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#1 Edited by BisonHero (5671 posts) -

Cuz hoooooooo boy, this interview ends on an awkward note. And I think demonstrates how kinda oblivious Blizzard is to what other people think of Blizzard's character designs.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/11/22/blizzard-on-heroes-of-the-storm-female-designs-in-mobas/

And there is a followup piece, if you care to read it:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/11/22/re-that-heroes-of-the-storm-interview/

Anyway, had Browder honestly answered the question, it would've been something like "Yeah, the dudes are ripped and the ladies have sweet jugs because we're aiming this at the easiest mark in the whole industry: 12-25 year-old guys with average viewpoints, who don't really care about whether girls and women feel insulted by how all the ladies in the game are pornstars".

EDIT: Browder did eventually post a response on the Blizzard HotS website about this, where he basically apologizes for his answers being kinda flippant, but otherwise gives the safe "we put great thought into characters designs, don't want to alienate anyone, we're listening to your feedback, blah blah blah" answer that he probably should've given in the first place.

http://www.heroesofthestorm.com/en-us/news/11751531/on-character-design

#2 Posted by TheHT (10284 posts) -

Haha, Blizzard PR having none of it.

#3 Posted by Mcfart (1426 posts) -

The guy gave that interviewer the frank, no-nonsense response this video game sexism deserves:

Browder: We’re not running for President. We’re not sending a message. No one should look to our game for that.

This x1000.

#4 Edited by BisonHero (5671 posts) -

@mcfart said:

The guy gave that interviewer the frank, no-nonsense response this video game sexism deserves:

Browder: We’re not running for President. We’re not sending a message. No one should look to our game for that.

This x1000.

Yeah, but when the vast majority of creators pass the buck and keep saying "Well I'm not gonna bother being a good example", that's the rationale that has led to all popular comic books still being aimed at 12-year-olds, 60 years later. Comic books attract far less serious creators/writers than they should as medium, because everyone over the age of like 17 is still pretty dismissive of the medium because so damn much of it is still just wish fulfillment of 12-year-old boys: muscular dudes hangin' out with barely-clothed pornstars.

MOBA character design is basically at the same level as fucking comic books, at this point. And the rest of the games industry isn't much better.

#5 Edited by Entus (253 posts) -

They're not oblivious to what others think of their character design.

The overwhelming majority of the people who buy Blizzard's games don't give a shit, and they know that.

#6 Posted by Kankohii (61 posts) -

I'm down for more nontraditional portrayal of women , women's rights, all that jazz, but

come on.

Nobody cares.

#7 Posted by hankrazorbeard (50 posts) -

For fuck's sake.

#8 Posted by Superkenon (1191 posts) -

That Rock Paper Shotgun guy sure knows his Internet. Found a way to turn a HotS interview into CLICK CITY.

#9 Posted by FoolishChaos (408 posts) -

Just so sick of the whole fucking thing.

#10 Edited by Three0neFive (2275 posts) -

@superkenon said:

That Rock Paper Shotgun guy sure knows his Internet. Found a way to turn a HotS interview into CLICK CITY.

Pretty much. I doubt he gives a shit, but feminism is the trendy, hot-button issue of the month (no pun intended).

It's the Kony 2012 of videogames.

#11 Edited by Brendan (7518 posts) -

I agree with the interviewer. Also, the Blizzard guys response of only caring about being inclusive if its for saving face is fucking sick. That reeks of a complete lack of empathy, and is symbolic of how many people on the internet think. Caring about how others feel never comes into the equation for them, its all about not "offending" people.

#12 Edited by zombie2011 (4941 posts) -

I didn't see any female characters in that article, also who cares really?

Especially in MOBA's you can barely see your character.

#13 Posted by Encephalon (1176 posts) -

Ha! That Browder response was pretty good.

#14 Posted by Pezen (1466 posts) -

When someone says "But I’ll take the feedback. I think it’s very fair feedback." -- Maybe you should actually end the interview there instead of insisting on discussing a subject which is actually bigger than the interview had room for (especially since they already motioned that they were running out of time) but also because that is a fair response. The last two comments might have been better used in a setting where they were the first questions in a larger discussion. Not as some last minute jab. At some point I just think some game press haven't really worked out when their criticisms fit into a setting so they just throw them out there whenever and make a big deal out of not getting thought out responses.

