that say the Sorceress class is. The Elf looks at least reasonably well dressed and proportioned. And it actually makes sense for her to be wearing that sort of clothing somewhat, because she's an archer.

By the way, George Kamitani's art looked much better in Odin Sphere where proportions could still be kind of exaggerated, but were much better than in this game overall. And Princess Crown? Princess Crown was great. Princess Crown didn't look like this. Also Princess Crown is one of those SEGA Saturn must haves. And one of the reasons I respect the SEGA Saturn so much.

In my early years writing for Destructoid, and around the web. I wrote a lot of ignorant, some would even say, and they wouldn't be that wrong, would even say sexist shit. And at the time, I thought it was okay.

That sort of thing takes an awesome person to admit to. Having said something sexist doesn't automatically make someone "the worst ever". It is okay to admit to things like this. That's part of being a human, we grow and we realize thing from the other side. There are a lot of people who refuse to think and refuse to change. But the people who are willing to think and change and admit something like this are people who grow.

It isn't a big deal. I just kind of think that George Kamitani should consider more variety in body types. I would at least enjoy a return to a more "moderate" aesthetic like the one in Princess Crown.


Here's an example of Kamitani's talent when it wasn't doing overly naked exaggerated people. It isn't as if this is his signature style. I don't ask that he change himself or whatever. I would just appreciate a return to a more Princess Crown aesthetic.

There's plenty of extremes of masculnity and femininity here. Old men with big beards. Young men with big muscles and full armor. Feminine looking women of various age groups. But if you'll notice, it isn't overly dominate and there is some variety to where that people don't feel bizarre and out of place. And most characters are reasonably clothed. Reasonably clothed and reasonably proportion.

I felt with Princess Crown, I was being told a legitimate medieval epic that was female empowering. Far, far less so with Dragon's Crown. I speak as a huge fan of Princess Crown that I am very disappointed with Dragon's Crown and how the franchise has evolved.

evilthecat:
Now, to be fair, Kamitani's "joke" would probably have been completely acceptable had it only been viewed in Japan, because casual homophobia remains perfectly acceptable in Japan. Even his "apology" makes it perfectly clear that he still doesn't actually understand why the joke was offensive, but it was. It was offensive because it implies a) that if Jason Schreier had been gay this alone would be grounds to laugh at him and b) that the wider opinions of actual gay people aren't actually important and don't have to be considered.

evilthecat:
The only difference is that one is a half-naked woman and the other is a half naked dude (or three).

Read the apology.. seriously.. it's quite informative. Apparently, he was only getting requests for publicity images of the female characters, including blatant fan service images like female characters in swimwear so he drew a picture of sweaty dwarves in bathing suits to express cynicism at the fact that retailers were only requesting pictures of the female characters.

..incidentally, this is merely an aside, but pause at this point.

Go look at the concept art of the female characters in question and keep the above statement in mind..

Anyway, apparently he was going to post his sexy dwarf picture on facebook for the benefit of fans, but then thought about Jason Schreier's article and decided to make a "lighthearted joke", which turned out to reference Schreier's implied preference for the images over the images of women which he had also drawn.

Seriously.. join the dots.

I'm confused. Unlike many others making the claim that Kamitani's dwarf picture was some kind of homophobic attack, you appear to have all the pieces necessary to understand Kamitani's viewpoint, and yet seemingly refuse to do so.

In what way is it homophobic? Homoerotic, sure. But I can find nothing in the picture, or Kamitani's poorly translated facebook post, that expresses that it's in any way negative. The fact that he drew a picture that appears to be celebrating the male form, and perhaps homosexuality, should at least give people pause in interpreting it so negatively.

Nor do I think the words attached were a homophobic attack, though I can certainly see them more easily interpreted in that way than the picture alone. But I think, particularly given the context in which it was drawn (frustration that he repeated received requests for sexy promotional pictures of the female characters, and not of the male characters), it's very easy to see Kamitani thinking "Finally, here's someone complaining about the sexy female pictures! It would be funny and ironic to show him the sexy male picture I drew." I see his response as "Drawing sexy, homoerotic pictures of dwarves should make it clear that I am not a 14-year-old boy, and that I am comfortable in my sexuality and sexual preferences."

Homosexuality just isn't the enormous controversy and social conflict in Japan that it is here. While it's certainly not the norm, and is considered kind of weird (much like in most other countries in the world, at the moment), there simply isn't the level of hostility. The fact that they can make "casual jokes" about it expresses a higher level of comfort with homosexuality overall than in America.

The cultural difference that might obscure this is that Japan is such a private, collective, normative culture. They do not embrace public, individual expression like the western world, especially Americans, and in that way, are more repressive of deviation. That does not make them a homophobic culture, and they have far more homosexual characters in their media who are developed, interesting characters, and not just parodies of homosexuality. They are more progressive in this regard, at the least.

