welcome to character design 101, where six instances where it hasn’t happened don’t change the fact that disparate stylization does happen and it doesn’t matter because here we (in spite of the rather broad url) largely talk about video…
Character designers are culpable.
To act as if character designers and concept artists are all innocent bystanders is extremely naive- that’s where your argument falls apart.
I know hundreds of character designers out there who’re considered the cream of the crop in both the industry and the community as a whole, but they’re shit at designing women. That means they’re shit at designing roughly 50% of characters. Inexcusable, but they get a free pass, and so the cycle is perpetuated at every stage in the pipeline- concept artists, modelers, ADs, producers and execs should all be held accountable for contributing to the problem.
Not every designer is out there fighting against rampant sexism and racism in game design. Granted, some of us pick our battles so we can like to fight another day, but a lot of designers out there either 1) do not care, or 2) are completely unaware of the problems they’re further prolifierating.
Nitpicking women vs. nitpicking men
And again, you completely missing what I’m saying- I don’t get my male characters picked apart. They’re tweaked, sure, but they’re passed up the chain without nary a word, especially in regards to their sex appeal and fat distribution. Female characters, on the other hand, experience far more deliberation. I am talking months of e-mails sent back and forth, after an equivalent male character was designed in a matter of weeks- even when these characters are based on real people, real human beings who exist and have been 3D scanned, they still end up molding the woman towards some perfect, unattainable ideal.
Sexism isn’t just perpetuated by rapists, racism isn’t just perpetuated by the KKK, and homophobia isn’t just perpetuated by the Westboro baptist church. This shit runs deep, and saying “it’s out of our hands, it’s just marketing so it isn’t a problem we need to address” is a damaging oversimplification.
Hahaha. xD This is funny, who ever said anyone in all this was innocent? Only you. You keep imagining - or worse yet,- assuming whole big portions of things I haven’t said. xD
The designer isn’t held accountable for the designs he makes on a job, he’s been hired to do this job, or works for a company that has rounded on the basis of an idea. This idea is chopped, cropped and cut, to where its often barely a semblance of what it had been in the beginning. Its not a lack of integrity, or creativity that makes it come out with the aforementioned ‘formula’ for safe characters the majority of the time - its the need to sell. If you don’t sell it, no one gets paid for their work, all that integrity doesn’t count for much if you can’t support yourself in the end. I don’t believe you can blame the designers in any stage of game development ( And certainly not character design as a whole.) for conceding to their employers wishes and doing what they’re being paid to do - which may be far less than they are capable of.
Fair enough if some people don’t care, but that doesn’t mean the blame for this should fall on them, they didn’t create the problem, conceding to it is just realistic considering the competitive nature of game design and concept art.
As for your issue with them nitpicking the female form, I’m not surprised in the least! Of course they have to be careful, of course they pick at it precariously - look how you people reacted to this little thing! You can’t throw a stone with a naturally proportioned woman on it without hearing the shrill squawks of a few hundred million dramatists. Shouldn’t you be happy that some care is taken with the female characters, all that deliberation is careful, you may not come out of it with the result you wanted, but some thought went into your ideal, or unideal design. They didn’t just pop out the most offensive thing they could just to spite you personally - which is how you’re all taking it.
And as for the lack of nitpicking on men, you’re still made to do tweaks, so it doesn’t make their case any less valid, and you don’t think the males are built to perfection as much as the women? Just because deciding on a final female design takes longer and is evidently more dangerous doesn’t lessen the fact that it happens to the male’s too. In fact, isn’t it more of an insult to men that they just model on a couple of washboard abs without thinking about it? A square jaw and roguish hair, rather than deliberating for months on as delicate a detail as the appropriate hip size or the wonders of a push up bra? or no bra at all come to think of it… xD
Does no one else find this funny? xD
Anyway, I take no sides really. I’m not arguing FOR the marketing, as lot of people jumped to the conclusion of SOMEHOW and I’m not incredibly against it either (If it works it works, live and let live.) but I do believe that attacks toward the artists is wrong and that the specification that its a primarily female problem is also wrong. xD
I never said it wasn’t a problem we don’t need to address, even though I’m not fussed either way, but go ahead, change the world - what’re you arguing with me for if you can just go out there and do it? xD Its not a damaging over simplification either, the fault does lie with marketing and by extension consumers; if you stop buying it, by god they’ll stop making it. xD. Its a product, large teams people make it. As with any other product, not everyone on that team will like, or enjoy or agree with what the product is intended for, but its naive to think that makes all of those people bad and wrong for being hired to create the product and its even more naive to think that they should stand up and not work on it, due to a personal disagreement.