Passing The Buck In A Culture Of Dismissal

Passing The Buck In A Culture Of Dismissal

This weekend I had the good fortune to attend NYU Practice, a fantastic in-depth conference on game design. I was repeatedly surprised at how clever the solutions were to the presented challenges. The lessons were both insightful and, more importantly, applicable as a game designer working for a social games startup. The NYU Game centre really hit the ball out of the park, and I can’t wait to attend next year.

If I felt a sour note over the course of the weekend, it was only during the panel on Street Fighter, a moment Kotaku covered earlier this week. The Q&A had just opened up after a great discussion about the hypertuning required to balance a competitive fighting game for tournament-level play. The first question, lobbed up by professor and game designer Matt Parker, was about misogyny’s damaging effect on the Street Fighter community.

Sitting in front of me was one of my former NYU Game centre professors. He twisted in his seat so that we could share a glance, and smiled. He was happy to see someone raise a tough question. I smirked and mimed running for the exit.


The tiny exchange between us was an acknowledgement of an incredibly unpleasant incident that had taken place roughly a month before. At an informal meetup of aspiring game designers, the misogynist undertones that permeate game culture escalated. For the first time in my shiny new career as a game designer I watched a welcoming environment turn hostile. When I couldn’t take it any more I made for the exit, the chant of “No Flat Girls” filling the room. Since then the NYU Game centre has assured me that they take this problem very seriously. Unfortunately, no matter how inclusive, a university department’s policy can’t change entrenched attitudes overnight. I rest easier knowing that they are actively responding to this behaviour on the rare occasions that it crops up within their walls.

That incident was sparked by a discussion on fighting games, so when “Why so sexist?” was posed to a panel including Capcom’s Seth Killian, the face of the modern Street Fighter community, I couldn’t help but take notice. I was excited when Killian opened with a promise to “take that one on the chin.” Would he, really? Was he going to take responsibility, even a little bit, for the current status quo?

Sadly, no.

His first response wasn’t only to pass the buck to Japan, but to set the tone for the topic with a joke. “Japan’s a very different place,” he explained, pausing for the laughter which promptly rose from all corners of the room. (Street Fighter games are primarily made by Capcom in Japan.)


Blame Japan. And, well, why not? It’s easier to imagine that vicious cultural problems are solely the product of some Over There place halfway around the world. Within the same minute Killian made another joke, this time dismissing the gratuitously sexualized camera angles used for female characters as a sign of improving technology. Again, the crowd laughed.

I hoped for the “But seriously…” moment that sometimes happens after someone makes a joke about an inflammatory topic, but it never came. There was no sobering transition to give the issue the weight it deserves. No examples were offered to show what’s being done to address the problem. The moderator pointed out that this isn’t just a problem in Japanese studios or with fighting games, citing StarCraft as another example of a game whose representation and community struggles with sexism. When nobody stepped up to challenge Killian’s comments further, it was on to the next question.

Why didn’t you say anything?

That’s the million dollar question. It’s what everyone asks when they hear stories like these. Why didn’t I speak up when I experienced sexism at the hands of some game design students? Why didn’t any woman speak up and challenge Killian? Why did no one demand an answer that didn’t conveniently absolve him of all responsibility for the misogyny within the Street Fighter community–a community he’s tasked with cultivating, and presumably, pruning?

If you’ve never experienced what it’s like to be on butt end of systemized objectification and exclusion, the reason can be very hard to understand.

A culture of misogyny doesn’t strike once, but twice. The first blow is the act: hypersexualized female characters, or some guys snickering about what they’d “like to do” to a woman playing on a stream at a tournament.

The second blow is dismissal. It’s foisting the entire problem off on silly old Japan. It’s the jokes made, and laughed at, to ease the tension in the room. Most guys, especially creative professionals, in no way want to be associated with misogyny. It’s less scary to blame a distant society and showboat for laughs than to seriously address what is (or is not) being done to fix an upsetting problem in the industry.


Dismissal in this context is an ugly thing. Women are not-so-subtly informed that their concerns will be sidestepped and possibly also made into a punchline. Worse still, any young guys like the ones I recently had trouble with can walk away feeling vindicated that destructive sexist behaviour is No Big Deal. As far as I see it, neither of these things are worth our ability to chuckle in comfort.

