Upskirt Danger Caused Sex Change in Ico's The Last Guardian

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Yes, pants would have been a better and easier route, or you know, alternate character costumes...

Even a default pair of reasonable, non-hotpants styled shorts would work just fine...

Oh geez..

Pants, how about it?

-rolls eyes-

So don't put her in a skirt, problem solved? Oh well, that's culture for you.

nekoali:
That sound you hear is my head repeatedly striking my desk over the huge amounts of sexism depicted by Fumito Ueda. First he wants a weak hero to counterbalance the strength of the creature in the game. So naturally he things of a girl. Because you know. Women are all weak, soft creatures who can never on their own be strong, independent and kick butt on their own. y'know, despite all the strong, female, independent kick butt characters in games, media and real life.

And naturally, if we have a girl character, she'll wear a skirt. Because all girls wear skirts, always. You'll never see a girl wearing pants while clinging to a monster or fighting. Besides, boys have a stronger grip.

Dear Mister Ueda. Kindly pull your head out of your ass and join us in the 21st century, where women are equals and wear pants. Thanks.

Holy shit, calm down bro. Does it really mean that much to you? I mean Jesus Christ you sound like you're growing a vagina

*Note: This has to do with the overall impulse thinking here, rather than the original quote I quoted*

Wow, this topic is much more heated than when I originally left. Going by the logic of some of the posters here, I'm going to ignore the fact I have a mostly anti-skirt/dress girlfriend and say that I will not and cannot have a girlfriend in my life if she can't wear a dress/skirt at all time to symbolize that I am the stronger sex.

...

I'm sorry, even as I typed that, that sounded like crazy talk. I'm going to reread the thread now and try to better understand how our awesome developer, who originally had a female lead to begin with, must have skewed views over a dress. There's another point being made here about 'why' said girl couldn't just wear pants.

Goodness, preferences on what he prefers (apparently, strongly prefers) women to wear must be sexism. And nothing else. ' -' And if that's really the logical mindset, then congrats, we now are jumping on someone with different artistic views than us. At most, some of you are just stretching what is just: "Well I'd feel 'off' if the girl wore a dress/skirt, so it's a guy now." There are way more than one reason why he switched the gender to a girl. If I felt 'off' about the main guy wearing a skirt in my game, and rather it just be a woman, does that make me sexist, or have skewed views? Or do I have preferences I'd feel better staying with. If you are an artist of any sort, reasons should be strumming in instantly. You're all Escapist members, no? Do try and actually think about the other alternatives and be a bit more open-minded for both the whole 'sexism' thing and the 'just wear pants'.

In summary, put down the pitchforks and the torches and calmly think about the positives.

Remember what happened when Samus's zero suit was revealed? Exactly.

Ueda may have worded himself to high misinterpretation but get his point: He doesn't want the game to be heavy on the fan service.

This is shockingly old. Really.

Breaking news! Killzone 3 to get public beta!!!!!

@Nekoali: Sorry, but if you got:

nekoali:
First he wants a weak hero to counterbalance the strength of the creature in the game. So naturally he things of a girl. Because you know. Women are all weak, soft creatures who can never on their own be strong, independent and kick butt on their own. y'know, despite all the strong, female, independent kick butt characters in games, media and real life.

Out of:

Article:
The Trico is a very powerful creature," Ueda said. "If we'd had a beefed-up, powerful hero, it would have thrown off the balance a little bit, so the design naturally drove me to create an adolescent female character who was light on her feet.

Then you blow my mind. Not only with this logic are you suggesting that Ueda feels that little boys are all weak, but you're also making the other side of the argument look horrible. I've already explained how the gender change because of the dress issue is FINE, but lets talk about the 'balance'.

He's not saying that females are 'weak and can't do a thing by themselves', I mean, have you beaten Ico? I've seen weaker women. (Though that queen wore a dress/robe too~) At most, I think he's saying that the image would look much more appealing to the eyes. And hey, from an artistic perspective, it IS more endearing on the eyes to see a young girl and a powerful beast helping each other. Beauty and the Beast, anyone?

