Designer Apologizes For Reply To Question About Oversexed Characters

Designer Apologizes for Reply to Question About Oversexed Characters

The game director for Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming Heroes of the Storm has apologized for his treatment of a question about how characters are designed — specifically how multiplayer online battle arena games, of which Heroes is one, tend to hyper-sexualize female avatars.

Dustin Browder took to Heroes of the Storm's official blog to offer his regrets for his response in this interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun. "I responded poorly to a statement the interviewer made about over-sexualized character designs in games, and I want to apologise for that," Browder wrote.

"This is a serious topic, and I don't want anyone to think that I, or anyone else at Blizzard, is insensitive about how we portray our characters," he added.

In the interview, RPS' Nathan Grayson broached the subject, asking how Heroes planned to approach its design given MOBAs "tend to hyper-sexualize female characters to a generally preposterous degree."

Browder replied that "We're not sending a message to anybody. We're just making characters who look cool." He added that "I'll take the feedback. I think it's very fair feedback," and said the design sensibility behind Heroes "is more comic book than anything else."

When Grayson remarked that "it's a medium that's notorious — often in a not-good way — for sexing up female characters and putting them in some fairly gross situations," Browder replied, "We're not running for President. We're not sending a message. No one should look to our game for that." Grayson pressed the issue further, with Browder replying "Uh-huh. Cool. Totally," before a public relations handler declared the interview over (the PR handler had said time was running short before Grayson brought up this subject.)

Following the posting of the interview, Grayson editorialised at length about Browder's response, apparently giving rise to Browder's apology.

"It takes work to make compelling characters, but it's important to take a step back to ensure that we're not alienating our players," Browder wrote. "We have an amazing roster of heroes and we will always strive to make sure that everyone can have a hero that they identify with and feel powerful using.

"I would like to thank Rock, Paper, Shotgun as well as our players for their feedback on this important issue," he added. "We want to do better, so keep the feedback coming and thanks for the continued support."

On Character Design [Heroes of the Storm]

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @owengood.


Comments

    Can someone please point out what he said that deserves an apology?

      Absolutely nothing.

      Not necessarily in favour of this whole oversexed characters thing, but seriously, does everyone have to hand out an apology the second they say something that even remotely implies that they don't care about this tired social justice argument? That interviewer was a dick. I would have replied in the same way.

      I too fail to see the problem here.

        Aren't the male characters are over-sexualised too?

          Jim Sterling. Watch him.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR9UMgOFeLw

      What if he wanted to apologize out of his own free will?

        That's ok. I was still just trying to find out the reason for it. Even if he thinks he said something inappropriate, I couldn't see it so I am still left wondering.

      He didn't say anything that needed an apology. You have to keep in mind, for the point-scoring moral crusader, when there is no battleground available, it becomes necessary to create one.

      The "yeah cool, whatever" blow-off?

        You mean this?

        RPS: But it’s not even about a message. The goal is to let people have fun in an environment where they can feel awesome without being weirded out or even objectified. This is a genre about empowerment. Why shouldn’t everyone feel empowered? That’s what it’s about at the end of the day: letting everyone have a fair chance to feel awesome.

        Browder: Uh-huh. Cool. Totally.

        That doesn't sound like he's blowing it off to me, it sounds like he's agreeing despite the fact the interviewer was soapboxing. He'd already said what he had to say on the topic in the previous two questions.

          I think the issue with that one line, is it can be read either way. I read it and think, he could just be agreeing with the statement, or alternatively, he could be sarcastic and dismissing the question.

          True - just took a guess since the rest of it, like "we're not running for President", was just the usual "we want to be Art, but without any artistic criticism levied at us" stuff.

          However, it's what the interviewer gets for bringing it up after PR gave the 'wrap it up' signal... if it's that important to you, don't leave it to the end.

      Why even bother getting interviews with relics like RPS... So many better weblications out there.

