As a special present for Bikini Armor Battle Damage first anniversary, I present to you: Female Armor BINGO!
Feel free to use as a reference to quantify how ridiculous any female armor is.
edit: Updated the link into downloadable PDF!
Breakdown of all the squares under the cut.
This is pretty amusing. The most concise collection of tropes and cliches used in female character design that I’ve seen yet.
But it also got me thinking. Tropes and cliches are like knives: if you’re naive you’ll only hurt yourself and others, avoid them entirely and you’ll be safe but limited, OR learn how and when to use them to your advantage. Ignorance and prohibition are two paths to ruin.
Looking at this chart, I honestly think there’s a good chance that throughout my career I’ll use most of these (and many more that aren’t represented here). In fact, just reading through the list gave me a few design ideas. Of course if I’m doing my job right it should ALWAYS be in service of the story and character (not at their expense).
This issue raises a small red flag for me. As an artist, the one thing I dare not do is declare: I shan’t use this or that design element as long as I live, so help me God!
How tone-deaf do you have to be to come across this expression of anger and frustration over the systematic, widespread objectification of women in fantasy stories and open your mouth only to say “Wow, those are some awesome design ideas.”
It must be nice to not have any stake in this; to not have it impact you one way or the other when some male concept artist says “ignorance and prohibition are two paths to ruin” about underboob and armor nipple pasties. But it impacts me. You have female fans, Matt, fans who are tired of the men in charge of the depiction of women in our media claiming that it’s “in service of the story” to implement boob windows and metal bikinis and other ridiculous sexualizations of female characters. And when you express attitudes like this, especially as a response to someone else’s frustration about sexism and objectification, it reminds me of my place as an outsider, both in the fantasy genre and in video games. It reminds me that this is a boys’ club in which I am still not welcome.
I have loved your work for a long time, Matt. But this post of yours really, really upset and disappointed me.
The Earth’s clouds reflecting moonlight, creating a faint, reddish glow at a beach in northern France. Beyond the clouds lie cosmic dust and star clouds of the Milky Way. The constellation Sagittarius can be seen peaking above the horizon and Jupiter is shining visibly on the right, amongst the stars of the Scorpius constellation.
Photo credit & copyright: Laurent Laveder (July, 2007)