Should Kamitani have been aware of the cultural differences, aware of how his response might have been perceived? Well, it would benefit him to, if he's going to interact on an international scale, but aside from that? He lives in Japan. It makes sense that he would be most attuned to the norms and attitudes of his own culture. There's no more reason for him to know or care about what Americans (or members of any other nation) think than most Americans know anything about Japan. Sure, it would be smart, it would be best to know about as many cultures as possible, but it's just not reasonable to expect that any arbitrary person from around the world is going to understand how you, personally, think and feel. That's why there has to be communication, rather than reactionary mud-slinging. (Hey, I managed to tie into the message in Jim's video!)

Archangel357:
In storytelling, every part of a character should be relevant to the story. A villain needs a reason to be bad besides "he's an arsehole", just like a "seductress" needs more reasons to be "sexy" than "it will increase sales by 10%". Hercules, Samson, Siegfried, and indeed Kratos are shown as strong because they need to be. It is a side effect that they conform to our society's notions, which consider muscular men to be sexually desirable. So I put it to you: why make a character sexualised if it has no bearing on the medium? If there were a novel about a guy who solves crimes from a locked room, using only his computer, would he need to be built like an NFL linebacker?

Does the color of a character's hair, or their ethnicity, need to be justified or relevant? Or can it just be something to add flavor to the story? I find that stories need distractions, need elements that are "unnecessary" in order to make them feel more real and relatable. If you know that every aspect of a story is relevant and necessary, then it's nothing more than an intellectual puzzle to be solved. And given the frequent claims that every story has already been told, it's the arbitrary variation that keeps things interesting, and relevant to the modern world. Just your example alone: I'd be far more interested in a story about "solving crimes from a locked room, using only his computer" when the character is a guy "built like an NFL linebacker" than some more ordinary character associated with the genre, because it's an interesting variation, and I'd like to know more about the character. Why does this guy choose to use a computer and his intellect, rather than his strength? Even if it's not explained, it's still more interesting than another cliche, physically weak brainiac who solves crimes.

I don't think the size of a character's breasts are any different. Variation is good. What the industry needs is more diversity, more variation in female characters, not a universal shift away from one single depiction and towards another, single, uniform depiction. The problem (on both sides) is the focus on breast size, rather than the size of the breasts themselves. Discounting a female character because they have large breasts is just as shallow as liking them for the same reason.

I'm a bit unsure what to think here.
The immediate response of "thats sexist, and objectifying to women" immediately gets countered by the bulky men.
Am i completely wrong, when i compare the two? I'm fully aware that having huge bulky muscles makes more sense for a dragonslayer than huge bulking boobs, since muscles makes for streangth, which is quite handy when slaying monsters.
But if you're willing to accept bulging muscles not only as a visual que for high STR stats, but also as a sex symbol, not unlike boobs, the discussion is suddenly not about objectifying women, but about having a sexualized game.

Full plate vs chainmail bikini for the same armor set is one thing, but if you go full conan, and have both genders in scampy outfits,both displaying physical attributes considdered sexy/attractive, it's different.
Then it's no longer about men treating women as pieces of sex-meat, but a discussion about how much sex appeal you can pack in a game, and in that case, i'd go against any sort of censur without even considering the game in question.
In this game, even some of the female chars have huge bulky muscles.

It makes me think of a different discussion, not unrelated to this topic.
If porn is objectifying to women, how come it's not to men?
They're paid to get nude and fuck as well (as far as i know, paid a lot less) They're just as much a piece of meat ment to do their job as the women are.

On some occations, i can't help but think that sexism debate goes by the unspoken assumption, that sex is something women do to please men, but don't have much interrest in themselves, At times, people even speak like sex is a horrible thing girls are preassured into, because of games like this, and other girls behavior.

If sexism is cried out every time something is sexualized, it'll (it already is) not be taken seriously, in a boy-who-cried-wolf-ish way.
Beeing opposed to misoginy, and beeing opposed to sexualization is two very different things.
One is about equal rights, the other is about keeping it PG-13, or keeping focus on the non-sexual parts (like gameplay in the case of games)

Am i completely wrong here? I'm a bit unsure baout whether i get my point accross as intended

EstrogenicMuscle:
By the way, George Kamitani's art looked much better in Odin Sphere where proportions could still be kind of exaggerated, but were much better than in this game overall. And Princess Crown? Princess Crown was great. Princess Crown didn't look like this. Also Princess Crown is one of those SEGA Saturn must haves. And one of the reasons I respect the SEGA Saturn so much.