    Hyper sensitive feminists will find anything to be offended about.

    the sarcasm basically equating to 'no. go away.' in response to 'could you consider women when designing your game' is a little bit dickish on his part. i might also add 'we're not trying to send a message' is a pointless sentence. you are sending a message, and you're saying that casual objectification is fine.

      "We're not trying to send a message"

      Well, you are whether you are trying or not.

    Can anyone in his position that had to answer that question, come up with something that won't supposedly piss people off?

    I can't think of any, if he agrees, then his saying they purposely did this. If he defends their decision, his not considerate enough...

    Jesus they really trapped him in a corner here...I feel sorry for him!

      How about, and here's a crazy idea, we actually develop for diversity rather than perpetuating the same pandering stereotypical images. It's so crazy it just could work

        It's funny you use the word pandering, because that's exactly what you're telling people to do.

        If I make a game, I get to make the call on the characters, plot, artstyle, whatever. You don't get to dictate that to me. If you like it, you buy it. If you don't, you don't. I may choose to represent people in a certain way, and you're free to disagree with me. But (within the legal limits) you can't tell me what I can and can't do with those characters.

        Why has the last few years perpetuated this sense of entitlement that works of art and fiction are somehow at an individual's beck and call to change?

        Last edited 25/11/13 3:35 pm

          This right here is what it should all be about. They shouldn't be making a game to pander to any one, it should be full of content that THEY are happy with, as a consumer they owe you nothing not even if you spend money because at the end of the day it is your choice to spend money, it is not like their game provides you the oxygen you need to live even though we may sometimes feel like it does.

          Being forced to be PC is such a load of crap, it is all about stifling directive decision so as to what? Not offend some one who probably won't buy your product any way. I am all for women's rights, but I find it funny that this is always such a big thing in gaming yet the fact that racism is even more prevalent is just swept under the rug and the feminist cows who would complain about this are the same ones who ignore the way the media bastardises Muslims.

          I just thing people shouldn't be so thin skinned when it only comes down to a subject that only benefits them.

          I think you're confusing entitlement with criticism. Nobody (important) is asking that these games be taken off the shelves for not representing women well, people are merely criticizing what is starting to become a juvenile and immature trope in an art that is evolving (to clarify, this RPS guy is nobody important in this discussion).

          I think it is completely silly how it is normal for people to respond to this discussion in such absolutist extremes. If you criticize a game for its immature representation of women, then you are an extreme feminist who is hyper sensitive and wants the games erased from existence (because it is totally impossible to enjoy a game and criticize it at the same time); if you sexualize a female character or make use of a common trope, then you are a sexist who has no regard for women. It is so over-dramatic and silly - at the end of the day, it is a god damn video game that is open to criticism as much as it is open to artistic freedom.

          So, no, it isn't entitlement. That is hyperbolic. It is merely criticism.

          Last edited 26/11/13 10:55 am

            As I said, I have no problem with criticism. Your post is entirely correct. My issue stems purely from people who feel they can force creators to change their creation because their criticism is somehow more important than others' opinions.

      It's called "gotcha journalism" and it sucks.

    The guy from RPS is starting to get a rep for refusing to accept straight responses to questions in an attempt to stir up trouble. Whether or not you think the guys character art is sexist, I see nothing offensive about the responses to the questions asked.

      Heh. Read his smug, smart arse intro questions.

      You mean asking questions and not accepting bland, generic answers? Man, I hate when people do things resembling journalism! We should definitely avoid expecting real answers to interesting questions, when there's still a chance to know what new socks blizzard is releasing to it's store!

        Except that's not what he did.

        Videogames isn't investigative journalism. It's not the Fourth Estate. He didn't want to answer the question (and who could blame him?) because it wasn't what the interview was for, and the RPS writer acted like a jackass, and even more of one in the subsequent article.

        But is it really investigative journalism? Or just pushing this agenda into everything?

        Like, noone's committed a crime here. I have fantasy books from the 70s that have pics of chicks in skimpy armour on them.

