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  • Exalted criticisms

    One major complaint I have about Exalted is straight out of the bat, the artwork in the books since it's not only way too anime but also I notice there's alot of sexualized armor/outfits in the female characters (like boob plate armor, midriffs, etc) in the artwork making it even more problematically sexist which is extremely hard to take this game very seriously especially the fact this was supposed to be the WoD's prehistory which makes it well pretty much a joke.

    First of all I wonder if it's possible to "redesign" the game to make less anime and more of a realistic aesthetic? Especially having women in non-sexualized proper armor being one step.
    Last edited by Veindark; 12-04-2016, 07:31 PM.

  • #2
    The artwork for the first two editions was always supposed to be anime-inspired, and because it was it helped to propel Exalted out of the D&D fantasy mire into the success that it is. You'll note that the "sexism quotient" of the art drifted as the editions ran on. We only maintained the WoD connection at the beginning and by second edition it was pretty much never mentioned again. AND Exalted 3rd Edition pretty much leaves all of the things you mention with the previous editions. There are still anime-inspired pieces, but they are mixed throughout in much more of an internationally flavored concept art overall look.

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    • #3
      Sexualization is not necessarily objectification. It's all a matter of context.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ekorren View Post
        Sexualization is not necessarily objectification. It's all a matter of context.
        Indeed.

        Though I still miss the days when Harmonious Jade had pants.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Veindark View Post
          One major complaint I have about Exalted is straight out of the bat, the artwork in the books since it's not only way too anime but also I notice there's alot of sexualized armor/outfits in the female characters (like boob plate armor, midriffs, etc) in the artwork making it even more problematically sexist which is extremely hard to take this game very seriously especially the fact this was supposed to be the WoD's prehistory which makes it well pretty much a joke.

          First of all I wonder if it's possible to "redesign" the game to make less anime and more of a realistic aesthetic? Especially having women in non-sexualized proper armor being one step.
          Some people like the anime aesthetic and said aesthetic has been part of Exalted since the beginning. I sincerely doubt they'll ever get rid of it.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post

            Some people like the anime aesthetic and said aesthetic has been part of Exalted since the beginning. I sincerely doubt they'll ever get rid of it.
            And I'm one those who don't like it which the artwork pretty much a turn off or rather chases away some who might be interested in the game and makes them go back to the WoD.

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            • #7
              I mean, exalted is designed to do different things then WoD is... that's not a bad thing.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Veindark View Post

                And I'm one those who don't like it which the artwork pretty much a turn off or rather chases away some who might be interested in the game and makes them go back to the WoD.
                The WoD, which had a lot of early artwork by Josh Timbrook, who had and still has a very anime-inspired style, and later had a lot of artwork by Melissa Uran. IRONY! (^VVVVVV^)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Veindark View Post
                  One major complaint I have about Exalted is straight out of the bat, the artwork in the books since it's not only way too anime but also I notice there's alot of sexualized armor/outfits in the female characters (like boob plate armor, midriffs, etc) in the artwork making it even more problematically sexist which is extremely hard to take this game very seriously especially the fact this was supposed to be the WoD's prehistory which makes it well pretty much a joke.

                  First of all I wonder if it's possible to "redesign" the game to make less anime and more of a realistic aesthetic? Especially having women in non-sexualized proper armor being one step.
                  Originally posted by Veindark View Post

                  And I'm one those who don't like it which the artwork pretty much a turn off or rather chases away some who might be interested in the game and makes them go back to the WoD.
                  So...let me see if I understand this correctly. You're judging the entire intellectual effort at creating a alternate fantasy universe who's spiritual origin is anime, by its anime art? And further, a body being bared in whatever manner you deem provocative is grounds to suggest the publisher is better served to cater to your sensibilities about its art?

                  Guess I'm going to be the jackass here but two points beg to be made:

                  1) You don't like the artwork as being too anime. And? I don't like pineapple, should all pineapple be banned from all possible uses as a food for everyone else just to cater to my tastes?

                  2) Too sexualized. Yes, I understand in this era of political correctness where we're all supposed to join the commune and like the same thing it's the hip thing to do. But oddly, this is just as tyrannical as someone knocking your door down with a <insert holy book of choice> in hand and dragging you out by your hair for daring to suggest same sex relationships are ok.

                  I'm actually offended you feel the need to suggest your sensibilities should be catered to by the publishers vs their artistic freedom. The problem with the vapid politically correct movement is in their zeal to impose their beliefs on everyone around them, they stampede all over the freedoms of others. Yet if you do the same thing to them, they throw hissy fits. You don't like the art and that's the only thing you can find at fault?
                  • Then...don't buy the book.
                  • Don't play the game.
                  • And simply go away with your moral purity intact.
                  There, your sensibilities are served without anyone else having to sacrifice their freedoms at your whim.
                  Last edited by Seeker1728; 12-04-2016, 11:55 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Seeker1728 View Post
                    Guess I'm going to be the jackass here
                    Moderator edit. Unnecessary insult, don't do it again please. Darksider

                    Originally posted by Seeker1728 View Post
                    1) You don't like the artwork as being too anime. And? I don't like pineapple, should all pineapple be banned from all possible uses as a food for everyone else just to cater to my tastes?
                    I never once asked the anime artwork to be banned, all I asked if it was possible redesign the game non-anime wise.