Or should we be 'correct' and have a 'Broman and the Beast' Disney short? Because I'm sure that'll have the same effect~

Twilight_guy:
Games need more female protagonists! I demand a lady in pants!
...Wow, I really just wrote that...

Wow, I really just agreed. XD

ExileNZ:
2 things:

- Since when did the Japanese worry about upskirts?

- Lara Croft wore pants and people still oggled her backside - of course, she jumped, swam and made grunting noises when she climbed, so that probably 'helped'.

I chuckled at the upskirt question. Though considering, you're probably right.

All Lara needed to get ogled was be a girl. Well, not all. I'm sure prepubescent boys wouldn't ogle her if she was 500 lbs or hairier than Sasquatch, but she was a girl, and therefore, would get their "attention."

I don't care if it is a she-male or something I just want the game to have a good story and be fun to play. Also to have an awesome cat-bird-dog thing.

I will give the guy some credit for avoiding the skirt issue, but really why not give her pants or tights underneath?

I vote for boy in kilt.

pants? shorts? Wait that would require thinking it through. Meh...

Wow. Perhaps Yahtzee was right about what Team ICO thinks of women.

I think someone beat me to that. But hell if I dig through all these pages of people just saying "put her in pants".

Another genius developer that finally figured out the fact that estrogen in large quantities renders one unable to wear pants of any kind. Thank you mister Ueda for your brilliance.

Senaro:
He's worried about the upskirts because he's trying to make an artistic statement with this game. Something to awe people and bring back a feeling like we got from Shadow of the Colossus. That would probably be detracted from if we had people giggling constantly as they tried to alter their cameras to get a look at a little girl's panties.

Even with pants, people are still going to be looking for shots of a girl's ass. Have you seen the stuff on the Halo Reach image sharing? Most of it is Kat's ass, and she's in full spartan getup.

So.... if lady characters will be ogled regardless of their costume, is it even possible to have lady characters in serious/artistic games? Or should we exclude female characters in order to protect them from the ogling and maintain the artistic quality of the game?

Saw this: http://borderhouseblog.com/?p=2855 courtesy of http://www.critical-distance.com/2010/09/19/september-19th/ a little over a month ago. Minus the angst-i-ness, it pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter.

He may be being dishonest about his reasons (looking for excuses to explain the change, and not realizing that his excuses aren't any good), and he may genuinely be of the belief that little girls must wear skirts, and are weak (both of which I generally disagree with, being of the camp that gender stereotypes are a mix between false, self-fulfilling cultural prophecy, and genetics, in varying dosages depending on how misogynistic I'm feeling that day.) All in all, that doesn't make me angry, I just disagree strongly.

In the end, I don't have any particular reason to be mad at him, but it's worth pointing out what he's saying, and all the ways that it is broken, to try and influence others not to follow that particular thought pattern in the future, even if his beliefs are pretty well solidified at this point.

im in favor of having dlc that replaces the main character back into the original female version...

Wow, I'm very surprised by the posts in this thread. Think about the kinds of games Team Ico makes for a second. It's not a stretch to say that the aesthetics and atmosphere make the games what they are. Now, imagine the footage we've seen so far, but replace the boy with a girl in pants. It changes the feel of it, doesn't it? This is a Team Ico game, so the aesthetics of the character and their actions are likely to be the entirety of the character. Girl in pants in a different aesthetic than girl in skirt, so it is a massive change in character in this case. A character's aesthetic design implies things about them, and I'd say Girl in Skirt is probably closer to Boy in Toga than Girl in Pants as far as those implications go.

Glad they made the switch.