        This is not something that has just occurred recently. When I play skyrim, I have 2 sets of armour for my female characters. A normal set, for most of the time and when the kids are around, and a sexy set, for when I feel like watching a hot warrior chick dole out justice. I don't think there's anything wrong with that and if the developers take it away then people will mod the games to put it back in.

      Yeah, we should just be happy with canned and boring responses, rather than journalism that attempts to get a real answer out of a stiff collared PR driven and over controlled industry?

      I don't think it's that he refused to accept straight responses more than he knows he's being bullshitted too in the industry and not given real honest answers. Just go see what happened to him on his interview with Arkane regarding Dishonored 2 and other Projects, and the internal emails that subsequently leaked from the Developer.

      Why bother with journalists in that case and just copy/paste or reread the media releases, like most reporting on games.

        That's not what happened and you know it. Was he there for an interview on female depictions in videogames? No, he was there for an interview on HOTS. He can ask those questions, but he can't get shitty at the guy for not answering it.

        EDIT: Just for clarification: I'm not arguing against more 'journalism' in videogame journalism. It's just in this regard, the interviewer was way out of line, trying to push a political stance, and then when it wasn't being accepted, he got all angsty about it.

        Last edited 25/11/13 3:25 pm

          Fair enough. I agree he was pushing his agenda, but I don't think we should necessarily say it's alright to just take the first answer as a given and the final real answer as a journalist.

          As i mention elsewhere, the response given can be interpreted two ways on paper. Possibly said in person, its interpretation was as depicted.

      That's why I don't read that site. I love reading about games, but not the opinions of douchebags, which is what that site has a lot of.

    Not really a surprise, given that it's Blizzard we're talking about. They've always struggled with female characters.

    If it's a problem for you then vote with your wallet.

      I voted with mine when I bought two copies of Dragon's Crown. Would have done it anyway even if the women were flat-chested and wore ski vests as its such a fantastic game.

      I also buy playboy for the articles.

      If the idea of seeing a bit of skin and a suggestive pose is offensive, yet murdering cops and dealing drugs is perfectly acceptable, you really need to re-evaluate the world you live in.

        "If the idea of seeing a bit of skin and a suggestive pose is offensive, yet murdering cops and dealing drugs is perfectly acceptable, you really need to re-evaluate the world you live in."
        Thank you!

        What if 99% of games were your prototypical murder simulator. I like those two but I think it would get a bit boring after a while. There are also those out there that are after maybe some story in their shooters or maybe a feeling of adventure; what about strategy and puzzle challenges.

        It's the same principle really.

        It's not the people that are offended at seeing a bit skin that we need to be concerned for, it is the players that think it is ok to see a bit of skin because they 'could' come to expect to see skin, or they 'could' transfer their feeling towards video game characters over to real women and treat them in the same hypersexualised way. Basically we are dealing with the immature and people that don't have a strong grasp on proper social behavior.

          Just like they 'could' transfer their wanton destruction from GTA to murdering civilians in the street?

            Exactly like that Fryiee1 and while anyone can look at that and say Pffft ridiculous.
            It takes a more mature person to look at it and see the insidious repercussions that come from having an attitude that can make jokes about jacking cars and killing hoes. It's a fine balance, one that we have yet to master.

        I think this whole thing has been completely blown out of perspective by people who lack basic comprehension skills.

        People don't necessarily consider it offensive that women are portrayed poorly, but people are very critical of it. It is rather immature after all, and considering that 47% of gamers are female (a larger demographic than teenage male gamers), it is a little uncomfortable. I mean, yes, you can have these damsel in distress tropes and you can have these over-sexualised portrayals of women, but a lot of people consider them to be not very engaging. I know I tend to feel rather disconnected from a story when a female is dehumanised to the point of just being a piece of narrative loot, because that really just doesn't reflect reality, does it? It doesn't really make sense that there are so many female characters in gaming that are completely docile and dependent when I very rarely come into contact with a woman who is less docile and dependent than myself in real life (I am a bit of a girly man, I will admit). It just seems silly, and extremely outdated.

