Female Game Characters Photoshopped to Average American Proportions

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 . . . 16 NEXT
 

Female Game Characters Photoshopped to Average American Proportions

Tifa Lockheart Realistic Proportions Photoshop

Eating disorder awareness group asks game developers for more realistic character designs.

Tight waists are de rigueur for female character designs in games but, if you have taken a look around, their general dominance isn't exactly an accurate reflection of the world we live in. Seeking to spark discussion on the topic of depicting women in games in a manner more in line with reality, Bulimia.com (a website providing information on eating disorders including bulimia and anorexia) has released a series of images showing what a variety of characters might look like if they conformed to the measurements of an average American woman.

Some of the images are more dramatic than others. Jade from Mortal Kombat winds up with a more subtle treatment than, say, Rikku of Final Fantasy X-2, who appears squished down more than anything. Other notable characters include Tifa Lockheart (Final Fantasy Disidua 02), Lara Croft (Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness), and Cortana (Halo 4).

To explain the motivation behind the making of the images, the site reads, "Some gaming studios boast their hyper-realistic lighting techniques, touting natural cloud movements as the latest features of their games. And with that kind of attention to detail, it makes us wonder, why can't they accurately portray the female body?"

Certainly game designers could make the decision to depict less toned flesh. Technology is clearly up to the task, they merely need the desire to do so. It's worth noting that Bulimia.com does not condemn the developers behind the idealized source material nor claim that such bodies are impossible, rather that they are unrealistic as a standard.

Source: Bulimia.com

Permalink

I have no one to blame but myself when I click on these types of articles.

This just makes me wonder how Lara Croft or Riku could keep doing what she does with +15kg around their hips.

Maybe people should be encouraged to lose weight rather than making their fictional characters fatter.

*Braces for incoming hate*

uhhh... I think whoever made these "realistic proportions" forgot that there are women out there who have incredible figures and not everyone is chubby or thunder thighed

In my mind, this more of a testament to how absolutely morbidly obese the average American is, more than anything.
If it's a statement about how women are portrayed in video games, that's fair enough, but I'd rather not everyone be Bob from Tekken in my fiction, thanks.

Legitimate thing to ask for I think.

However, these are American average body types in real-life. Things like The Legend of Zelda, Halo and Final Fantasy don't have to have woman who look like this. Not to mention Lara Croft and fighting game characters, in which you have to be physically fit to do what they do. They gave bad examples to be honest.

Fat_Hippo:
Maybe people should be encouraged to lose weight rather than making their fictional characters fatter.

Well, that's kind of related to the concern that the group has, that the ever presence of this kind of body image represents an unattainable ideal for the average person, the pursuit of which could result in the development of the eating disorders they provide information about.

Lets also hope that they adopt the average to their lifestyle and profession, so that people can play Lara Croft the average american archaeologist or Jade the average american martial artist. Sounds great!

While we're at it, let's also express our desire that next time Wolverine gets shot, he just dies. As mortal beings, I'm sure that's something everyone can get behind. Jesus Christ. (speaking of which...)

Conrad Zimmerman:
Well, that's kind of related to the concern that the group has, that the ever presence of this kind of body image represents an unattainable ideal for the average person, the pursuit of which could result in the development of the eating disorders they provide information about.

Is anyone really suggesting that because a holographic female character in a videogame exists, people binge? Because if they are, I'd really like to see the data and proof of causality...

Yes, I am being a tad facetious, but I don't see the value of pointing out typically heteronormative idealisation in videogames when there are major issues in a nation's attitude to nutritional education, the food industry, and [lack of] exercise. This approach just seems remarkably misguided.

Conrad Zimmerman:

Fat_Hippo:
Maybe people should be encouraged to lose weight rather than making their fictional characters fatter.

Well, that's kind of related to the concern that the group has, that the ever presence of this kind of body image represents an unattainable ideal for the average person, the pursuit of which could result in the development of the eating disorders they provide information about.

I get that point, but replacing these somewhat unrealistically slender female characters with versions that have definitely gone too far in the other direction seems dumb to me. With the increasing obesity and weight problems of the USA and the western world in general, touting an average weight, which continues growing to unhealthier levels, as an ideal seems problematic.

But hell, if thinking in these terms actually helps victims of anorexia and bulimia (for whom I do have sympathy) then I'm all for it. I just found it rather amusing that the modern average weight should be our ideal, which I would clearly dispute.

Conrad Zimmerman:

Fat_Hippo:
Maybe people should be encouraged to lose weight rather than making their fictional characters fatter.

Well, that's kind of related to the concern that the group has, that the ever presence of this kind of body image represents an unattainable ideal for the average person, the pursuit of which could result in the development of the eating disorders they provide information about.