Ultimately, I’m glad that these issues are being addressed at all, and that folks like the NYU Game centre staff are on the forefront of inspiring difficult, thought-provoking discussions. While I took issue with the way Killian shifted the blame, he did suggest that we may be at a “tipping point” for women in fighting games. Hopefully we have reached a critical threshold for women and girl gamers, and it’ll be a downhill fight from here. Until then, I’m incredibly proud of my Alma Mater for working so hard to make gaming and game development a safe space for everyone.

Nicole Leffel is a recent NYU graduate and active member of the game development community in New York City. In her free time she writes a guest series for the NYU Game Center about her experience turning a game design internship into a full-time position at social games startup FreshPlanet. For more reading on the problems women face in competitive fighting games, check out this post on iPlayWinner.


  • Fei Long is naked from the waist up iin that screenshot, I demand equality and hence, more topless women in Street Fighter.

    • Hakan, whom is a wrestler, rubs himself in oil and is only wearing two belts for a top! I demand equality and hence, more basically topless women rubbing/showering them self in oil.

      • Fei-Long is based on Bruce Lee, who dressed up that way. Hakkan is an oil wrestler, so it makes sense for him to be near naked and oiled. With male characters, there tends to be a reason for revealing clothing. Meaning that the characters make sense in the context they are presented in. These men are not being sexualized, we are not shown their bodies for the sake of showing us their nice bodies.

        On the other hand, there is no good reason given as to why Cammy and Chun-Li dress the way they do, other than “bitches be hot YO!” “Dem LEGS” and “DAT ASS”. Not only are these characters overly sexualized, the sexist design is celebrated with fan service camera angles.

        So no, you are wrong. Hakkan and Fei-Long are not sexist. Don’t tell me you were joking because if you were that just means that you are knowingly sending the wrong message with your shitty jokes.

  • I’ve read a few stories like this and I find myself generally confused as to what game designers should be doing in response?

    Should female characters all be made to look like men? Should they all basically be designed to do their best to make them *not* look much different to male characters? Why even have female characters, if the design of those characters isn’t visually appealing.

    I recall interviews with woman’s magazines coming under fire for constantly “photo shopping” their cover models. Their response? “It sells magazines”.

    It’s a high minded ideal to expect game designers to take a stand on these social issues, yet at the end of the day, they’re making a product that must sell. The easiest way (hence cheapest) is to appeal to peoples base instincts. It doesn’t help that in a fighting game, the characters *are* objectified. These games are about virtual characters beating on each other, not conveying deep, character driven narratives.

    Beautiful women are visually appealing. Visually appealing characters sell video games. I’m at a loss as to what developers are suppose to do?

    • Yeah, that’s not the point of the article. Maybe if they actually said what you just did they might actually open up a dialogue with people who are critical about the style. But they just said “hurr hurr teh japans likes it” and nothing more.

  • *sigh*

    Again w/ the “sexist” nature of “boys games”

    Honestly here is the simple raw truth. These games are aimed at men. Sex sells. *period*

    Now this may seem brilliantly misogynistic/sexist/etc. And i’m not going to deny itl Yes it is sexist. Yes it is as they call “fanservice”. May I also point out that it is also *fiction/fantasy*?

    Games are an escape. Games are fantasy. Games will always create what is aimed as an “imbalance” to one party more often than not because it is meant to be “fantasy”.

    Now let me put this on the flip side… why are there not enough guns, blood and guts on “girl” games? Why is there not enough macho men on “girl: games? I call reverse sexism there!

    Yes that was also sarcasm. The biggest problem I see here isn’t so much the “fanservice” but the massive gender divide in production of games itself. That being there are craploads of “boys” games as opposed to “girls” games. I know that comment will begin the endless screamings of “your also being sexist!” but my point here is simple if there was an equal divide of marketing aimed at “sex sells” for women would there be such a massive outcry?

    Sex and attraction will have its place in any form of marketing and media. You can’t blame that. What you need to blame is the imbalance of the market.