        I hope that clarifies what the other side of the argument is really based on. Don't take what this RPS guy says as a clear indicator of the state of your opposition. I know I'm not exactly an authority on it all, but I'm someone who has tried to stay relatively unbiased in this whole issue, so take it or leave it I suppose.

        Last edited 26/11/13 11:08 am

        Man, Dragon's Crown was disgusting. I feel like it's target audience was the stereotypical gamer neck-beard who lives in the basement. It doesn't look edgy. It doesn't look mature. It just looks crass.

        How hard is it to have a strong character who doesn't have her tits or ass out? Or an interesting male lead who has an actual personality. I'm sick of cliches, I want characters.

        Last edited 26/11/13 8:04 pm

    "I am so sorry for saying that I just want to make a good game without getting political. It's become clear to me that stating that you're not sending a message one way or another is so totally peverse that it requires an apology. From now on, every comment I make will come with some political message. Hopefully this will make people happy, as it's clear that people now want games that follow some political ideology"

      Games have an intrinsic political property. Settings, characters, interactions, and plot are all affected by the politics of the developer. It's not impossible for a game to be apolitical, but it's quite an uncommon occurrence.

      I agree that Browder did not have to offer an apology, and I appreciate that he, or PR, thought an olive branch would be considerate, but I would find it hard to believe that Blizzard's target demographic does not influence the developers to adhering to a particular political ideology. It's there, it exists, we all need to be a little more tactful and forgiving with our conversations.

        Give this man a cookie - all literature and art sends a message, and gaming is not exempt from that. You can say you aren't trying to convey a particular point of view, but your design choices will always reflect your personality, one way or another.

        Even if it is your goal to have none of your design choices reflect your view on the world, that in itself is a design choice that reflects something you would do - there is no escaping social impact.

        Last edited 26/11/13 11:12 am

    I'm getting sick of developers having to apologize for making a female character "sexy". Sex sells, it's a proven marketing method. GET OVER IT!

    Not like the poor bloke could win though. You make a covered up modest female character and the same complainers would bitch at him that they aren't "good looking enough".

      But sex doesn't sell.

      http://news.sciencemag.org/2002/06/sex-doesnt-sell

      And women make up 47% of the gamer demographic, which outnumbers teenage boys.

      http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2012.pdf

      So, as a marketing technique, it actually kinda sucks.

      Last edited 26/11/13 11:22 am

    I'm sick of hyper-muscle bound men in games

      Required reading

      http://www.shortpacked.com/2011/comic/book-13/05-the-death-of-snkrs/falseequivalence/

        Or you could look up the meaning of the word 'sexualisation', which is a separate thing from 'attractiveness'. Unfortunately that comic makes the mistake of confusing the two.

          Penny-Arcade made a good one that doesn't confuse the two.

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

            I'd play as that guy, honestly.
            I'd play as anything, really.

              Yep, I remember posting at the time that comic was discussed here that I'd have no problem playing him.

          Like the image someone made up of Big Boss dressed like Quiet, it skews the point altogether and muddies the issue.

          Putting Big Boss in a bikini and fishnets doesn't sexualise him as a male, (or like this case of making batman more feminine looking) doesn't 'sexualise' him, it makes him a cross dresser, which would almost certainly indicate that he is gay (or a guest on the footy show).

          I'm pretty sure the majority of women would NOT prefer a man that is a cross dresser and possibly gay. So this 'false equivalence' is actually... false.

        But that's wrong. It's the same bullshit argument that a lot of SJWs use. If you say 'it's a male power fantasy', the onus is on you to prove that _EVERY_SINGLE_ male on the planet wants to be like that. If you can't, then the situation is exactly the same as what's going on for females - there are a lot of females who want to play as sexy and powerful women.

          I'd like someone to explain to me why Bayonetta is not a female power fantasy.
          (yes I know she was still designed as a sex symbol for a male audience, I mean as a character she is still in a desirable position.)

