I’ve mentioned that I don’t like a certain other game because of its characters. One woman is basically a more voluptuous lady in a big coat, and another one is fake buff in armour and clothing designed to make her look more buff than she is.
Battleborn, however, has Reyna. Reyna is fantastic! She’s a really body positive woman. How she’s animated, how she runs, her attitude, and everything is just perfect. It’s beautiful. However, she doesn’t have as much of a tummy as a genuinely chubby person.
You could use this position you have to really push support for various groups. You all ready have an old guy, a disabled person, and a somewhat chubby lady. What I’m proposing here is that you really push this.
You could show your competitors how it’s done.
It’s great to have ‘conventionally pretty’ women, but we have a lot of those all ready. What I’d love to see is a genuinely chubby woman as an attacker, not a healer. One that has a real belly on her. And actually do research to understand how it works.
You could look at chubby belly dancers and those with some muscle to their core to actually see how you could do this tastefully. And you could still give her a really big belly, but one that isn’t just a cheaply done ball or yet another hourglass figure. Which is another thing, you could use a different base body shape (such as a rectangle) as a basis.
You could also have a body-builder on the team. Once again, to show your competitors how it’s done. And you could do the research to see how this works and base it off of how real world body builders achieve their mass.
The thing is is that right now you’re in a position to really help out and support a lot of people. You’ve done so well with Borderlands 2, The Pre-Sequel, and Battleborn as well. I love you guys for that. You can never doubt that when it comes to your characters, your aesthetics, your stories, your worlds, your art, and so many other things I’ll put Gearbox very nearly at the top of my list.
Here’s the thing: You guys are often the example that I and others poitn to as an example of progressive attitudes in the video game industry. We point at you and we say this is how you do it RIGHT.
You can be proud of that. You should be proud of that.
And I think you could take it further. The thing is, with the community you have? I don’t think anyone would be against you taking it further. It would also do so, so much to distance you from the competition and to show whom you support. There are many elements of Battleborn where I can truly say that that’s a great example, or that that’s a fantastic start.
That you have an old guy in a wheelchair is an absolute marvel for me, even. I know, yeah, he’s a bit of a silly character but they all are, and that doesn’t take away from the fact that you have an old guy in a wheelchair.
And nothing will ever take away from how you have a chubby woman leading up a team of space pirates.
Nor will anything take away from how you have a flat-chested teenage girl in the roster.
You’ll always have that. You did great. You really did.
This is why I want to not only praise you, but I want to see if you’re willing to really take it to the next level. If you really want to push it, perhaps you could acknowledge transsexual people as well, I know that might be difficult in a game that may be aimed at a younger audience, but still, if you could manage it then that’d be fantastic.
Essentially? Praise and encouragement. You did good so far. Please, please keep it up. And push harder to include more groups that never really get to be included just because extraverted, mainstream society just happens to think they’re ‘uncool’ because they’re not enough of a clone of everyone else.
You’re in a fantastic position to do that. In many ways you’re all ready known as the developer that does that. So keep trying with that. Be bold and unafraid.
Edit: One thing I wanted to bring up, after talking about it with my partner. The handling of animation, stance, and attitude is really good, too. I don’t know if I can explain this well, but… in a way, it reminds me of Star Trek’s counsellor Troy and her evolution over the course of the show from her original more sensual, playboy outfit self to the professional lady she appreciably became (which the actress very much approved of).
A lot of the characters have a certain professionalism, attitude, or confident air around them that isn’t suited for being made the fodder of questionable fantasies. It’s pretty great, and I really respect Gearbox for that. They could have been more sly and conniving, they could have given Galilea a battle thong. They did not.
That’s why I tend to think of Gearbox as the perfect dev to approach with notions like these. Of all the developers out there, I think these are the people who’d listen given the characters they’ve already made.
I just love that the women in Battleborn are actually warriors. I simply adore Thorn’s chest-thumping and it’s one of the many things that I dig about her. I love that Mellka, even, is flat-chested. You just don’t see many flat-chested women in games, it actually took me a while to register that she was. My partner had to point it out to me.
So… more praise!