Sexism Scandal! Naughty Dog refuses to keep Ellie off 'The Last of Us' cover
Take up your arms! A game company has besmirched the fairer sex! Or has it? Read on to find out!
The topic of sexism within video games has always been a controversial one, but never before have the flames been fanned over something like the packaging. Just a few days ago, Ken Levine of Irrational Games had to defend the company's choice for the BioShock Infinite cover which prominently displays male protagonist Booker DeWitt with no sight of Elizabeth at all. Immediately, fans cried foul at the supposed slight for the feminine focus of the franchise's latest entry.
Booker DeWitt on the cover of 'BioShock Infinite'
Following this small outcry came word that Naughty Dog refused a push to take female lead Ellie off the cover for their upcoming title The Last of Us. According to actress Ashley Johnson, who provides the voice and motion capture for Ellie, this is just an example of a larger problem when dealing with the portrayal of females in video games.
This specific issue is a unique one that raises an interesting question. Are female characters purposefully passed up for the cover out of belief that it will better market the game?
Going back to the BioShock Infinite situation, Levine himself admitted that the choice for the cover was so as to target "frat boys." So, what are you saying exactly? That frat guys don't like girls? Do I have to resort to a book I read in my early childhood to prove how stupid that sounds?
This is a bro's world.
To be fair, Ken Levine did attempt to rectify the situation with a poll to choose the design for the reversible cover of the game (click here). There are some nice choices here I'll admit with #5 being my favorite followed closely by #4. Does this help fix the problem? Is it really our call to say how a game should or should not be represented? Ashley Johnson again gives her thoughts on this particular issue.
Not only on the cover but with a closer shot!
Out of curiosity, I looked up the covers for video games that feature prominent female characters. I'm not crying conspiracy here but it is interesting to take note of if the mindset of marketing video games is truly universal.
No sign of Alyx
Chell's not here, man!
We got Anya and she's not even a major character!
BioWare at least gave us a reversible cover for us FemShep fans.
Controversy or coincidence? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
I think the main problem here is how female main characters are not appearing on the front... And I'm totally agree with you, because Cortana for example, is very overlooked... Now they decided to put her a "perfect body" to just call more attention. She deserves the most important spot in halo franchises! at least try to make one front with cortana!
It doesn't apply to some, it applies to the majority. If it didn't, the developers would have more say in the box art rather than the publishers. You may not care, but too many others do.
i suppose that does apply to some people but i'n not really one of those people
Boom! You got it!
Unfortunately, the cover does matter. When choosing a book, the cover is what generally draws a person to it until someone tells them if the book is worth reading or not. Think of people, the 90% of the time the reason we even talk to someone is because of the way they look and how they present themselves. Games are the same way. Especially to those who do not play games or to gamers who don't look up the info about a game. To them, the box art says a lot about the game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUiVZGLEzBE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gKwOiRFSwk Even gamers who look up the info of a game can be swayed by the way its presented either through the box art or trailers. Remember how people reacted to Overstrike which is now Fuse? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYowhad_1mw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijlVoaa1uqM
Love this comment. Spot on!
Yep, I am of the same mindset. It was interesting coming out of that when investigating for this story.
Hilarious and true!
I totally agree with you there on the BioShock Infinite cover. It is surprisingly generic looking. Not only that but Booker seems to have a bit of a Nathan Drake thing going on. Coincidence?
Was that for the PC version? I only knew of the Xbox box art since that was the one I played.
Most people seem to be glad Ellie is on the cover. The controversy was just around an internal struggle within Naughty Dog (likely the marketing department) trying to push her off of it.
So, am I misunderstanding or are people bitching because Naughty Dog decided to leave a female character on a game cover? How is that a bad thing? Explain please.
Stupid controversy is stoopid. I lack the ability to see what some people find offensive theese days. Maybe I'm just being too rational for Earth.
I freaking LOVED Donut Drake skin option in Uncharted. I can't tell you how pissed I was when they didn't keep it an option for the second game. But you're correct to a certain extent with overly masculine male characters. Though oddly enough I feel like the realistic military FPS do a good job of the characters. If anything is the movies that screw up the military man look. Even the elit soldier's don't have perfectly chiseled abs. And bulging muscles. The reason being that when you do THAT much cardio you can't help but burn away overly excessive muscle.
I personally think games should have the main character on front and other main/side characters in the background of the game. The other characters give it a better feel to what its going to be I think. Last of Us cover art looks freaking AWESOME and looks to show EXACTLY what the game is. Not to mention Last of Us title would seem off if it only had one person on the cover.
to all the companies that are afraid to put females on the covers of their games, wake up and remember tomb raider. that game was insanly popular, had an awesome female character who i loved and oh yeh she was on the front cover. grow the fuck up and reaize that woman play games too.
Now THAT is really sexist
Wasn't Half-Life 2 released with 3 different covers, though (One for Gordon, Alyx and the G-Man)?
That was apparently it. If you read this story over on Destructoid or Joystiq, NaughtyDog is quoted as saying the marketing executives at Sony wanted the cover changed.
So, who is it that's tried to make Naughty Dog change the cover? Sony?