True or false: does hot chick art helps sell more games?
And a followup: is the goal of selling more games adequate for going heavy on the hot chick art?
Lord knows, I’ve got some iffy games on my shelf. This one doesn’t feel like it approaches the holy-wow excesses of, say, Tanto Cuore or some of the Parente art in Dust Tactics. Or the all-hottie clan in Blood Rage I just unpacked a couple weeks back. There’s even a (NSFW) thread at boardgamegeek about this: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/166332/xxx-erotic-and-sexy-artwork-board-games
So: prudery? Maybe. I don’t think of myself as prude but there are boxes I already own that I’d hesitate to put in front of my daughter, or strangers at a convention. But that’s also true of movies and books I own, too.
Free speech? Oh god please no. No. I cannot think of a game that isn’t Tit Grab (yes that’s a real game) that requires tits to express its ideas.
So this Tavern Masters game, right? I totally get that it’s playing directly into fantasy tavern tropes. Tropes that were created by dudes fantasizing, Trump-like I suppose, about being serviced by bar wenches, whores, and fellow travelers who also happen to be hotties.
And never mind the whole alcoholism angle! Looking through the Kickstarter, you apparently achieve levels of drunkenness like “sloshed” and “wasted.” I guess, man, I guess. I have alcoholism running through both sides of my family so maybe I’m dialed up to notice that sort of thing more.
What I’m not saying:
* …that sexy art is bad per se. I like looking! Women like looking!
* …that anyone should, you know, boycott or scream to high heaven about the presentation here.
What I am saying:
* There are a hell of a lot of baked in assumptions loaded into every aspect of this: the dude-intensive history of fantasy tavern tropes, the assumption that boobs sell, the assumption that it’s cishet dudes who are the only audience for this sort of thing, the attitude that overdrinking is high comedy.
* Is it healthy to leave those assumptions unexamined? Like…I’m certain there are women who find the game’s theme and play appealing. Soooo why not level the playing field? Looking through the sample art, there’s not a single washboard ab or devastating cheekbone to be seen. Plenty of beefy beardy heavyset dudes, though. I mean if the women are going to be presented as uniformly hot, why not the guys too? (I did see there’s a “pit fighter” card, and that single card is pretty equal-opportunity.)
Dunno…maybe I’m just getting old, but this sort of thing jumps out at me these days as lazy at best and actively alienating at worst.