It'd probably be more effective if they didn't use the GTA model, who I'm pretty sure is based on Kate Upton, for it. And...also...these aren't 'more realistic' bodies. These are different bodies. They're not proportioned any better, they're just reversed, for some reason. Maybe if you want to make a point about bulimia or unrealistic standards of beauty, you should shrink the breasts, make ribs visible. Make the character look more real, as opposed to just more fat. I know tonnes of girls who're closer to the first image than to the second purely because I know lots of girls who are fairly thin. They don't have the enormous breasts of the videogame characters, of course, but they also don't have the waistline the second image offers. But they're not underweight. They're just fairly slim.

I just feel like this isn't helping at all. If you're a real woman and you look at those images, your first thought isn't going to be "Wow these images are a much more realistic and attainable standard for beauty."
I guarantee the first thought out of most viewers' minds is "Christ look at the muffin top on that."

I mean, look at it the other way. If you replace all the sculpted male heroes' abs with beer guts. Sure...it's more in-keeping with the 'average,' but it's not in-keeping with the character. It's not making them realistic. It's just altering their design to make some obscure point.

Unless the new trend now is to pretend skinny girls just don't exist or are unhealthy. That's...still body-shaming.

Fat_Hippo:
Maybe people should be encouraged to lose weight rather than making their fictional characters fatter.

*Braces for incoming hate*

You most certainly didn't mean it, but you kinda pointed out the problem when you refereed to a character getting realistic proportions as "getting fatter". One of the stars of the Sopranos suffered from anorexia, and while the show was still running, she beat the problem and started eating properly and gained weight to the point where she was average for her size. People called her fat.

American views of the female body are kinda messed up right now. People think super unhealthy thin is the default for women and there's a lot of pressure to meet that unreasonable standard, the media playing a big hand in pushing it, and me and quite a few other people are starting to notice it and are being really creeped by it. I saw a mannequin in a store 6-12 months ago, then looked at my average height Mom who has been on a major exercise and healthy eating trip for awhile now. It was disturbing how much smaller it was. Reminds me of this.

Add to it, that Christie character from Teken 5 actually looks like she's anorexic, I can see her freaking rib cage!

Chaosian:
In my mind, this more of a testament to how absolutely morbidly obese the average American is, more than anything.
If it's a statement about how women are portrayed in video games, that's fair enough, but I'd rather not everyone be Bob from Tekken in my fiction, thanks.

These women aren't obese. They're normal sized.

EDIT: *Sigh* once again people take criticism of video games way too personally.

I guess we're also ignoring the context that all of these characters have very physically active lifestyles/jobs, which is likely why they'd be in such good shape in the first place?

Huge element with America's obesity issue(and other countries dealing with the same, America certainty isn't the only one) is that most middle and upper class jobs are white-collar, which involves lots of NOT being physically active and also usually long hours. This makes it very difficult to have time, energy and money left over to dedicate to staying in shape. Even if you're eating healthy food, if you don't do the exercises needed to burn the calories you take in, you'll still gain weight.

Not that it excuses being unhealthy, but the unfortunate reality is that LOTS of people have to choose between "being able to work to keep living" or "being physically fit".

why can't they accurately portray the female body?

Maybe accurate compared to the average American woman.

rather that they are unrealistic as a standard.

It's unrealistic to be healthy? This really does sound like an American problem.

Seriously though, what's next? Photoshopping gymnasts and athletes images to make them more "realistic"?

This is more a damning indictment of American physiques than the form of videogame characters.

Get in shape you daft numpties.

You see, if they had picked people who had neck biceps (Gears of war), waists 4 inches wide or breasts that defy gravity (Dead or Alive) I could see the point, but the characters they picked are thin but athletic and healthy. Plus the fact that it's all women makes me scratch my head, Wouldn't adopting Kratos, Marcus Feenix, or any of the other stupid body designs that men get also make the same point but do it better because it wouldn't be needlessly gendering the issue?

Conrad Zimmerman:

Fat_Hippo:
Maybe people should be encouraged to lose weight rather than making their fictional characters fatter.

Well, that's kind of related to the concern that the group has, that the ever presence of this kind of body image represents an unattainable ideal for the average person, the pursuit of which could result in the development of the eating disorders they provide information about.

But they aren't real people. They are fantasy depictions. And if someone is going to be affected by fantasy depictions of what someone looks like then they might just have more serious issues than eating disorders.

It's a good message, but it misses the mark by quite a bit.

image

The message:
On the left: An unrealistic representation of the female form.
On the right: A realistic representation of the female form.

The reality:
On the left: An anime inspired stylized video game girl.
On the right: A slightly deformed anime inspired video game girl.

Neither images are realistic. Presenting either of them as being "ideal" or "normal" is the problem.