    Oh and obvious douches who can’t tell the line between humour and being generally insulting

  • Shad is pretty right, t hawk only wears a vest and is as tall as a 3 storey building, sagat only has tiny pair of muay thai shorts and is built like a ripped mountain, e honda is a 90% naked sumo with a six pack (?) and even though fei long is a smaller build he is ripped to shreds like he’s never eaten pasta in his life. All these things are sexist male stereotypes, the ‘perfect’ male specimen which hardly any of us look like as we are not professional athletes or models paid to work out every day.

    But i don’t mind, it’s exaggerated, comic book, fantasy, whatever you want to call it, it’s not meant to be a representation of reality, or to show an accurate cross section of all body types. it’s a game. The sexist angles of the camera do just as much zooming in and oogling at ripped abs, muscular arms and huge pecs as butts and breasts.

    Heavy rain is a game that intends to show a gritty real-world with realistic, human characters and there’s no cgi breats flying around there, it would be inappropriate, just like having a real world character who succumbs to real world physics in an over-the-top anime/manga style fighting game, it’s not appropriate.

    So what if some moron loud mouth likes his female protagonists with large chests? If he’s being too loud and obnoxious tell him to shut up, but he is entitled to his opinion. He likes what he likes so leave it at that. This PC bullshit is so annoying and hypocritical. There are plenty of vapid, shallow females out there who don’t give a second glance to any male under 6 ft and without abs of steel, but i don’t care. I’m kinda short and kinda skinny, but i don’t go around writing grandiose blog posts about how girls would pick a guy who looks like Ryu over a guy like me. The men are treated exactly the same much as women in these games, in fact the men show alot more skin as opposed to the women in the street fighter roster.

    • I would like to mention however there is a fine line between PC Bullshit and plain offensive demeanor

      If you read her tumblr post that guys “opinion” was strctly on the latter. Your sitting next to a girl who is in all respects a stranger in an IT class and start screaming “No Flat Chest”?. My friend there’s only one term to call that guy – “an ASS”

      • + 1 for all those who replied before this. The logic and quite well written comments posted are a great read in them selfs.

      • I agree, people are definitely entitled to an opinion, however stupid and ignorant it is, unfortunately they are entitled to it. but that doesn’t mean I and everyone around me has to hear about it at.

        In that case he should have been told to shut up and to be more respectful of the other people (male and female) in the room. But instead she gets annoyed, leaves the room and then calls her friend and barks at HIM because HE didn’t do anything about it!?! So she writes an article on the internet about her ‘traumatic’ experience. Give me a break.

        • Change the context and see how it works

          -White Man A is a self admitted opponent of racism.
          -Man A & girlfriend Black Girl A find themselves at a book club or something comparatively inoffensive.
          -White Fuckwit B starts with the racist invectives, perhaps in reference to one of the characters in a book “yer know what them niggers are like with their rap music, drugs & gang wars”
          -Group stupidity helps White Fuckwit B become the centre of attention & herd mentality starts miscellaneous fuckwits joining in.
          -Black Girl A is clearly disturbed by and directly affected by this behaviour
          -White Man A does nothing
          -Black Girl A leaves in a deeply distraught state
          -White Man A does nothing

          White fuckwit A is a complete and utter piece of shit and deserves to have his fuckwit nose broken

          White Man A DID NOTHING.

          He betrayed everything he claims to stand for because he was too much of a coward to stand up and oppose a loudmouthed fuckwit who was indirectly attacking his girlfriend WHO WAS RIGHT THERE AND CLEARLY DISLIKING THINGS.

          White Man A deserves a solid kick in the bollocks and to never ever forget how much of a piece of fucking shit he was that day.

          At the end of the day, an opponent of bigotry let bigotry happen to someone he loved whilst he was in the room and he did NOTHING.

          Wanna make this sound relevant to you? Change the bigotry to something you are. Fat, gamer, short, gay, white, christian, cricket fan or unemployed. No matter what you pick the end result is the same

          • Ok i don’t really get what you’re on about, are you having a go at me for calling out someone not acting on their own impulses and standing up for what they believe in? Or having a go at that person’s friend who also didn’t stick up for them?