You forget those games were side-scrollers so the protagonists were diminutive for gameplay reasons. The enemies and especially bosses made the Dragon's Crown lineup look sensible. Brigan and Odin were more hulked out than the Fighter, Raijin was further exaggerated and flaunting than the Amazon, while Necro Samantha out-breasted the Sorceress as early as Princess Crown. In a genre known for beefy playable characters doing beefy things and referencing beefy Vallejo artwork, it would actually be kind of silly and unvaried if they kept the slight physiques from his earlier titles. We haven't even seen all the NPCs so it's a little early to condemn them for variety, especially when the playables are showing more of it than all previous Vanillaware protagonists combined. Even counting the Pooka.

EstrogenicMuscle:
I felt with Princess Crown, I was being told a legitimate medieval epic that was female empowering. Far, far less so with Dragon's Crown. I speak as a huge fan of Princess Crown that I am very disappointed with Dragon's Crown and how the franchise has evolved.

I don't think you can fault a beat 'em up for not being plot-driven like an action RPG. Though it is true that Gradriel never had to display power by being a skimpily dressed, busty sorceress who waaaaaait a minute...

Pat Hulse:

Yes, this is clearly about exaggerated gender qualities, but it's important to remember that those gender qualities are not entirely biological, they are societal.

Specifically, over-emphasizing muscular physique in men is derived from the perception that men derive power from physical strength. Similarly, over-emphasizing breasts or butts in women is derived from the perception that women derive power from physical desirability. The reason this is a problem should be fairly obvious, but I'll be a little more specific since the whole point of this video is discussion.

To put it simply, rippling muscles are associated with power because people who have them are generally capable of great physical prowess. However, the reason large breasts are associated with power is because the women who have them are perceived as desirable to other people. In other words, muscles = powerful on your own, breasts = powerful through someone else (probably a man).

You make both a well thought out and good argument, but it's entierly based on the notion this all has to do with power. Yes, being muscle bound is generally associated with physical strength, men usually have to go through quite a lot to become that way as well. Just because a women has large breasts doesn't mean they are a symbol of power, or a symbol of anything at all for that matter. I think people are just so obsessed with this anatomy in both negative and positive ways, that it's easy for their vision to become skewered. Some women just have large/small breasts, it's really that simple. I would have certainly liked it more if they were covered better, but I still don't think there is any hidden sinister meaning behind them.
All I (personally) see is a gross embellishment of the popular qualities that each gender superficially finds attractive in the other. To think this is about "power over men to flash breasts and seduce them into submission" is going into silly territories; ICO sexist silly territories. Unless of course I am mistaken and there is an actual move where the witch flashes the dragon and the dragon gawks in stunned silence as she butchers him. Then we will see eye to eye. XD

completely regular looking women, I would have shook my head. Either everyone looks 'distorted' or no one does, it's all about flow, and if it was obvious the artist made concessions to their own style just to make sure he didn't accidentally offend anyone, anywhere for ANY reason what so ever, I would have been offended. That's the most offensive thing an artist can truly do in my eyes. The last people you want to concede to (when making art) are the people MOST sensitive to it; who feel everything they see that they disapprove of is somehow an attack on them or someone else.

In other words, a dwarf built like a brick shit house is not the same thing as a sorceress with planetary breasts. What WOULD be the same thing would be something more like what Penny Arcade outlined (slight NSFW):

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 the penny-arcade argument to this is they are making an argument for women, but still viewing this like typical men. "Hurr, all I think about is vag, so for games to appeal to women giant dicks must be everywhere. That would be creepy man! I am so glad we don't have it as bad as girls!".No, that comic does not illustrate the reverse at all, because most women don't want to see guys with giant, deformed genitals wobbling everywhere, either. It is also highlighting something that doesn't even technically exist, outside of creepy online internet fiction. While at the same time there actually are guys who are built like tanks, considerable amounts of women who like that, and also women with enormous breasts, and an absurd amounts of guys who like that. When making works of fiction one of the easiest things to do to guarantee at least SOME audience is to make all the characters pleasing to look at. It's very lazy, but VERY popular.

The game looks cool. I like the design I find it classic reminiscent of older games and its classic 2D style is starting to become a rare sight in games. The animation isn't top notch but it shows how simple animation can still be relevant. If the games influences are Conan and comics, and if the marketing is geared to a comic reading, gaming and predominantly male audience, I don't really see a problem with how the women are designed. As a male gamer I'm not going to complain about the look of any of the characters in the game.

It is almost impossible to make a game that is perfectly PC and that appeals to every type of gamer in the market. I guess discussion is good, but game design is starting to become comprimised with the pressure of changing their vision.

xPixelatedx:
The problem with the penny-arcade argument to this is they are making an argument for women, but still viewing this like typical men. "Hurr, all I think about is vag, so for games to appeal to women giant dicks must be everywhere. That would be creepy man! I am so glad we don't have it as bad as girls!".No, that comic does not illustrate the reverse at all, because most women don't want to see guys with giant, deformed genitals wobbling everywhere, either. It is also highlighting something that doesn't even technically exist, outside of creepy online internet fiction. While at the same time there actually are guys who are built like tanks, considerable amounts of women who like that, and also women with enormous breasts, and an absurd amounts of guys who like that. When making works of fiction one of the easiest things to do to guarantee at least SOME audience is to make all the characters pleasing to look at. It's very lazy, but VERY popular.