Ok and why should the female video game characters depict the standart body proportions for america?
It would quite frankly be rediculous if a character like Lara Croft, someone who endures extreme physical challenges on a daily basis, would have the standart body type of an american woman.
I would also like to know where they got this "standart" from. Just from all women of all ages in america? This standart is somewhat correct were i live for women of their late thirties and early fourties, but women in their twenties and early thirties, which i believe a lot of these characters are, are usually a fair bit thinner than that. Not as thin as some of those videogame characters, granted, but still a fair bit thinner than the "standart"

Edit: After reading the article again i get it now and i support what this website is doing.
I would advise some other people in this thread to do the same. This isn't some fat acceptance campaign or something. This is meant to fight eating disorders by showing that these videogame characters don't represent the standart and that women shouldn't starve themselves to try and look like them and i support this wholeheartedly.
While a lot of the videogame characters have bodies that are at least somewhat achievable, if difficult, there are also quite a bit that have body proportions which are just not possible to achieve. And there's nothing wrong with these characters existing or looking like that, but it is important that everyone gets that these are not achievable expectations.
Eating disorders are absolutly horrible diseases. A friend of my sister died that way and seeing someone slowly killing themselves without anything you can to do help them is truly horrifying.

vallorn:
But they aren't real people. They are fantasy depictions. And if someone is going to be affected by fantasy depictions of what someone looks like then they might just have more serious issues than eating disorders.

I would agree with you, though I don't believe this group is as concerned by individual depictions as much as a noticeable lack of alternatives.

Am I the only one who thinks those alter images are actually alright?

Granted I still kinda disagree with them. They're going about it the wrong way. I mean sure it doesn't take a supermodel body to be an archaeologist like Lara but it still require a healthy body to become one (I assuming they do travel alot on foot). I mean when have you seen a over weight archaeologist on tv?

I get what they were going for, but conforming everyone to average proportions doesn't really account for the extreme athleticism of these characters, who should just by their lifestyles and regular activities show signs of fitness, particularly in regards to arm and leg muscles. This also fails to take into consideration that women come in all sorts of different heights, and with different metabolisms. This one-size-fits-all thing is just as bad as the current standard in regards to assuming there's "one perfect figure". That the perfect figure is heavier isn't really an improvement.

All that being said, we should be sending messages about fitness and activity and healthy living and healthy eating, not appearance and figure. To tell people they look perfect just as they are is to miss the point every bit as much as to tell them they don't look good enough; beauty shouldn't be the goal at all, regardless of how you define it. But even if it were, basing an ideal on the average woman in a country with an obesity problem and a significantly-above-average rate of obesity-related health issues is stupid.

P.S. Thanks

Scarim Coral:
Am I the only one who thinks those alter images are actually alright?

I like some of them more. Tifa, in particular, seems like less of a doll to me.

Scarim Coral:
I mean when have you seen a over weight archaeologist on tv?

Well, TV doesn't particularly like putting overweight people on the air either (unless it's some kind of weight loss competition, which they LOVE). Archaeology isn't anything like what Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider would lead one to believe, though. It's much more sitting around, dusting things off slowly.

Mister K:

Conrad Zimmerman:

Fat_Hippo:
Maybe people should be encouraged to lose weight rather than making their fictional characters fatter.

Well, that's kind of related to the concern that the group has, that the ever presence of this kind of body image represents an unattainable ideal for the average person, the pursuit of which could result in the development of the eating disorders they provide information about.

Good. Let dumb weak-willed people die from self-forced hunger. It will make humanity stronger.

OT: Maybe, just MAYBE you should start running your fat ass off instead of whining about how world is calling your fat ass fat (if YOU don't like your fat ass, that is)? Or maybe, just MAYBE you should finally understand with your little dumb head that it is a FICTIONAL character and no person EVER will achieve this level of artificial "perfection"?

You don't see my fat ass jigling in fear, hatred and sadness because I will never be as buff as Barret or as bish as Sephiroth.

Ok first of all, that's not how natural selection works. Second of all, what point are you trying to make by being insultingly dismissive of those with mental disorders?

Third, I'm not fat and I'm still disgusted by this because not only fat women are noticing a complete and utter lack of creativity when it comes to character design.

Fourth. CHILL! Jesus Christ, it's people criticizing a lack of creativity in video games.

Yeah, also:
Eating disorder. The "disease" that could only be born in first world

Conrad Zimmerman:

vallorn:
But they aren't real people. They are fantasy depictions. And if someone is going to be affected by fantasy depictions of what someone looks like then they might just have more serious issues than eating disorders.

I would agree with you, though I don't believe this group is as concerned by individual depictions as much as a noticeable lack of alternatives.

Fair enough I do somewhat see your point here. But those characters themselves are in careers or lifestyles that either encourage or necessitate the level of athletics their physique shows. Lara Croft was mentioned above but in just the ones they changes we have fighters, dancers and more in there, all very high exertion fields which would lead someone to being thinner than average. This means that if we are going to see more non-thin people in this kind of market then there have to be games that show them in suitable careers.