            At the end of the day if someone is voicing their opinion (however sexist/racist whatever) and you don’t agree and it’s affecting you, you have 2 choices A) ignore it and get on with more important things in life or B) stand up for what you believe in.

            I agree that if you say you are against something like racism/sexism etc then act like it, sitting by and doing nothing while it’s clearly affecting someone.

            You can’t always expect someone to swoop down and rescue you, so if you want to do something, most of the time you gotta do it yourself, stand up for your beliefs and be strong, don’t complain about it on the internet.

            also merus: why do i sound like i would be cheering? do mean along with the ‘no flat girls’ chant? that’s not what i have been talking about at all, in fact i have gone to great lengths in these responses to make it clear that behaviour like that is utterly reprehensible.

  • Well as a professional working in the IT industry 10+ years, I have to say that game developers sound like a weird lot and need a triple dose of grow up. It’s just plain unprofessional.

    It’s one thing to insist on all leading female characters look and wobble like Lara Croft to sell titles, but it’s another thing to be chanting “no fat girls” in a room with female peers present. I mean wtf are you grown men or adolescent boys?

    It just sounds like it’s isolated to the game development niche because we’ve had Jedi class female programmers in our midsts for years. I don’t get what’s so cool about it all like they make it out to be, it’s a disgrace! I’d be ashamed of myself

    • If your talking about the tumblr incident.

      Those guys sounded more like frehman fratboys than actual professionals IMHO.

  • Basically once I read the article I had to go up and check the name of the author, and lo and behold, it’s a woman. Not to offend though, but this creates a solid form for the situation and better explains things. So a woman is being a woman: she;s upset about men being men: who are being misogynist. The issue here isn’t the fact that the male community needs to grow up and get some more respect, they do. But that people are getting angry about poo on the floor: Nobody knows how it got there, nobody wants to clean it up, but everybody wants to complain about it.

    How can you (as a woman) actually expect men to understand this base sexist nature brought about in extraneous situations and then articulate upon it? Did you really just expect this poor man to admit to a whole crowd, “Yes all us mean are terrible sexists, we are all so ashamed!” Would that make it better? It is no surprise that he ‘passed the buck’ when really what answer could he really have? (Especially when the game is a foreign Japanese construct designed to fulfil Japanese custom.)

  • I’d like to take a moment here to point out the fine line that is apparent between this article by Ms Leffel and the article by Leigh Alexander earlier this week.

    Both articles are discussing the same issue from the viewpoint of females in the industry, and both going about it in very different ways.

    You can read my opinion of Leigh Alexander’s piece here:
    I don’t want to sidetrack this comment/article by bringing all that up again, but I’d advise reading that article and the responses there first, then reading this one.

    Ms Leffel has written here a quality piece of journalism that clearly and objectively sets forward it’s premise, provides the author’s opinion and context, and then leaves readers with issues to ponder. It *is* stating an opinion, and it *is* highlight what the author feels is a major issue and what needs to be done to resolve it.

    However, it doesn’t insult the readers. It doesn’t trail off on unrelated tangents. It doesn’t state that anyone who disagrees with the opinions is any number of things, and associate those people with undesirable sorts. It doesn’t go easy on the issue either.

    THIS is the type of article – even the linked article of “the incident” is decent – that I wish Leigh Alexander would write, simply because she has much more experience in the field, a much greater personal presence in games journalism (look at the CV she went on a tangent with, it’s pretty impressive), and is more likely to reach a wider range of people.

    However, with the type of article she DID write, all she is doing is prepositioning readers to respond poorly or defensively to this type of article – and is doing more damage to the resolution of this issue than any troll post could.

    Ms Leffel – fantastic article, fantastic writing, fantastic issue to discuss. This is a proper piece of journalism, finally.

    • I honestly tried to read that article…

      But after the first few inane paragraphs I had to regretfully give up. My mind can only take so much badly written drivel.

      A pity as you mentioned that the article did raise some noteowrthy points. But it’s like prospecting for gold on the riverbed of muck. You need to get stuck into it and really shift through the crap for the content. Unfortunately I do not have the time or inclination.. especially when said piece outright attacks the audience (if it wasn attempt at some sort of Irony it has failed quite specatacularly I might add).

