I wasn’t sure if I could get this article in time to you folks, because honestly, I’ve been a bit under the weather-however it helps when the topic today is something we’ve all seen before..many many times. Let’s queue it up with this week’s equality in gaming episode, where we’re looking at basic anatomy lessons for new (likely male) artists!
So, I recently reviewed Pagan Online with my hubs, Xevrin, and I have to say, it has one of the most egregious problems I see that seriously bothers me: soccer ball boobs. Seriously, look at those. It’s liked they’re glued on to her chest..or…strapped on? Cue innuendoes.
Seriously, this is what breasts look like if someone draws them who have never actually seen them. Even porn actors with massive inflatables don’t look like that. Here’s the thing: boobs are globs of fat and tissue under the skin. They’re not spheres. They’re not baseballs, softballs, or melons surgically inserted onto an otherwise flat frame. Generally, they’re more teardrop-shaped. Yes yes, I know with bras and all, there can definitely be an impression of spherical, but really, this is wrong. I only can only assume this was done on purpose to fit some of the kinda cheesy over the top MOBA aesthetic Pagan Online is going for-but there are lots and lots of cases where this is not an aesthetics question, and just flat out bad. In the age of the internet, there is no excuse not to know what the female chest looks like sans super duper support stuffer bras.
Next big runner on anatomy no-nos: legs. As in huge long distorted stilty stork things that would be like the half-sister of Slenderman via Malibu Barbie.
Now imagine that in real life? Kinda like this bad photoshop:
Creepy huh? Yeah, maybe we don’t do that. Eastern MMOs are generally your biggest offenders here, but it has been known to rear its ugly elongated weirdness in western media as well-like several comics, obviously bad photoshopped ads, and some games. This is not a good look, guys. Again, in the age of the internet, you have no excuse not to know what a woman’s legs look like.
And for number three on the top three-and my personal fave because it’s been lovingly satirized and gender swapped-the boobs and butt pose. Apparently, women don’t have spines. At all. Even at my most flexible, (and I can do a full scorpion-if you don’t know what it is, you can google yoga poses), I sure as hell ain’t managing that. Why? Because I have these things called vertebrae. They’re part of my spinal column. They make it literally impossible to do this. Yet, still you have a ton of cover art for games and splash pages that still show this. There remains but one response:
Honestly, as someone who has a formal art background, and knows that most of these artists do as well in some form – there’s no excuse for these images. Not only are they distorted and weird (and would be monstrous in real life) they’re literal unrealistic expectations for young women, and as more women are gaming, and some of them fairly young, this is not helping with the body issues that are everywhere. We talk about the fashion industry and fifteen-year-old anorexic models, we talk about photoshop and airbrushing, but gaming is every bit as guilty, if not more. Sure, a lot of this isn’t meant to be real, it’s stylized, it’s meant to be art, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be mindful at the same time. There is room for some exaggeration, and if your art style is going to be hyperbolic, okay, but when you have men looking all grizzled and strong, but yet the female characters would snap in half in a stiff breeze, there’s a serious problem, and no, power fantasy menfolk aren’t the equivalent. Power fantasy mutants are for men. Make us some unrealistic hotness (woo! equality!).
Or maybe, pick up a copy of Grey’s Anatomy-it’ll save you from having to bleach out your search history-like I’m about to bleach my eyes.