          My male power fantasy is apparently to play as an overweight italian plumber who despite his efforts to save a princess and kill a giant lizard thing, gets either no or little real reward.

        False equivalence is just another roadblock pseudo-feminists use to halt actual discourse. The position only works if you operate under the assumption that there is only one type of power in the world, which is; as anyone who's even attempted objective, rational thought in their life will tell you; complete f**king nonsense.

        It's one of many circular-reasoning driven arguments used online that gets everybody exactly nowhere.

    Did you read the original interview and then his 'follow-up'? It was literally the most unprofessional shit I've ever seen. Despite being invited to talk about HOTS, he tries to railroad the guy into a social justice discussion, and when he doesn't want to answer, the guy gets even more snarky at him, thinking he's some kind of investigative journalist who owes it to the world.

    In the follow up, he essentially goes on a retaliatory tirade, passive aggressively linking Blizzard to the worst sexists with some of the most horrible sentence structure and phrasing I've ever seen.

    RPS' writers are increasingly becoming like this, and I'd thoroughly advise you to avoid those writers in particular at all costs.

    Last edited 25/11/13 2:16 pm

      Also further to that,

      In the response, he says 'it's clear that games are art', and then goes on to decry any games that don't appeal to him, or offend him. So essentially he's saying 'GAMES ARE ART, BUT ONLY IF THEY'RE SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE'.

      No, you pompous jackass, you can't have your cake and eat it too. If you want games to be art, you need to accept that you may be offended by, or even alienated by it.

        Isn't that half the point of art? To challenge you?

          Exactly. I have no problem with discourse about videogames being sexist, or fascist, or whatever you like. But to take that discourse one step further and start to tell artists what they can and can't put in their art, and essentially socially pressuring them into changing their art just because you don't agree with it is frankly, disgusting. The biggest problem with this 'sexism in videogames' movement is it's not about addressing the sexism - it's about forcing creators to appeal to every demographic.

        Yeah, his follow up and response were kind of weak. Just sounded like he had a whinge after the PR guy cut off the interview.

      Yesss, thank you for saying this.
      Nathan was embarrassingly unprofessional, and I'm not even talking about the last few questions. In particular, the one question he asked where he tried to make a really shitty joke using "DOTA" and "Storm", you know the one I mean. It was cringeworthy.

      I think we can all agree there is a time and place for the discussion about "oversexed characters", but slamming your agenda at the end of an interview like that was neither.
      If Blizzard respond to anymore of RPS's emails, or send them invites to press events, I'd be surprised.

      RPS has been slowly getting worse over the past year I reckon...
      They've lost some of their good writers... Then this comes along.
      I found it a couple of years ago, and it was a breath of fresh air... Now... kind of stagnant...

    I don't want to play Warcraft if all my female characters have to wear Burqas in case some overly sensitive Fem Nazi who needs to justify her degree at bitching she got at UNI gets all prickly at some exposed ankle.

    The question was asked in a way that was likely to stir up trouble and Browder fell right into the trap.

    He was not apologising for what he was saying, he was apologising for the way he said it. Considering he answered the question poorly, this makes complete sense to me.

    Yeah, I got tangled up in that argument over at RPS.
    Nathan is a wanker trying to stir controversy where there wasnt any. And Blizzard has apologising will only fuel his ego. What does Nathan want? Every game designers female character to be run by him for his opinion?
    Is Nathan, a male, the conservative dress police for female representation in video games? How would a woman feel about a male deciding how a woman should dress? Isnt that exactly what he claims he is against?