      This however is a brilliant read (even if i don’t agree w/ everything in it myself as I mentioned in my response) it states an opnion, backs it up and builds on it and gives enough points for open discussion and logical rebuttals. More so the pity that its done by a recent University-Grad Blogger and the latter was done by what is meant to be a professional journalist. =/

      • Completely agree mate.

        I think it’s a sad state of affairs that a lot of people today argue with strawmen, anger, and non-factual points of view. It means the debate is bound to go right out the window right away.

        Partly, I think it’s due to people being used to the internet, where informal and trolling debate is the standard. I think that as a lot of gamers are younger, and naturally gamers are heavily exposed to the net, these two things combine to bring out the worst quality in discussions about game issues.

        It’s disappointing, as these issues can only be handled in a formal and logical way, and arguing for/against without formal/logical arguments is simply pissing in an ocean of piss.

        To stray somewhere near the topic, this article is formal and logical. The other one was pissing in the ocean.

        I want more discourse like this one.

  • Ok, firstly, that “entitled to their opinion” stuff is utter bullshit. a Nazi-loving cupcake rapist has an opinion, does that mean we should design games to appeal to the oven loving pastry fondlers?

    Mario isn’t misogynistic, and it doesn’t have to be.
    Do you think that if Cortana didn’t have her lady lumps popping out at you Halo wouldn’t have been a success? Ditto GoW, Warcraft, or GTA?

    Why does street fighter have to clothe its female characters questionably? I play SF to throw fireballs and shit, not to oogle characters.

    If the next Street Fighter came out and all its females were reasonably depicted, it would still sell. A lot. And be very popular. Would they do this though? Probably not…

    Does a significant proportion of games actually buy/play a game based on how “sexy” the girls are?
    Visually appealing as in unique, interesting costumes, sure. but buying a game based on breast size?

    I think with the accessibility of porn nowadays, perhaps those gamers can simply get their fix somewhere else on the internet, and not degrade my beloved medium. We don’t need them, and I’m unconvinced they are a significant proportion of gamers.

    Do you know what is awesome about the video game industry? we are such a *young* medium, and that is AWESOME! Our image isn’t stuck in stone using ‘rules’ created by 100s of years of making “what people want, all the time”!
    We have the ability to re-invent our entire medium in a year. Look at how quickly WoW changed what it meant to be a ‘gamer’. Look at social games! Angry birds isn’t misogynistic, and look at how popular it is!

    This is gonna sound crazy, but I believe we have the potential to be the *least* misogynistic of all entertainment mediums.
    BUT we have to want to change, and that begins with developers making the stand admitting to the problem, and *actively* designing agianst it.
    If plenty of multi-million dollar games don’t have it, why does yours?

    Finally, I know you guys were joking, but if the male characters were like the women in SF, their junk would be the size of a watermelon, and would sway side to side in every action. Then, when Hakan wins, we would rub his junk over the screen and well “Make me a new daughter!”

    • I agree with a lot of what you said, except for the last part. Just because the guys in street fighter don’t have watermelons down their boxing trunks doesn’t mean they aren’t being objectified. Frankly if my junk was that big i would be calling the hospital double quick, it’s not attractive not healthy for that matter.

      Men are objectified in other ways that are applicable to make them ‘more attractive’ to the opposite sex taller, stronger, bigger muscles, flatter stomachs, confidenet, macho blah blah you get the idea. So when you look at it that way, they are most certainly objectified, just not in exactly the same way in regards to body parts. It’s all exaggerated, just like the action (fireballs, stretchy limbs, teleporting) to fit in with the fantasy setting.

      • Do you think that the men are designed in that was to be ‘sexually attractive’ to female gamers though?

        Or perhaps it’s simply a reflection of the over-sexualisation of all mediums, not just games, which I agree completly with.

        However. There is more to the debate then simply how the characters look, and I think that was what the author was attempting to bring up when she mentioned, briefly, the starcraft community.

