How would famous women game characters look if their bodies were more like average women, and less like models?
That's the question posed by Bulimia.com, which posted alternative artistic representations of Christie Montiero (Tekken), Lara Croft (Tomb Raider), Cortana (Halo) and more.
"Every character design that perpetuates an unrealistic and impossible ideal for the female body distorts cultural perception of the female body, and in turn hurts all women," said project manager Sam Deford, in an interview with Polygon.
He added that game companies should do more to show realistic representations of women.
"Some companies and developers have already done this and we applaud those efforts," he said. "We feel strongly that this should occur more frequently in games moving forward. Game developers for Tomb Raider have actually started to make Lara Croft more realistic in most recent iterations, which is a far cry from where she started. While the newest Lara is far from average, her form looks healthy and fierce; much how she might look if she were real. More realistic forms would almost certainly have an impact on cultural perceptions of, and respect for the female body."
Deford talked about the unrealistic portrayal of men in games. "There are plenty of exceptional examples of men in games that look completely unrealistic and unlike any man you'd see on the street. I'd argue it hurts male body image, as well. The difference here is that the majority of women in gaming are hyper-sexualized and objectified. The same cannot be said of most male characters in games."
You can see Bulimia.com's post here.
Update: The headline and lede of this story have been updated.
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