                    Originally posted by Seeker1728 View Post
                    2) Too sexualized. Yes, I understand in this era of political correctness
                    Stopped reading right there, anyone who says "Political Correctness" is a derailment tactic to silence conversations about marginalized groups which in this case being women and how they're represented in media which they're sexualized in comparison to their male counterparts.

                    Originally posted by Seeker1728 View Post
                    I'm actually offended you feel the need to suggest your sensibilities should be catered to by the publishers vs their artistic freedom. The problem with the vapid politically correct movement is in their zeal to impose their beliefs on everyone around them, they stampede all over the freedoms of others. Yet if you do the same thing to them, they throw hissy fits. You don't like the art and that's the only thing you can find at fault?
                    • Then...don't buy the book.
                    • Don't play the game.
                    • And simply go away with your moral purity intact.
                    There, your sensibilities are served without anyone else having to sacrifice their freedoms at your whim.
                    Sexism is not "Artistic Freedom", stop rationalizing or justifying that it is or rather your definition of "Freedom" really means to assert and exercise your own privilege at the expense of others due to your lack of empathy towards marginalized groups.
                    Last edited by Darksider; 12-05-2016, 08:38 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Yeah srsly, "Don't consume art" is not a valid retort to "your art has flaws".
                      Veindark, a question: are you talking about 2nd edition or third edition? Because this was a huge issue in second, but less so in third.
                      Last edited by Fata-Ku; 12-05-2016, 12:54 AM.


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                      • #12
                        If you just mean anime style arts then Ex3 only has around three of them I think ? Buuuuut the book's background has lots of inkwash paintings so if you allergic to Japanese stuffs in general, this is probably bad news.

                        As for the women in non-sexualized proper armor part, here's one of Ex3 signature character:

                        Last edited by Jen; 12-06-2016, 03:33 AM.


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                        • #13
                          As RichT notes, the sexualizing drifted as editions went by and there was a purposeful attempt in 3e to have more female characters in less sexualized armor (which it did), more generally mixed art aesthetic (which it has along with the anime/manga stuff) and also to some extent stay sexual but do so in a way that provides a general "human body is attractive" thing, including wiht some male characters (as seen with characters like the new Dawn Caste signature character and some men about the book).

                          I think that the thing though is to remember that anime and manga art and themes are big reasons why Exalted is as successful a franchise as it even is. Part of this is having attractive people in armor and clothing taht emphasizes that. Sexualization is not consider a problem by the directorial staff or even many fans of the game. Objectification is. And there's good attempts to try and avoid that, even if it might not always succeed. Or in some unfortuante cases like the cover of Savant & Sorcerer, utterly fail. But it being more "realistic standard fantasy aesthetic" never has been, nor I think ever should be, a goal of the gameline aestheticaly. Much fof its image is the more cartoony/manga look. This is not just in its visual inspiration but much of its actual literary and media inspriation in the building of the setting as well.

                          And stuff.

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                          • #14
                            Also, Exalted is the "prehistory of the World of Darkness" much in the same way that say, Tanith Lee's Flat Earth and Robert Howard's Hyborian Age were the prehistory of Earth, or that Gene Wolfe's Books of New Sun and Robert Vance's Dying Earth has Earth as their past. Mainly in that it's there to loot for the WoD for ideas and IP nuggests, not much really meant to be anything definitive for the WoD.

                            And stuff.

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                            • #15
                              I was personally sold on exalted in the first place because of its anime-esque art and themes (more specifically playing straight up bishounen Achilles), so I find the critique unfair because you can get plenty of fantasy games that are not anime-esque at all (and few that have eastern influence at all but that is another discussion). I will admit the sexism was problematic but it is being corrected.

                              Now I personally have an increasing dislike of WD and CoD (except WtF which I am becoming increasingly intrigued by) so I could say that it not being like it is a good thing but that would be commiting the same mistake. They are not the same setting and have not been treated as so for nigh on a decade now. They are different and prefering the themes of one over the other does not make the other inferior for lacking those themes and addressing others. I feel this point needs to be stressed given the attitude Paradox has expressed in both their survey and statementd lately which as a long time fan of their games and of Exalted has me increasongly concerned.

                              But ultimately YMMV, one has a right to their view but critiquing Exalteds atmosphere and anime art is like critiquing a plane for the design traits that make it a bad train.

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