        A lot of casual discourse during online games is mysoganistic and homaphobic, whereas there is little to no casual conversations and attitudes objectofying men.
        But then the whole ‘picking the one with the biggest boobs’ could also be ‘picking the one with the largest muscels’, so it can go both ways

        • I can’t really say whether or not men with big muscles are attractive to all women or not, but if the media is anything to go by if you ain’t got abs you ain’t worth a bit, so i guess it’s going along with that.

          It is very unfortunate that there is homophobic and/or sexist going on over games (such as in starcraft like you mentioned) but i think you’ll find that in almost any male dominated past time, especially one that is almost totally populated by young males, and even young males who tend to interact with others digitally via the web/games rather than in person (ie people with bad social skills). Also it has to mentioned that with the rise of people interacting anonymously it has given rise to a sort of false bravado, a licence to be a dick as it were, where people can go too far, and have little to no consequence, where you can be offensive and vulgar as possible and not be chastised or punished.

          The fact that there is little to no offensive comments (i guess from women) towards men in these exchanges is primarily due to the overwhelming ratio of male to female in these sorts of environments, it’s male dominated past time, it wouldn’t make sense for these morons to make fun of someone for being male, because they are themselves.

          I think education will have to come from everywhere because this attitude isn’t isolated in just games, it’s everywhere and has been for a very long time, long before games got to where they are now, this is as much about gender equality as it is about anything else.

  • This is not ‘quality journalism’ by any stretch. It’s overly dramatic, exaggerated and based more on opinionated emotional reaction than fact or logic. This whole article is about TWO SENTENCES that were spoke which apparently, along with some undergrad morons in a computer lab) are bringing about the apocalypse in the form of big breasted fantasy characters.

    She takes shots a guy who made some passing comments in jest, and complains that no one is taking seriously WHEN EVEN SHE DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING in BOTH ‘incidents’? Is this supposed to be an article where she chastises herself? because if anyone was in the position to get the ball rolling on this issue it would seem she was in the perfect place, a discussion panel. But she didn’t do anything, so she’s clearly at fault for allowing this ‘culture of misogyny’ to continue it’s reign of terror.

    She then goes on about this ‘culture of misogyny’ in games in some exaggerated tone, with random examples (tournament harassment?) pulled from nowhere with no facts. The fact of the matter is these games are aimed at young males, and the rest of the media (tv, film etc) perpetually barrage people with stereotypes to follow so it’s little wonder that ‘sex sells’ across all platforms. Why aren’t barbie games more male oriented? why don’t they have guns and gore? Because they cater to little girls so they are sexist, therefore women must hate men. Street Fighter isn’t made for little girls. All games can’t cater to all needs all the time, it’s impossible. Maybe it’s prejudiced against the human race that car racing games only have cars in them, or transformer games only have robots? Give it a rest.

    It’s a game for fuck’s sake, it’s not meant to be real. The guys are objectified just as much as the girls and ignoring that fact is an act of ignorance. it’s part of the overall debate, it must be taken into account otherwise this apparent ‘hyper sexualisation’ of women could be seen as completely out of context, only showing one side of the story. Maybe I should write an article about how women hate men because they allow us to be portrayed as giant muscular strongmen? Maybe that would balance things out?

    Oh and one more thing, I ain’t no fucking troll. Just because my opinion differs from the one in the article don’t think I’m doing this because I want to stir up trouble for the sake of it, i’m writing this because I have a right to my OWN opinion, just as Ms Leffel has hers.

    • Look at this as more of an opinion piece where the author is responding to a recent report (was on Kotaku I think, one of the guys, Steve T-something?) with her own view of the situation and discussing her own context coming into it.

      You raise a lot of good points, and there is obvious objectification and “idealisation” of males in video games, without a doubt.

      If you were to put up an article giving an objective and detailed analysis of your views, I know I’d be more than happy to read it.

      Both genders need to weigh in on this issue, I would say, so that it can be examined in full. If the problem simply isn’t “lol, womens boobs” and the reaction to it, but also thoughtful consideration of how men are represented, then it changes the issue from a single sex one to a general discussion of representation in games.

