The Diablo III open beta was last weekend. I’m not going to get into all the technical issues because those are bugs which can hopefully be fixed. What I am going to talk about is the character designs, and more specifically how pants on a woman somehow transforms into a tin, tiny skirt.
The issue of female costumes in games is one that has been explored numerous times by numerous people. The disparity between male and female clothing in games is one that comes up again and again and again. Let’s have a look at what I’m talking about.
Ok, the barbarians look fine. Both are wearing next-to-nothing, but their barbarians so that makes sense.
Another two that look the same. These are the monks, and again they are wearing next-to-nothing. I’m beginning to see a trend here.
And the trend is broken with the demon hunters. Here we have a man in pants and a vest with practical boots. What is the woman wearing? High heeled boots and a mini skirt, plus an impractical shirt that doesn’t cover nearly as much as the man’s does.
Woah. The magician is even worse. The man is completely covered, head to toe. Yet the woman is in a boob tube and mini skirt. What the fuck?
You’ll notice that all of the women are wearing next to nothing, which is why the earlier pictures don’t look as bad. But taken as a whole it’s a very disturbing trend, especially when there are fully clothed man in places where it is appropriate.
There’s one more character, but this one is problematic for a different reason. This is what the witch doctor looks like:
Yup, you saw that right. The only black character in the game is a witch doctor. This plays into racist stereotypes of black people being “primal” and “native”.
Somehow I don’t think Diablo III is a game I’ll be playing.