Tag Archives: New York Comic Con

The Tits Have It: Sexism, Character Design, and the Role of Women in Created Worlds

Lightning, drawn by Jonathan

This panel is all about titties and I feel like its my fault!  – Jonathan Jacques-Bellêtete

There are many things I expect to see in a panel called “East Meets West, Art Direction for a Worldwide Audience.” I expected to hear Isamu Kamikokuryo, the art director for Final Fantasy XIII-2 discuss how Japanese artists focus on creating new worlds, Norse mythology and its influence on the game, and drawing inspiration from Cuba for some of the beautifully rendered backgrounds. I expected to hear Jonathan Jacques-Bellêtete, the art director of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, talk about influences like Andrew Loomis and Metal Gear Solid. I had hoped for an interesting back and forth between the two designers on how technology influences artistic development as well as what happens to geographic differences in artistic influences in our increasingly connected worlds.

I did hear all of these things, but also something that pinged my feminist gamer radar.

In describing his influences, Jacques-Bellêtete mentioned he was heavily influenced by Metal Gear and Final Fantasy. Then he went into a two minute riff about “always trying to have very beautiful female characters,” noting that these were characters he would want to sleep with. After making a semi-disparaging remark about female characters drawn in a North American style, he concludes “I’d rather have female characters from Final Fantasy or Soul Caliber to sleep with.” This draws chuckles from the crowd.

And there it was, the truth about character design that so many players know but most designers wouldn’t usually articulate: most of the egregiously sexist character designs are based on fuckability, rather than playability. Continue reading

Announcements – Celebrating Fathers of Color; Racialicious Goes to NYC; Comic Con-Anita Hill- New Black Imagination Meet Up?

Donate to a Fathers of Color Picture Book and Project
Janine writes:

I’m working on a children’s book that celebrates engaged fathers with the intent of uplifting families, moms, children… everyone. The language isn’t outwardly political, but it is also about presenting positive images of boys and men of color, especially as integral pieces of loving, thriving families.

I recently launched the project on Kickstarter. Check out its quick 2-minute video:

I’d be really honored if you posted this project on your blog!

The book is for dads, and moms, and single dads, and single moms, and kids. I see engaged fatherhood is key to lifting up our communities. This book counteracts the stereotypes of deadbeat dads of color. It shines love on those fathers out there that are amazing, and making amazing contributions, but invisible within mass culture. It paves the way for this generation of boys to be just as amazing. And from the mom and girl end, I believe that men’s full engagement in family life is key to ending the oppression of women (in so many ways).

Donate here.

Conferences, Festivals, and a Meet Up
Also, three major events are happening in NYC on October 15th: The Festival of the New Black Imagination, New York Comic Con, and Sex, Power, and Speaking Truth: Anita Hill 20 Years Later. Read on for more details and a possible meet up. Continue reading