But whatever, most of game's coverage is so subjective and opinionated these days it's becoming glorified Livejournals.

#15 Posted by TooWalrus (12976 posts) -

I look forward to the future where sexy can no longer be fun.

#16 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1569 posts) -

@superkenon said:

That Rock Paper Shotgun guy sure knows his Internet. Found a way to turn a HotS interview into CLICK CITY.

Pretty much. I doubt he gives a shit, but feminism is the trendy, hot-button issue of the month (no pun intended).

I think he believes the gives a shit, but yeah, a huge part of this has to be the clicks that come from it. And, holy crap, that "I am so right that I can hypocritically insult you and be justified because I am so right!" attitude is doing it no favors, at least among the commerati.

#17 Posted by RecSpec (3681 posts) -

Good for Browder. Those questions near the end were shitty, even if the interviewer was trying to ask a legit question, come on.

"This is a genre about empowerment. Why shouldn’t everyone feel empowered?"

Come on now.

#18 Edited by L33T_HAXOR (183 posts) -

The interview began on an awkward note too. And it was super awkward in the middle. The interviewer was really passive-agressive the whole time. Bizarre.

#19 Edited by Tarsier (1052 posts) -

i felt awkward just reading her first couple paragraphs...

#20 Edited by Salarn (445 posts) -

@kankohii said:

Nobody cares.

People do, even if you don't

#21 Edited by Hunkulese (2527 posts) -

It's pretty stupid how the question was shoehorned in at the end and expected any response other than what he got. It's not a MOBA problem, games problem, entertainment problem. It's a problem everywhere in our society and the fact that he's again bringing it up in a game interview is nothing more than trying to write a controversial story.

#22 Posted by Jimbo (9710 posts) -

What's going on over at RPS now is basically vandalism. They had great writers and a ridiculously high standard of written content by game coverage standards; now most of the real talent has left and they've been reduced to click-bait antics like this. It's sad to see such a great site (and really the only PC site of any note) fall so low.

#23 Posted by Nonused (209 posts) -

@mcfart said:

The guy gave that interviewer the frank, no-nonsense response this video game sexism deserves:

Browder: We’re not running for President. We’re not sending a message. No one should look to our game for that.

This x1000.

Yeah, but when the vast majority of creators pass the buck and keep saying "Well I'm not gonna bother being a good example", that's the rationale that has led to all popular comic books still being aimed at 12-year-olds, 60 years later. Comic books attract far less serious creators/writers than they should as medium, because everyone over the age of like 17 is still pretty dismissive of the medium because so damn much of it is still just wish fulfillment of 12-year-old boys: muscular dudes hangin' out with barely-clothed pornstars.

MOBA character design is basically at the same level as fucking comic books, at this point. And the rest of the games industry isn't much better.

Have you - have you been keeping up with comic books?

#24 Edited by yinstarrunner (1171 posts) -

Hey, guess what? Characters in art will continue to be sexualized for the rest of forever. It's not even the patriarchy's fault, either.

The truth is that people like pretty people. People want to be pretty people. It's easier to care about pretty people because we are all biologically inclined to think that they are inherently more important than ugly people. This is not a phenomenon exclusive to men.

#25 Posted by BisonHero (5671 posts) -

@nonused: I dip in from time to time, though I'm certainly not buying any particular series on a monthly basis. Which part do you take issue with?

#26 Posted by wjb (1553 posts) -

I always get anxious when someone wants me to check out something that is awkward or uncomfortable. Especially videos. Like, I'll maybe watch a few seconds but chicken out.

This was good, though.

#27 Posted by Nadril (520 posts) -

Ugh, fucking RPS. They fucking love just latching onto any sort of controversy at the time -- even if they have to make one up.

I like Browder's response. Everything is hyper stylized. I like that he didn't cave into a dumb, PC reply.

