Under a week ago Eurogamer Expo 2013 began with a myriad of presentations that featured some of the industries elite creators. One of the earliest presentations was that of award winning studio Futurlab. The U.K. based developer held a presentation that mapped their journey to success, from Velocity as a PlayStation Mini all the way to Velocity 2X on the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4.

Additionally Futurlab also managed to reveal quite a bit of information about the game design, mechanics, and platforming elements of the latest game in the series. However it seems that as the presentation ended and Velocity 2X moved to the show floor that much of the focus became attached to the games female protagonist “Kai“.

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FuturLab’s Managing Director James Marsden spoke recently about the attention:

“The vast majority of visitors to our booth were attracted by the striking artwork of Kai, and the cut outs of her stationed either side. Many asked why we’d decided to go with a female lead character, complementing our art team that we’d kept her clothes on. After someone on our YouTube page commented that a female lead character was ‘bad design’, I decided to write an article about why fans will never see Kai in revealing clothes. It’s been the single most popular post on our blog ever.”

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It is in the aforementioned blog post that James explains how his thoughts and ideals were formed throughout his life. The revelation is extremely candid and gives quite the insight as to where exactly he stands in regards to female empowerment.

“For me, women have always been inspiring, strong, powerful and magnificent, so I find it morbidly fascinating to hear people like the YouTube commenter believing that choosing a female lead is bad design. Claiming bad design is an objective statement, not an expression of personal preference. That kind of thinking is so out of date it’s almost laughable, but it’s tragic because it highlights a severe lack of empathy, and it’s lack of empathy that is at the heart of all humanity’s problems.”

 

It’s clear that James and the entire Futurlab team are intent on creating a female protagonist that doesn’t fall into the unnecessary tropes that many of its indie-contemporaries tend to unfortunately tend to; and for that it gets a big tip of the hat from us over at the The Vita Lounge.

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  • Lester Paredes

    I know that whenever I am given the choice of sex for my protagonist, I usually go female. My reasoning is simple: Men do this stuff all the time in games. So much that I don’t even care about the plot that attempts to validate the reason why (and usually fails). But when it’s a woman (who’s generally put to the side or just there for Bewbs and A$$ and an excuse for the penis to arrive and fix everything), to me, there must be an underlying reason that pushed her to this breaking point. At which point, my mind fills in some of the fiction and thus I am intrigued.
    I’ve known strong, powerful women all of my life. That’s the only kind of woman I’ve ever been attracted to, and that’s the kind of woman I married. To hear about people regulating women to ‘sex appeal’ because it’s ‘good design’ in these sorts of fictional stories is just… wrong. With games quickly becoming a dominant force in entertainment, which fictional characters am I going to point my daughter to and say: Look at her. She’s awesome. Lara Croft? No, she was all huge boobs and not much else until later in the series. Even now, with her more ‘realistic’ design, she’s this gorgeous doll that you don’t want to muss up. Bayonetta? Don’t make me laugh. Juliet Starling? Nope. Elizabeth? She doesn’t do anything until Booker (the Penis) shows up. Princess Peach? Always getting kidnapped and rarely ever fending for herself (fake Mario 2, Smash Bros., Mario 3D World excluded. I don’t count super Princess Peach because she uses absurd stereotypes of female feelings as ‘powers’ throughout) *sigh* I guess I’ll just have to hope that my daughter likes Buffy as much as I do. Sorry for the long post.