I think the change will be for the better. Think about it, dont we as humans feel so mutch more sympathy for the innocent? Having a little boy protagonist rather than an adolecant girl makes sence to me, not just because of the skirt thing, because young innocent characters can evoke stronger feelings of sympathy and affection than say an adolecent could.

Im just saying you can't force sexual disversity into the gaming market, you have to think about what would suit your game best and in this situation i think the little boy idea sounds more sensible for the nature of the story :)

Keava:
It's really weird considering all the asian MMOs always include a young looking girls in sailor skirts with full upskirts whenever you cast a spell (and don't even mention Lineage 2 dwarf girls...)

Exactly what I was thinking...
This kind of thought process coming from an asian developer is trully weird...
They are known for doing the exact oposite O.o

Team Ico:
Public Image +++++;

People are extremely overreacting to all this. Seriously, the decision to make the main character a boy was very early on in the development as the first screenshots we got were of a boy.

What's all this talk about "sexism" and other bullcrap? It's sexist to consider different aspects of the character as fit for a game? Fumito Ueda is pretty much the only real damn developer that's thinking about every aspect of his game as he sees fit, like an author or an artist. He can do whatever he wants.

Why the hell is he suddenly a scumbag for switching the genders? I thought gender didn't matter...

(These are only some of the responses I wanted to respond to, because this whole thread is full of knee-jerked-reactions)

nekoali:
That sound you hear is my head repeatedly striking my desk over the huge amounts of sexism depicted by Fumito Ueda. First he wants a weak hero to counterbalance the strength of the creature in the game. So naturally he things of a girl. Because you know. Women are all weak, soft creatures who can never on their own be strong, independent and kick butt on their own. y'know, despite all the strong, female, independent kick butt characters in games, media and real life.

Ad homeniem. This has nothing to do how "women are all weak", you are completely fabricating what he's trying to do. And if the new character is still a boy, he's still the antithesis to the creature's strength, so now I can claim that all boys are weak and helpless?

This isn't a game about being independent, strong, etc...it's about connection between two partners.

The main character is a little child, helpless without his companion, a common recurrence in Ueda's games.

And naturally, if we have a girl character, she'll wear a skirt. Because all girls wear skirts, always. You'll never see a girl wearing pants while clinging to a monster or fighting. Besides, boys have a stronger grip.

More and more ad homeniems and strawmans. Biologically, I'd assume that children at that age have varying degrees of strength. This game looks to be set in an ancient time, sort of a Native Indian thing going for it, different clothes were customary at the time. Could she wear pants or something? Sure. But it wouldn't matter if she wore a skirt, pants, or if it was a he, it's about weakness and companionship.

You do realize there is more than one archetype for women to get an effective narrative out of, right? Plenty of novels and movies use the "seductress" archetype, does that mean that the certain novel/movie suddenly sexist?

Dear Mister Ueda. Kindly pull your head out of your ass and join us in the 21st century, where women are equals and wear pants. Thanks.

I would advise you to do the same and start thinking of this game how an artist would approach his painting.

boholikeu:
I read the headline and initially thought "wow that's pretty progressive for a Japanese developer. Usually they are all for the upskirt fan service". Then, as the article points out, I realized he could've just put her in pants...

And any shred of respect I had was dashed when I read the bit about choosing a female character as the natural antithesis to a strong creature.

So he's a bastard for replacing a female child with a male child as the antithesis for strength? I don't think children of any sex have that much strength.

Oh my god! He could have put pants on his character, and we'd have a female as a character instead of a stupid male one! HOW DARE HE!!

So he&s awesome because he views women as simply being weak rather than sexually objectifying them?

Pure ad homeniem, completely unfair and fabricating what he's saying, and no, he's awesome because he thinks about every aspect of a game and how they would fit. He's the only one that has some artistic balls in this whole industry, and if he thinks that having a young, male child for a protagonist would make a bit more sense, then let him do it.

