Ra-chan (rachan) wrote in feminist_gamers,

The Women and Game Covers meme

I guess I'll be the first to post my response to Tekanji's meme! It's nice to finally see someone actually asking women's opinions instead of making (usually idiotic) assumptions. I guess we're supposed to post this on our own journals, but I feel more comfortable posting here.. hopefully no one minds. ^^;
So... here we go. I've cut it for tidyness.

Over at Yudhishthira’s Dice, Brand poses the question:

Ladies, what RPG covers (or interiors) have you seen that involve a woman in the art that make you say, “I want to play that” or, just as good “I want to play her.” Or that make you feel like it is a game you could like, or be included in by a group of guys you’d never met and whose maturity you didn’t neccisarily know?

Meme Rules:

1. Copy the text of the original challenge from Yudhishthira’s Dice and give a proper link attribution.
2. Copy these rules exactly.
3. Find images of game covers (interiors are okay, too) that make you want to play the game. Any kind of game — video game, card game, tabletop RPG, etc — is fine. Post them and include a short (or long) explanation on why the image makes/made you want to play the game.
4. The original challenge is about finding out what women think about how game art is marketed and therefore it is targeted at women. I’d like to keep it that way, please.
5. You can tag as many or as few people as you want. You do not need to be tagged to participate in the meme.
6. When you make your post, please post the link on this thread so we can all see what others have said.
First I'd like to make a note that out of the titles I selected, I don't actually own a single one. The reason being is that I don't buy games all that often, and I usually do a lot of research on games before purchasing them. So for me personally, the cover has little to do with where I throw my money. However, I still wanted to participate in this, because I do love looking at cover art, and there are certain covers featuring women characters that have stood out in my mind. These are covers that managed to really grab my attention.

The first is the PSP game, Generation of Chaos. (http://www.rpgland.com/games/generationsofchaos/gchaosbox.jpg)
Right away, I was astonished by what I saw: a female knight with cool armor that COVERS HER WHOLE BODY?? (You know, like armor is supposed to). I thought this was a surprisingly strong looking woman- she's looking right at us, sword in hand, and yet there is nothing remotely sexual about the image. Even the color scheme could be considered feminine, what with the pink bird and all. It all just made me happy, and I thought the woman looked really cool- judging from this cover, I'd love to play as her. Also, gradient bangs? Yes please.

Second is another PSP game, Astonishia Story. (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/76/Astonishia_story.jpg)
Apparently, this game is supposed to be terrible. But I sure do love that cover. Sure, I am biased because this cover includes two things I love with a passion: elf ears and Art Nouveau style, but for an Japanese rpg cover, the women characters look pretty cool. I like that there is no blatant sexual tones to the women, and compositionally, the women seem equal to the men. 4/10 characters on this cover are female, and only one of them (which I actually never noticed before) looks helpless/incapable in any way (the one on the lower right being protected by a guy). I guess it's just annoying that women being presented as either helpless weaklings or sexual prizes to be won are such COMMON themes on game boxes, that we're all used to it, and it's surprising to see the opposite.

Finally, there is the box art for the StarCraft expansion pack. (http://www.games.lt/w/gbox/407.jpg)
Now, I actually never played StarCraft either, but I always loved this cover. What a bad ass alien chick! The look in her eyes and the creepy drippy mouth let you know she's evil and she means business. I guess the bottom line is: she's kinda hot, she looks like she tear your face off and eat it, and yet she's not a big whore- I'd definitely want to be her!!

So overall, I guess the covers with female characters that really stick out to me are ones that show strong women who aren't whores with double D's. It's that simple. And yet, sadly, there are FAR fewer covers like what I described than there are booby-weakling covers. I think it's about me relating to characters, and while I would love to be a lot of the sexy characters I see, if being sexy is their only trait.. well.. that's shallow and lame.

Also, I'd like to pose a question. Maybe this is totally based on personal taste and won't have any gender correlation, but on game covers, subject matter aside, what style of art do you prefer? Do you like more illustrative, painted art, or clean, realistic 3d renders? I know it sort of depends on the art style of the game, but you can still have a realistic 3d game with a painterly or artsy cover, such as the Japanese covers for the recent Final Fantasy games. Personally, I prefer illustrative type art. I could imagine if someone did a beautiful enough painting of a football player, you could actually get me to LOOK at the cover of a Madden game (something I have zero interest in). Anyway, what do you all prefer? :)

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