    So this continues Kotaku's trend and adds to its own reputation of being - ironically - both socially aggressive and ignorant. There's this blatant ignorance of the gender issue that simply astounds me. Every single thing that's pointed at as being sexist or mysoginistic is immediately being criticised by just so very many people who are in no way qualified to discuss the issue. I don't know if anyone educated in the current system would. Women's studies today are a complete joke with the philosophy of surrounding yourselves with different ideas gone in favour of pandering to the accepted viewpoint. No one is challenged anymore because we're surrounded by people who all think (and believe everyone else should think) exactly the same. You don't learn or even come close to understanding a complex issue if you're so insecure that you can't challenge what you believe from time to time. All i see is finger-pointing and ignorance. Not every single thing you point out actually exists and not every discussion requires an irrelevant, controversial political ambush. Right now the feminist argument has become akin to a PETA campaign and i think that's something we should all see as sort of troubling. A real issue like this should be heavily considered and everyone should be approaching it with the knowledge that you will only ever understand 50% of the issue if you're lucky. It just stands to reason that if you aren't written excrement like Kotaku or this particular interview that you discuss rather than play the world's moral judge in an effort to drum up some noise.

      Every single thing...is immediately being criticised by just so very many people who are in no way qualified to discuss the issue.
      That's the perfect summary of like, the Internet

      "criticised by just so very many people who are in no way qualified to discuss the issue."
      Funny thing is. . . we are all human, we are all one gender or the other, so we are all qualified to discuss the issue because it is about all of us.

      Then you go on about lost causes and insignificant or overshadowed issues, then say that this is a real issue.
      Says you.
      To me I dont think this is a real issue at all. Where I see the issue is someone telling someone else what they can and cant do.
      Case in point. . . if Blizzard want to make a scantly clad female character, then so be it. If you dont like it, dont play it.
      We are basically talking about a cartoon character showing some cleavage. So what! Big deal!
      If someone wants to play as a female character with cleavage showing then so what, big deal, let them.

      When you start pushing your morals and values onto other people and limiting their creative freedoms its akin to censorship. Is that what we want?
      How often do we cry about news networks linking violence to video games? They want to ban violent games. We think there is no correlation and should be free to play what we want.

      Sorry mate, but the only solution to this "issue" is censoring video games that show cleavage or sexed up female characters. And I'm sorry, but video games are an authoritative work, which means that if you censor them you're inflicting on free speech. I'm sorry that it annoys you that people are allowed to do what they want in their own creative works. Sure, blow hot air at them in the form of whining about gender issues and whatnot, but don't be annoyed when they say "no, I believe it's not an issue, if you have a problem with it then you probably shouldn't play it". As stated previously, vote with your wallet. If you don't like it, don't support it. That's about all you can do, whether you like it or not.

      Jesus Christ, when the hell did video games get so bloody political?

      No-one full understands 100% of the gender issue because it's so damn controversial. You're assuming there's a right and wrong answer when in many of these issues there's shades of grey and exceptions. There's no point playing 'holier than thou'.

      I personally think that he didn't needed to apologize. He basically said, 'We're not going to push the boundary on desexualizing women', and people are implying that this is a responsibility that they have? I don't understand. These games are FANTASY, they have fantastical settings, weapons and characters. Women have fantastically large busts, men have fantastically large muscles. It's not a sexual issue, it's an aesthetic issue. Both men and women in this world are desirable because they accentuate desirable physical traits.

      A woman characterized by a large bust and broad hips and a man who is obviously muscled beyond what the average man could ever do is the same issue. There is no double standard using muscles to compare to breasts because those are things which people use to judge the attractiveness of another.

      Having 'hyper attractive' men and women in games is an artistic choice rather than a 'We are putting down women'. There should be nothing wrong with saying they are not promising anything and sticking to it. The only time this is an issue is if you say you're doing something different about it and you don't. That probably garners more reason for an apology than this.

    Really, the person who "asked" the question should probably be apologising.

    As a fat, overeducated white male with a sense of entitlement I think there is nothing to worry about here, people just need to stop complaining and vote with their wallets, stop censoring things I like, stop asking questions outside of bland PR guff territory, stop focusing on women and understand that men are objectified too, stop being elitist, stop bringing feminism into EVERYTHING (especially things meant for white males), stop pretending that games aren't ART which means you can do anything you want, stop apologising for using sex to sell things and stop being so PC.