      You never know, a fair analysis of THAT issue might find that no changes really need to be made at all, other than a greater variety of males and females represented across the board in games.

      • Do you think though that the issue is larger then how each gender is physically represented?

        It wasn’t quite brought up in the article, but in online communities ‘gay’ and ‘girl’ are used as epithets, whereas ‘man’ and ‘dude’ are used in a heroic, posative way.

        The story with the fratboys was as much about their disregard for women as a whole, as it was about the ‘lol boobs’

        Again, this is as much a problem with our culture as a whole, and not just video games.

        • I sure do. There’s a much larger issue than physical image, there’s a whole lot to do with scripts, attitude, thoughts, and position in the story as characters.

          As other people are pointing out, video games are “young” media – but they’re drawing on general social norms and trends, and being rooted in that, they project those standards as a matter of course. Most media does.

          We all need to keep in mind that “the women” were simply “house keepers, mothers, and weaklings” for at least the first half of last century, and for oh-so-long before that. We’ve only recently had a cultural shift that values equality, or at least values the positive differences between genders and how they can be exploited (in a good way) for the benefit of all.

          Even in print media, movies, novels, or people having a chat, that doesn’t mean that everyone is all in the “future mindset” of general equality and celebrated differences. Far from it. It’s likely to take another 50 years before we even approach that point.

          With that in mind, expecting a “young” media, which was predominantly the preserve of young males for much of it’s life, to change overnight into a forward thinking and society-leading positive role model is a pretty big ask.

          Whether or not we should be asking it to be that is another argument, but the fact is that given the history and culture that everything is tied up in, this is a much bigger problem than how big someone makes Cammy’s boobs.

          The secondary factor to all this is that video games is an industry. Industries are there to make money, and to make money they’ll make what generally appeals and sells to the biggest (not widest) audience.

          If the biggest audience wants jiggling girls who cry a lot, that is what will be made by and large. Other games will be made, and the only way to establish these as avenues of both change AND profit is for people to buy the games that represent the desired change, and not buy the others.

          Companies catch on quick. They’ll chase the dollars.

          So, the argument then becomes how to enact enough change in the consumer to drive these reforms, and hopefully then play a part in driving a societal change.

          The answer? Informed debate with rational, intelligent people. Through articles like this – game-field journalists writing to game-field consumers about important issues and how to “fix” them. Provoke debate, provoke discourse, change some minds, let them change other minds.

          It’s a big, long, and unfortunately slow process, but it’s the only way to see changes.

          In my opinion, and this is simply my own here, the best way to get more people on board and get it happening quicker is not to blacklist the jiggly girls and tell everyone they’re barred. Instead, embrace the “hot, jiggling female protag” as *one aspect* of the representation of females in games, and promote and encourage other aspects to also be included going forward. Accept that sometimes, some people want to play with jiggly girls, or that jiggly girl does play a valid role in a particular game.

          By trying to black list it, it’s going to drive people away who might otherwise be convinced of the argument, because like it or not the jiggly girls are a valid representation – its just that they’re OVER represented, and need to be put in context. “Taking it away” is only going to provoke strong opposition.

          If you’ve got this far – I’m not saying we shouldn’t see a change. I’m saying we are. But we need to do it in a real world context, not in an idealistic instant-change-required context.

          That’s my two cents, anyway.

  • Let me ask a simple question… Is there anyone that actually is offended by Cammy introduction?

    Or are the people in question using it as a soap box?

  • I think that this has gone over the top. Also I think the idea of boys games and girls games don’t help. Don’t try to appeal to a certain gender and you won’t have these problems. Most people who play fighting games aren’t actually paying attention to the bodies because they’re in the midst of fighting.
    Most women don’t have a problem with revealing clothing, nor with giant breasts that jiggle. I think the greater injustice (and this affect both genders) is terrible characters! Look at Ashley Graham from RE4. She was the main female character and all you wanted to do was KILL HER! Male characters don’t escape this either.

    As for the horrible attitudes that some of these men have, it may just be group mentality. It’s funny in the group, but it’s not their actual opinion. If I was there I probably would’ve said something because it’s not Japans fault. People need to accept people as they are, whether they’re tall, short, wide, skinny or flat chested.