#28 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1784 posts) -

@nonused said:

@bisonhero said:

@mcfart said:

The guy gave that interviewer the frank, no-nonsense response this video game sexism deserves:

Browder: We’re not running for President. We’re not sending a message. No one should look to our game for that.

This x1000.

Yeah, but when the vast majority of creators pass the buck and keep saying "Well I'm not gonna bother being a good example", that's the rationale that has led to all popular comic books still being aimed at 12-year-olds, 60 years later. Comic books attract far less serious creators/writers than they should as medium, because everyone over the age of like 17 is still pretty dismissive of the medium because so damn much of it is still just wish fulfillment of 12-year-old boys: muscular dudes hangin' out with barely-clothed pornstars.

MOBA character design is basically at the same level as fucking comic books, at this point. And the rest of the games industry isn't much better.

Have you - have you been keeping up with comic books?

I work in a comic book store and I can say that it's not entirely inaccurate.

#29 Edited by afabs515 (834 posts) -

If you have such a strong moral objection to something in a game, don't buy the game. If the majority of people truly cared about stuff like this, it would have stopped years and years ago, cuz those people would have stopped playing the games. Sorry if the portrayal of women in video games offends you, but clearly not enough people feel strongly enough about it to motivate change, and articles/leading interviews like this clearly aren't leading to any substantial change. Welcome to reality; it can be a tad unpleasant.

#30 Posted by Animasta (14460 posts) -

when you said awkward and then linked to RPS I was expecting cara ellison and now I'm bummed :(

#31 Edited by BisonHero (5671 posts) -

@animasta said:

when you said awkward and then linked to RPS I was expecting cara ellison and now I'm bummed :(

Her playing Half-Life for the first time is pretty adorable, though the videos are super awkward and almost wholly unnecessary in how goofy they are, relative to how seriously she then discusses Half-Life within the text part of the feature.

#32 Posted by TheDarkOn3 (45 posts) -

Hey, guess what? Characters in art will continue to be sexualized for the rest of forever. It's not even the patriarchy's fault, either.

The truth is that people like pretty people. People want to be pretty people. It's easier to care about pretty people because we are all biologically inclined to think that they are inherently more important than ugly people. This is not a phenomenon exclusive to men.

I think you've fallen into the exact blind-spot the RPS guy was complaining about. People like cool characters, and people like pretty characters, but it shows a massive lack of effort if the only things that come to mind when designing a cool and pretty female character are T&A. Designers have found ways to appeal to the male power fantasy with dudes who wear power armor all game, or who are straight-up ugly. Somehow it's become an affront to point out that they have the ability to try with female characters, too.

Pictured: gendered armor sets that will surely doom Project Eternity's sales numbers.

#33 Posted by Spoonman671 (4374 posts) -

It's pretty stupid how the question was shoehorned in at the end and expected any response other than what he got. It's not a MOBA problem, games problem, entertainment problem. It's a problem everywhere in our society and the fact that he's again bringing it up in a game interview is nothing more than trying to write a controversial story.

Correct.

#34 Posted by Evilsbane (4340 posts) -

"We don’t necessarily want Heroes to be like WoW, but I’m using WoW as a comparison. When they shipped it back in 2004, the biggest MMO at the time was EverQuest. I remember people saying, “EverQuest is the real game, and WoW is just the dumbed-down version of EverQuest.” That was some of the feedback. What WoW had done was remove some things – XP loss on death, the challenges of sitting for a long time to recover, etc – and then it added more in other areas.

It was easy to look at that and be like, “Oh, they just removed some shit.” But once people got into it, they realized there was always other stuff."

DAMN SON WHAT A RESPONSE! Never thought about it like that, and hearth stone is magic the gathering distilled into something else..clever girl

#35 Posted by w1n5t0n (121 posts) -

Cuz hoooooooo boy, this interview ends on an awkward note. And I think demonstrates how kinda oblivious Blizzard is to what other people think of Blizzard's character designs.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/11/22/blizzard-on-heroes-of-the-storm-female-designs-in-mobas/

And there is a followup piece, if you care to read it:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/11/22/re-that-heroes-of-the-storm-interview/

Anyway, had Browder honestly answered the question, it would've been something like "Yeah, the dudes are ripped and the ladies have sweet jugs because we're aiming this at the easiest mark in the whole industry: 12-25 year-old guys with average viewpoints, who don't really care about whether girls and women feel insulted by how all the ladies in the game are pornstars".