    Oh, you guys covered that already?

    So, how about stop posting articles enraging white males in publications whose demographic is primarily white males?

    WE DON'T WANNA HEAR IT BRO

    Last edited 25/11/13 7:08 pm

      Needs more "stop trying to hinder the artistic integrity of T&A. That's totally art, not pandering!"

        So what if it's pandering? Who gives a damn? What would you do to solve this nonexistant problem?

          I'd start by not being an arse, and accepting that views are subjective; rather than this "well, I don't have a problem with it so everyone else can fuck off" attitude you seem to espouse.

            No, my views on it are irrelevant. I wish to know what your view is on it and why on earth it could be considered an "issue" in comparison to the many other very real and dangerous issues plaguing our society right now. And then, once you've explained to me your problem, I'd like to know what you suggest to be done about it. Because short of inflicting on free speech, I don't see any viable solutions.

              I lost interest after your first sentence, do you have the rest explained via a medium I care about?

            It's ironic you say that, because once again, you're advocating pandering, just to a group you're in favour of.

            Game is released with scantily clad women: BUTTT THE ATTRACTIVE GIRLS IS PANDERING TO THE ENTITLED WHITE MALE

            Game is released without scantily clad women: BUTTT THIS IS FINE YOU ARENT ALLOWED TO GET ANGRY THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE

            Pandering works both ways. If a creator does it out of his own free will, fine. If he's railroaded into doing it, it's still pandering.

            Last edited 26/11/13 3:29 pm

      As a racial minority whose immediate family is in another country and whose daily lives are a struggle already, all I can say is....first world problems...

      Feminist movements about women being abused and mistreated, I can get behind, I've seen it happen.
      Feminist movements about cruel and unjustifiable laws surrounding the treatment of women, I can get behind, I've seen it happen.

      But when people start calling something like this "a huge social issue", I'd say please get your priorities straight and support an ACTUAL issue, there are plenty others to choose from in this world.

        Thank you, I couldn't possible say that without massive amounts of contempt for the people who kick up dirt about this.

        It's an issue because it keeps the a-hole misogyny train rolling, not because it causes anything.
        If you want an example of how this works, there's dozens on this page right here.

          I could kind of get where you were coming from if you said it was continuing a trend of portaying women as sex objects, but misogyny? Really? Could you point me to a single comment on this page that really indicates misogyny? That is, actual hatred of women?

          Can I disclaim that I don't approve of this hypersexualisation trend at all, I just don't see it as a really important issue. Especially when video games are really a minor offender when compared to the media and culture as a whole. Having said that, I don't believe video games have gotten big and popular enough to really make a difference on the media as a whole if all sexualised female characters were magically removed from existence.

      I like attractive women in my videogames. I'm an indie developer too, and if I include a female character, she'll probably be attractive. Will she be written like a bimbo and fail the Bechdel test? Most certainly not.

      What kills me about this argument is that as soon as a white male says any point, people immediately jump on the 'OH YOURE JUST SAYING ITS FINE BECAUSE YOU THINK ITS OKAY YOU DONT KNOW ANYTHING'. If you bothered to read most of these posts, you'd see that almost none of them are super defensive 'bbbbut they're taking away mah booobiessss' posts, and most of them deal with the real issue - censorship of media, loss of artistic control and the like.

      Furthermore, the fact that the opinion of the majority has been completely invalidated by the minority just 'because' is a bullshit fiction designed to drum up support for the minority interest.

      Most people (in most entertainment industries) recognise that if you don't like it, you don't buy it, and buy something else that appeals to you. If you like the creator enough but can't stand his depiction of X, then you don't really like that creator. Forcing him to change to conform to your _SUBJECTIVE_ opinion on how something should be breeds contempt, mediocrity and would result in a lot of the bland, uninspired titles that people hate.

      Also, if this post was satire as it seems to be, way to completely destroy your own argument in the first sentence with that pointless ad hominem attack. Really? Fat jokes and lines about 'MUH PRIVILEGE'?