Seriously, people, why the hell are people getting their panties-oh, I'm sorry, pants, in a twist over this? You're condemning a Japanese developer for thinking that we gamers are a bunch of sick fucks? I, for one, applaud him for foreseeing the possibilities and looking through every aspect of his game as an artist would for his painting, or how an author would for his novel.

Personally, Fumito Ueda is one of my personal idols in game design.

Zeekar:
To those butthurt few individuals that seem to be throwing a feminism fueled temper tantrum over this:

Artists can and will do ANYTHING they want to bring their visions to fruition. This includes changing characters as they see fit. Udea decided that a male lead made more sense and that is fine.

His opinion on what sex would have been better for this game does not make him sexist; it makes him a man of artistic integrity. Chances are there were many reasons for the change.

Grow thicker skin - there is absolutely nothing to be gained by rampant political correctness. It just makes you look like a raving reactionist.

Thank you. You are awesome.

Isn't Ico a Japanese company? Wouldn't they go out of the way for panty shots?

Suuuuuure, they "realized it by chance".

I would actually put money on the face that they probably wanted to make a normal game to the Japanese, then it found it's market in the west and they had to change the specifications.

Oh cultural differences, will we never learn to tolerate them?

To be honest,
Im deeply offended.
Deeply, deeply offended.

Once again, a giant mythical beast is portrait as a mere "mount".
Subservient to a humanoid hero.
This clearly shows that Japanese devs are stuck in old, offensive stereotypes.

In all other regards: What Jumplion said.

Or perhaps you're judging Japan too harshly, and actual artistic people care about the integrity of a serious game?

Fronzel:
Thanks for the usual derailment of this kind of discussion. No one's telling Udea what to do, they're questioning the logic of "no skirt = male". I don't know why "how about a girl with pants?" is supposed to be such an unreasonable suggestion.

You do realize that the boy in the game right now is wearing what is basically a man skirt/toga, right? Pleaes look here for my main response.

TheAmazingHobo:
To be honest,
Im deeply offended.
Deeply, deeply offended.

Once again, a giant mythical beast is portrait as a mere "mount".
Subservient to a humanoid hero.
This clearly shows that Japanese devs are stuck in old, offensive stereotypes.

In all other regards: What Jumplion said.

Man, you were this close to getting a stern talking to :P

Pretty stupid argument. The designer thought to change the character because he thought that if the player had to climb half the game the main char should fit that part of the gameplay - a young boy, still a child vs. a young woman, more grown-up than child. Which one is more likely to climb things all the time? The skirt thing was probably just a joke. It's both a legit and imho good decision.
Still:

Jumplion:
Fumito Ueda is pretty much the only real damn developer that's thinking about every aspect of his game as he sees fit, like an author or an artist.

That is just wrong.

I read about this ages ago. Yeah, one of the editors was female and she was miffed about it.

Jumplion:

Thank you. You are awesome.

No, YOU sir, are awesome. I should just erase my previous posts and just say "*Refer to Jumplion*".

Meh. Doesn't really matter in the end.

But I have to laugh at the suggestion that there's a problem staring at a little girl's ass which is in any way solved by making it a little boy

I mean, think about it for a moment...

Yeah. Exactly. The only reason it's any better is because it's less likely anyone will actually have those kinds of thoughts about a boy.

The other reasons were sillier.

Less upper body strength? How old is the character in Ico? Because I hate to point this out, but pre-pubescent children don't have anywhere near the differences in physical abilities that teenagers or adults do...

Unless we're talking teenagers or adults, when hormones start to play a big role, a girl can easily be just as strong if not stronger than a boy.

Anyway... It's all just weird explanations about something changed a long time ago.

Greg Tito:
Also, how about just putting the lady in pants? Seems like a much easier fix than scrapping the female character altogether.

Just saying.

Took me a moment there... You mean trousers. Pants means underwear in England so I was naturally a little confused...

Agree'd anyway, would have been much easier. Gaming is in desperate need of more female leads.

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