  • So should Killian have taken personal responsibility for sexism throughout the entireity of the Street Fighter series and brand? or just for being involved with it? Japanese culture?

    Then she seems angry at him for not magically making all Street Fighter fans intelligent and polite or at least not explaining why he *hasn’t* done so.

    I’m not really sure what the author was looking for him to say… Seemed like he was being held responsible for a lot of things beyond himself.

  • Ok I would just like to point out here that girls do not just have to play “girl” games, why is there a divide? I love my shoot em ups and fighting games, its like saying men and women are two seperate species!

    I would prefer it in my fighting games if there was a girl character I could relate to, a more realistic portrayal, not just skimpy clothes an boobs popping out of her shirt, a badass chick who dresses for comfort, not to flaunt her features.

    I know this will be a long time coming, but lets try and close the divide between girl and guy games, shall we?

  • I’ve read all of the comments above, and I think there are some very good points being made. I don’t think one individual or even one industry can be expected to take responsibility for the over-sexualization/sexism and homophobia present in our culture. But what I think is happening is that individuals are using that fact as an excuse for their individual behaviour and those people who are in their sphere of influence. And I do think the gaming industry has a unique opportunity to change attitudes and behaviour because of its very nature.

    I’m a longtime WoW player, and I have never really faced any significant amount of sexism or racism or homophobia for one simple reason – collaboration. In both my guild and my encounters with strangers on my server, if a fellow gamer used language that was offensive, they would be warned (by myself or our GM) and if their behaviour continued I’d quit the group or the offending party would be kicked.

    This idea of collaboration is one that is a part of almost every game on the market these days. And it is the responsibility of every individual to stand up for your beliefs. If, as many have said, it is a minority of guys who are extremely sexist (or racist or homophobic or whatever) there is a very simple method built into games for the majority to weed out the bad seeds. If it is because the demographic is a lot of young men, then it is the responsibility of the older gamers to again explain to those behaving inappropriately why they (even if they are straight, white males) will not tolerate that behavior and enforce that by choosing carefully who they collaborate and help.

    How does this affect game design I hear you ask? Well, again it’s a matter of principle. A game designers sphere of influence is much greater than your average gamer, if he is not standing up for the anti-sexism/racism/homophobia ideals he says he does by not participating or at least trying to mitigate the sexist attitudes in his industry, then he has to be honest about his motives. When asked “Why so sexist” about SF why wasn’t Killian’s answer “Well sex sells, and it’s what you guys are asking for, and we’re not trying to make good art or stand up for our morals, we’re here just to make money.” He also could have said “Yeah, I hear what you’re saying, and you’re right that gaming has a problem with sexism, not necessarily in the graphics, but in the attitudes of some gamers, and I really hate that some people perpetuate stereotypes and use bigoted language when using something I created.” What he should have done was not give the issue a pass, and therefore provide tacit approval to all those who genuinely are sexist. It was a little bit cowardly.

    My point is, someone needs to take the first step, and because we are talking about a multi-billion dollar industry here, the truth is that step has to be taken by us gamers. We have to show game designers and companies that we reject all types of bigotry, in particular sexism, which will allow designers to point to our behavior when stepping up to their bosses and backers about a game that depicts all game characters (both male and female) in a less sexualized way. This doesn’t mean I advocate their be no games that incorporate more hyper-fantasy elements, believe me as a gay girl gamer, I appreciate a good boob jiggle as much as the next guy. But I would love to see this type of depiction not be the standard in games that are going for realism in all other aspects. To me it doesn’t matter how realistic the gunfire is, or how real the water looks, if my female character is wandering around an arctic military base in booty shorts, and her boobs are so large she would have chronic back pain and barely be able to hold down a 9 to 5 job, nevermind take out a whole platoon of guards by flipping all over the place, I’m going to notice, and you’re sacrificing realism for objectification at that point, which is not cool.

    And one last aside – do guys realize how hard it is to shoot off a gun with a pair of huge honkers in the way? They’re fun to play with, but they do can cumbersome when they’re always there.

    Sorry that might have been longer than the article lol

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