The developers of Riot Games say that their latest addition to their ever-popular video game, League of Legends, was unintentionally made sexy, offering an explanation to appease social justice warriors.
Offending the feminist gaze.
The game, like many others, has featured characters both male and female who are, for a lack of any better description, sexy. As it so happens, most gamers—including women—enjoy playing (and looking at) aesthetically appealing characters who show off their athletic physiques.
In more recent years, video games have come under fire by feminists who argue that characters with sex appeal are designed to cater to what they refer to as the “male gaze,” which objectifies women, and call on developers like Riot Games to stop making their characters look sexy.
In a Q&A posted today, the developer stated that it made its newest champion, Kai’Sa, look “unnecessarily sexualized.” The company had previously committed itself to not adding any other sexy champions into the game over complaints lobbied by feminists both within the company and those outside. So when Kai’Sa was revealed, the professionally offended were the first to raise their voices in protest of her design, which features a deep V-neckline.
Riot Games Lead Producer of Champions Ryan Mireles threw his artists under the bus, stating that they “could’ve done better” with her design.
“We’ll be the first to admit that Kai’Sa’s neckline didn’t land well with players and that it made her look unnecessarily sexualized, even if it that wasn’t the intention,” Mireles wrote.
He explained that it was “really important for us to make sure Kai’Sa looked like a human wearing a Void-suit, rather than a monstrosity created by the Void,” and that when viewed from the top-down angle from which the game is played, it was impossible to see her as a human and not just a flowing mass of purple with a human head on top based on her initial design, which featured less visible skin.
He says that by revealing more skin, playtesters were able to properly recognize the character as a person wearing an outfit, but concluded that the company “should’ve prioritized searching for other ways to solve this problem, especially because the end result didn’t land well for many players.”
It’s worth noting that most of the game’s fanbase enjoys the character’s appearance, and that only a handful of people have lodged their complaints about her. It boggles the mind as to why they don’t simply choose to play one of the many other characters League has to offer instead of demanding that Kai’Sa cover up.
Riot Games is a business, and much like Blizzard Entertainment, which has faced similar complaints, they’re well aware of how well these characters and their associated skin variants sell, so there’s little chance that the company will do anything to change their business model apart from offering platitudes to appease social justice warriors.
It’s unfortunate however that they choose to pander to a group of people who don’t even play their games by giving them any sort of attention.
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