I don't think the argument they were making, at least by the comic, was about the massive genitals appealing to women, but them making men feel uncomfortable. If you go that way it does seem like a valid comparison if women feel uncomfortable playing a woman with skimpy clothing, massive breasts, and a stripper pose for one of her debut images, and therefore don't want to use her character.

Lektrik:
Homosexuality just isn't the enormous controversy and social conflict in Japan that it is here. While it's certainly not the norm, and is considered kind of weird (much like in most other countries in the world, at the moment), there simply isn't the level of hostility. The fact that they can make "casual jokes" about it expresses a higher level of comfort with homosexuality overall than in America.

No.

When you ask Japanese people about this they will state, much as you have here, that they believe that Japan is a tolerant society when compared to the US, and I'm not going to lie, in some ways it is. There is certainly less homophobic violence in Japan, there is much more tolerance for behaviors such as cross dressing and physical androgyny (though only really for males) which in the West would be associated with homosexuality, there is a sizable media market for various forms of same-sex romance and pornography.

But I think I'm going to illustrate this with an anecdote. Whilst studying at Waseda, a friend of mine was researching gay activism in Japan and decided to poll the student body about their attitudes to homosexuality.

When polled, she found that all of the students she asked believed they were tolerant of homosexuality. They were often keen to stress that since Japan was not a Christian country there was not really any kind of homophobia or intolerance. The problems arose when she started asking questions with specific answers.

"How many gay or lesbian people do you know"

Overwhelmingly, the answer was "none". Among males, the answer was universally "none".

"How many gay or lesbian people do you think there are at Waseda?"

Generally, again, the answer was "none". A few people wondered if maybe there might be one or two. There was nothing close to a realistic estimate.[1]

"How many gay or lesbian people do you think there are in Tokyo?"

Most people were willing to admit that there were probably a few gay or lesbian people in Tokyo, but seldom more than a few hundred.[2]

Of course, this is just an informal poll and I can't expect you to take it seriously, so here's a study I picked off the internet corroborating quite a similar point about the lack of contact Japanese people, particularly men, tend to have with "out" gays and lesbians:

http://digitalarchive.gsu.edu/sociology_theses/15

Now, I could give you countless anecdotal stories about actual homophobic incidents in Japan. Heck, while my friend was giving this survey she got several remarks and jokes to the effect that she didn't look like a dyke. It happens, it happens all the time, much like Gaijin bashing, racism, ostracism and other forms of casual bullying in Japan. Now, what I will say is that compared to the US (and bear in mind, I don't live in the US) it is much less likely to be maliciously intentioned, i.e. people are less likely to do it because they actually hate gay people, just as they don't really hate foreigners, or black people, but they will still do it, and they'll still think it's funny because they cannot understand why anyone else would find it offensive or upsetting.

In America, homosexuality exists. You can like it or you can hate it, but whatever you feelings you are reacting to a real thing, a thing which is visible and present in society. You talk about media and characters in Japan, but the reality on the ground is that openly gay people don't exist apart from in fictional characters and media. They are socially not acknowledged, they are, to most people, little more than an abstract concept which occasionally comes up in foreign media. These jokes exist because the idea of actual, real human beings feeling attraction to the same sex is so ludicrous in Japan that it still causes laughter.

[1] Waseda has close to 50,000 students, as well as an active but highly secretive LGBT society
[2] The Tokyo metropolitan area is home to 35 million people, and has a highly secretive gay nightlife scene concentrated around Shinjuku Nichome, just down the road from Waseda.

Yuuki:

And for those with really thick skulls who STILL can't understand after all this time why there is so much female oversexualisation and "objectitication" in videogames and other forms of media, let me dumb things down and introduce you to the concept of markets - there are some things that sell better than others. Sexy females (and feminine tropes to an extent) is one of those things. The female figure sells and there are entire industries which use females as a selling point, this has been happening for hundreds of years and the female body continues to drive some of the biggest markets today. Videogames are but a tiny portion of that market. I repeat, videogames are but a tiny portion of that truly gigantic market.

But why should we agree that the "market" should rule everything, and the idea that "it sells" is a good enough reason for something to exist? Some people have the crazy idea that ethics (and respect) should be more important than making money.

There are plenty of ways to make money quickly. But how far are you willing to go to make that money? Is spamming people perfectly acceptable because there is a market for it and it makes money? After all, spammers aren't murdering people or anything.

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