      Last edited 26/11/13 1:47 pm

    I am absolutely against the hyper-sexualisation of women in video games, and constantly annoyed by my fellow privileged white males who act so aggressively defensive if you suggest anything might be wrong or could be tweaked.

    However, that RPS interview was absolutely awful, and the writer and the site itself should be ashamed for publishing it with such an aggressive slant. 90% of the interview is about the game itself, and yet the headline implies and the author writes as if that horrible ambush and soap-boxing was the entire contents of it. Absolutely shameful, and then to go on and write a second article about it!!! Ridiculous. The dude from Blizzard has nothing to apologise for.

    Last edited 26/11/13 1:03 am

      Agree with most of what you said except for one part - why shouldn't people defend something they don't consider to be wrong? I'm of the view that art is free to be expressed as it likes. I won't give my time and attention to art I don't like, like that jackass who microwaves all his gadgets, but I will to things I do like. There's no intrinsic 'wrong' value in art and storytelling. In fact, both those things are dependent on being free.

      Regardless of how I feel about sexualisation of women in video games, that trope has a right to exist and be enjoyed by people who aren't bothered by it. If you don't like it and you choose to avoid it, then I'm behind you all the way. If you don't like it and you criticise it from a personal viewpoint, I'm behind you all the way. But if you don't like it and you attack people who do, insult them or call into question their moral compasses, or any of the other highly insulting things I've seen some crusaders do to people who disagree with them, I will absolutely come down on you like a ton of bricks. And that's how it should be, in my opinion.

        I am surprised the hypocrisy of your DONT JUDGE PEOPLE ONLY I GET TO JUDGE doesn't give you an aneurysm.

        Personally I don't care about hypocrisy but you sound like you do, so you might want to remove those last few sentences, unless you were being intentionally ironic and employing self referential humour.

        Also, love the libertarian 'There's no intrinsic 'wrong' value in art and storytelling.', one of my faves.

        So how about kiddy porn? OK if it's 'artistic'? Or hardcore racism? Or rape? All cool as long as you slap a label on?

        Of course, your grandiose statement is just a subjective point of view with precisely the same intrinsic value as moral judgments of art and storytelling, so those aren't serious statements, any more than yours was.

        But it's fun to engage in the pointless splitting of hairs in a 'IM NOT MORALISING BUT HERES MY MORALISTIC STANDPOINT' kind of way, with a splash of 'ALL VIEWPOINTS ARE EQUAL ACCORDING TO MY POINT OF VIEW WHICH IS THE ONLY CORRECT ONE' for effervescent fizz!

          Well, your post certainly had a lot of allcaps but not a lot of valuable input. My position is simple: art should be free. You can judge it all you like, but you shouldn't attempt to restrict it, and if you do I'll judge you in return. No hypocrisy there, there's a clear delineation between the two concepts.

          May I suggest that if you tried less to be shouty, you might not have made the mistake you did. Your last paragraph in particular was nothing but strawmen, there's nothing of value to respond to there.

          Last edited 26/11/13 1:41 pm

            May I suggest that before you make future posts you spend a little more time educating yourself on sardonic humour, rather than intellectual flag-waving? There's plenty of contextual evidence that would have alerted you to the format of the content and I guarantee you won't need to look very far at all to find examples of smarmy pseudo-intellectual self-aggrandisement if you're curious about the template employed.

            Anyway, you carry on agitating for the restriction of people who dare restrict things, to the sound of many pudgy white hands clapping. Kotaku appreciates the page views coming to them as opposed to Reddit. As does RPS in this case as well.

              Apology accepted, Captain Needa.

                That was funnier the first five times I saw other people use it, but at least it lifts the tone somewhat. 6.5/10, would read again on a rainy day with poor wifi coverage.

                Last edited 26/11/13 4:46 pm

                  EDIT: Removed, it's not worth the pointless fight.

                  Last edited 26/11/13 7:24 pm

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