RIP Artistic Vision

It was good while it lasted.


Actually, that looks painful.

The controversy and counter-controversy surrounding Tracer’s Miranda-esque ass is one of those tempest-in-a-butt-shaped-teacup affairs that is both amusing and sad. For largely the same reason, i.e. that a butt is legitimately artistic vision in the first place.

“Well, I can see it, and an artist drew it, so… QED.”

Of course, the counter-controversy is never really about the butt – it is about what the butt (or lack thereof) represents. Specifically,  a developer’s god-given right, nay, duty to present (har har) some of the most cliche female iconography of all time. I mean, seriously:


Pictured: Widowmaker, Tracer, and D.Va victory poses.

I’m not saying there shouldn’t be butts. I’m saying that I agree with original poster and with Kaplan insofar as Tracer’s butt shot was, in fact, out of character. It’s existence was against the artist vision – or at least the artistic cohesion – of the character, even if nobody complained about it. At best, at best, it was fanservice. At worst, or even just normally, it was basically a cynical “there are hot singles in your area” style clickbait.

And, let’s face it people: sometimes artistic vision is just dumb. Remember the original Mass Effect 3 endings? Kojima’s obsession with justifying Quiet in MGS 5? There is nothing sacrosanct about design failures. Pretty sure the same people who get up in arms about derrière removal are the same people who have strong opinions on the decline of modern gaming too. Is it not artistic vision of the designers to make X game have/not have Y feature? Where is that artistic vision line drawn?

Besides halfway up Tracer’s back, I mean.

I dunno. I frequently choose female avatars in the games I play, and I’ll admit to having a few sets of Firemane Leggings in the ole WoW bank. But this shouldn’t really be the mounds hills your willing to die on, artistic vision-wise. Assuming, as Liore points out, it is even worth dying for the artistic vision of a publicly-traded corporate entity in the first place. The only backsides they’re truly interested in are of the green variety.

Posted on March 30, 2016, in Commentary and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. The issue people take with the whole affaire on the offical (EU) forums essentially seems to boil down to:

    – the same (questionably sexy; personally, not being a Victorian fainting lady I guess, I still don’t see the ‘risque’ nature of the pose) pose being used by all the characters, a.o.t. leaving the question TotalBiscuit poked fun at: is the gorilla then not being sexualized as well?

    – Kaplan’s fawning initial gut reaction that didn’t jive with for example the Corpsegrinder incident at BlizzCon;

    – there actually being serious issues with WoW at the moment (for example, the client change totally screwed up inter-Faction role-playing) that do not get any reaction, at all, from Blizzard while this nonsense did;

    – a game rated Teen involving blowing up people somehow deserving a much more prudish treatment because (going by Kaplan’s initial gut reaction) of a mother concerned a child probably too young to play the game in the first place might be shocked by it (which also questions what kind of mother she is to begin with – entertainment has Age Ratings for a reason)

    None of these issues involve a hue and cry over a ‘culture war’, though truth be told plenty of us Old Worlders do see it as ‘Helen Lovejoy from ‘murica’ going on about with her ‘Will someobody please think of the children! Voilence good, anatomy bad!’


    • Yeah, there is some residual Blizzard hypocrisy in the way Kaplan explained the change. Indeed, this might even be a case of the correct change being done for the wrong reasons. But… I still maintain it is the correct change, artistically. It’s not that butt shots are too risque, it’s that butt shots don’t fit Tracer. It’d be like if one of Mei’s skins were her in a bikini, e.g. totally gratuitous for the character.

      Widowmaker or D.Va on the other hand? Fits perfectly. And those are still in the game.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So those kind of shots are somehow degrading (instead of just teh consequence of being 3D) yet DO fit the male characters including the monkey as well because… :?

        I’m not denying that Blizzard can change anything they like, but I am really having trouble wrapping my head around this whole affaire as e.g. when I think about possibly offensive buttshots I think more of poses from Eastern MMO’s like e.g. Trinium Wars than what essentially is a simple backshot of a cartoonish character that happens to be a male, I mean an ape, I mean a 26-year old woman with an atrocious faux-British accent in a game about shooting people in the face.

        Btw the Total Biscuit vid


  2. Well Samus Aran in a bikini never really “fit the character” either. It was just a harmless bit of fanservice. This situation seems to be entirely a matter of opinion or taste with no right answer.


  3. Semi-related to the final point, I wonder how many bloggers and forum superstars would be willing to back up their pro- or anti-Blizzard speculation with their own green stuff.

    After all, if you believe that Legion and Overwatch will be smash hits, it makes sense to buy ATVI stock. If you think that Blizzard will continue to decline and are willing to put your money where your mouth is, there are option contracts for that, too.


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