I totally understand why someone might not like the character design, but other than some video games journalists saying there's a problem, I've just not see that translate to real life. I don't think I've seen anyone, man or woman, say this character design offends me.There's a lot of sexism in the world, but making a big deal out of every innocuous thing doesn't help.

It bugs me a little when they imply it should be changed because of some hypothetical group there speaking for, because in reality there just speaking for themselves like everyone else.

#36 Posted by BisonHero (5671 posts) -

@thedarkon3 said:

@yinstarrunner said:

Hey, guess what? Characters in art will continue to be sexualized for the rest of forever. It's not even the patriarchy's fault, either.

The truth is that people like pretty people. People want to be pretty people. It's easier to care about pretty people because we are all biologically inclined to think that they are inherently more important than ugly people. This is not a phenomenon exclusive to men.

I think you've fallen into the exact blind-spot the RPS guy was complaining about. People like cool characters, and people like pretty characters, but it shows a massive lack of effort if the only things that come to mind when designing a cool and pretty female character are T&A. Designers have found ways to appeal to the male power fantasy with dudes who wear power armor all game, or who are straight-up ugly. Somehow it's become an affront to point out that they have the ability to try with female characters, too.

Pictured: gendered armor sets that will surely doom Project Eternity's sales numbers.

But...but...there's no underboob at all! Or even any sideboob! HOW COULD THEY DO THIS

#37 Edited by yinstarrunner (1171 posts) -

@thedarkon3: Never did I say that pretty has to mean T&A. And having a sexualized character does not necessarily mean they are scantily clad. Men are just as attracted to the face as they are the body, anyway.

Having a scantily clad main character for no reason is obviously lazy and can be insulting if pushed too far. Giving your main character a shapely ass and firm breasts is not, unless you constantly make that a focus of the viewer.

#38 Edited by Vuud (1441 posts) -

Oh look, more people lookin' to start shit on the internet. Have fun with it because this debate will only go on FOR THE REST OF TIME.

Holy shit look at dem monster titties. Very hypersexualized depiction of cave-women. So sexist.

#39 Edited by TheDarkOn3 (45 posts) -
#40 Edited by TheSouthernDandy (3629 posts) -

I looked up Roller Derby Nova expecting something super sexualized. It looks like a Roller Derby outfit. The same worn by the women who participate in that sport and could probably kick my ass. I've said it before, there's a problem with the portrayal of women in video games and it needs to be dealt with but going crazy in the opposite direction doesn't help anything. Also the assumption that women don't like sexy characters I think is a false one. The cosplayers I follow and whatnot seem to love some of those character designs. Working to fix the problem doesn't mean get angry at anything sexy. That's dumb.

#41 Posted by Kankohii (61 posts) -

@salarn said:

@kankohii said:

Nobody cares.

People do, even if you don't

People who mostly don't give two shits about Heroes of the Storm and may not even play games

I have plenty of female friends who love character designs way skimpier than what Blizzard is putting out

should i get offended on their behalf?

#42 Edited by yinstarrunner (1171 posts) -

@thedarkon3: It's true. Even in the future, a million light years away in the Koprulu sector, all people will still have butts.

The ghosts' form-fitting stealth outfits are way less insulting to me than Blizzard's inability to write a story.

#43 Posted by pyrodactyl (1646 posts) -

@yinstarrunner said:

Hey, guess what? Characters in art will continue to be sexualized for the rest of forever. It's not even the patriarchy's fault, either.

The truth is that people like pretty people. People want to be pretty people. It's easier to care about pretty people because we are all biologically inclined to think that they are inherently more important than ugly people. This is not a phenomenon exclusive to men.

I think you've fallen into the exact blind-spot the RPS guy was complaining about. People like cool characters, and people like pretty characters, but it shows a massive lack of effort if the only things that come to mind when designing a cool and pretty female character are T&A. Designers have found ways to appeal to the male power fantasy with dudes who wear power armor all game, or who are straight-up ugly. Somehow it's become an affront to point out that they have the ability to try with female characters, too.