Aerosteam:
Legitimate thing to ask for I think.

However, these are American average body types in real-life. Things like The Legend of Zelda, Halo and Final Fantasy don't have to have woman who look like this. Not to mention Lara Croft and fighting game characters, in which you have to be physically fit to do what they do. They gave bad examples to be honest.

And the key word there is average too. I kind of get what they're doing, but 'average' only really works in terms of broad statistical observations. Especially with human bodies, which are all so different from each other anyway. Height and general proportions are just as important to the overall physical build as the weight.

If they wanted to redesign each of these characters in a way that is more realistic for what they do in-game, that's one thing and that would be pretty cool. But, this just seems like a bit of a lazy way to go about making this particular point. I think it's a valid point, and that there *should* be more diverse body types for both male and female characters (although the female ones do tend to suffer the worst from it), but this just seems... silly. It's hard to take your point seriously when you've obviously put all of 5 minutes of effort into it.

On the topic of redesigning characters in a more realistic way, I'm actually quite fond of nebezial's depictions of Wonder Woman over on deviantart. She's still definitely feminine, but she also definitely *looks* like someone who punches people and throws cars for a living, and who likely spends hours, upon hours, training to do so. You can look at her physical design and glean things about who she is as a character, and I think that's something a lot of character designers forget. It isn't just about the clothes, or the gear, the base, physical build of your character is a vital part of the design. On a well-designed character, you should be able to remove all clothing, all their gadgets, gear and external trappings, and *still* be able to convey something about who they are purely by how they are physically built and how they carry themselves.
image

I like how he depicts Supergirl too (generally a tiny, petite little thing), which really does juxtapose her physical appearance with her superhuman abilities in an amusing way.

Mister K:
Yeah, also:
Eating disorder. The "disease" that could only be born in first world

It's a diagnosed thing. Just because you think it's poppycock doesn't make it so. A surprisingly similar attitude to how some people are dismissive towards depression I might add.

I'm gonna take a wild stab and guess that you never even knew that it was widespread around horse jockeys.

ShakerSilver:

why can't they accurately portray the female body?

Maybe accurate compared to the average American woman.

rather that they are unrealistic as a standard.

It's unrealistic to be healthy? This really does sound like an American problem.

Seriously though, what's next? Photoshopping gymnasts and athletes images to make them more "realistic"?

*Points at Christie from Teken 5* That woman? She isn't healthy. She is dangerously underweight. In fact, a lot of these women look dangerously underweight. Some people say that that they look that way because they leave healthy lifestyles. If that were the case, they would have muscles instead of being built like toothpicks with a pair of grapes.

Scarim Coral:
Am I the only one who thinks those alter images are actually alright?

Granted I still kinda disagree with them. They're going about it the wrong way. I mean sure it doesn't take a supermodel body to be an archaeologist like Lara but it still require a healthy body to become one (I assuming they do travel alot on foot). I mean when have you seen a over weight archaeologist on tv?

Alot of times honestly, but that's more because they're old(er) and are more like just being the on-site historian and "is this valuable or is this a coke cap?" guy.

Lara's just Indiana Jones, and to be fair, he wasn't in the best shape either, but he also was a teacher the majority of his life and his problems were more mental than physical most of the time. I mean, he punched the Germans a couple times, ran around, had a few gun tricks, bit of climbing in ToD, and some jumping around in TLC. That's about it. Which is basically just Lara's tutorial in most of her games. Heck, she regularly makes impossible jumps if we used the real world's physics systems.

I can agree that she needs more muscle, especially in her arms considering how much you climb in the new one, but that shop just gives her fat...and that doesn't make her look "more realistic", it makes her look heavy-set, and not in the good way.

And doesn't Cortana choose to present herself the way she is like most AI in the Halo universe?

And then there's the rest of the characters, which are pretty much, like, all stylized anime-lite in their games, anyone that thinks they're being presented as anything but a fantasy-type thing is delusional in the very least. They really could've gotten some better examples, don'cha think?

rcs619:
[quote="Aerosteam" post="7.880084.22146350"]

I like how he depicts Supergirl too (generally a tiny, petite little thing), which really does juxtapose her physical appearance with her superhuman abilities in an amusing way.

God I still love that design of her, even if I'd prefer more definition in her arms. But it is just a sketch. Been hoping for that to translate to the real world for years.

This is why I loathe the "Fat Acceptance Movement" so much. The only reason those updated models are more "realistic" is because America is getting so damn fat. Instead of admitting to their problems and trying to lose weight, they're trying to redefine health and beauty so that obesity is no longer unhealthy or unattractive.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 . . . 16 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here