Pictured: gendered armor sets that will surely doom Project Eternity's sales numbers.

No boob armor, no sale!

#44 Posted by crithon (2582 posts) -

that was a mess, every time I read or watch interviews like this I'm reminded of Star Wars "Stay on Target" during the trench run battle.

That went bad, like all of that talking points, and not really being aware with the industry, and then it shifts into last minute about character design sexuality. I'd Imagine RPS is like on one of those "we get 15 minutes to talk on a coffee table" but man there are better ways to handle this.

#45 Edited by audioBusting (1304 posts) -

That wasn't a great question (although fair) but holy shit what a terrible answer. "We’re not running for President" meaning what exactly? I remember an ArenaNet designer being asked a similar question regarding Guild Wars 2's Human character design and they handled it way more gracefully than Bowder did (they said something about sacrificing customization for visual consistency).

I feel like he could have just said "we haven't really given it much thought" or "we haven't seen much response like that" rather than seeming fully uncaring about their players. He's being asked about their players' feelings not their political correctness. I mean, he could've just said what he said a few questions ago:

RPS: What sort of crowd are you aiming to pull in?

Browder: [...] We don’t really know, to be honest.

#46 Posted by crithon (2582 posts) -

@thedarkon3 said:

@yinstarrunner said:

Hey, guess what? Characters in art will continue to be sexualized for the rest of forever. It's not even the patriarchy's fault, either.

The truth is that people like pretty people. People want to be pretty people. It's easier to care about pretty people because we are all biologically inclined to think that they are inherently more important than ugly people. This is not a phenomenon exclusive to men.

I think you've fallen into the exact blind-spot the RPS guy was complaining about. People like cool characters, and people like pretty characters, but it shows a massive lack of effort if the only things that come to mind when designing a cool and pretty female character are T&A. Designers have found ways to appeal to the male power fantasy with dudes who wear power armor all game, or who are straight-up ugly. Somehow it's become an affront to point out that they have the ability to try with female characters, too.

Pictured: gendered armor sets that will surely doom Project Eternity's sales numbers.

But...but...there's no underboob at all! Or even any sideboob! HOW COULD THEY DO THIS

you mean like this jem of LoL, probably designed by a cheap asian artist

Actually I'm impressed more with Valve's Dota designs, really excellent streamline design that works, but then the community designs look like a whole cobbled on junk atop of sleek designs

A lot of my art friends we fascinated by that LoL Jynx trailer, but in reality the game plays NOTHING LIKE THAT. I mean there's a bad influence with artists sometimes, just they draw what they like without any real consideration what statement they are making. Blizzard's art style has generated this weird shoulder pad fantasy style that's a tonal shift from Game of Thrones where it's Boobies and penises every couple seconds.

#47 Edited by PeasantAbuse (5120 posts) -

"RPS: Over the years, I’ve developed a wild theory: Blizzard is not, in fact, an altruistic charity like everyone presumes, but is instead some sort of business. How do you plan on making money off this one? "

"RPS: LoL and DOTA have taken eSports by storm, but how is your Storm going to take eSports by… DOTA? No, that really doesn’t work. Please act as though I said nothing, but randomly answer a question about similar topics stated much more eloquently. "

I can't get over how awkward it must of been to hear these terrible questions in person. omggggggg

#48 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11015 posts) -

That response was pretty gross, but on the other hand that question certainly wasn't going for anything other than accusatory finger-pointing.

#49 Posted by BisonHero (5671 posts) -

@arbitrarywater said:

That response was pretty gross, but on the other hand that question certainly wasn't going for anything other than accusatory finger-pointing.

That's my position as well, pretty much. I'm not really into how RPS just ambushed them at the end with the question, but holy shit what a terrible answer that he clearly just bullshitted on the spot and wasn't prepared for and didn't even have a good non-commital response. "I'm not the president, not my problem".

#50 Edited by Fredchuckdave (4482 posts) -

Terrible question, okay response. Most of the questions were pretty awful though.