“If you don’t like SoulCalibur’s depiction of its diverse characters than you can walk out the door, we don’t want you in the community. Leave” Sounds harsh, eh? Comes off a little… exclusive, doesn’t it? Almost gives credence to the whole ‘exclusive’ nature of gaming communities. Well it’s a learned thing, you see, the result of several years of conditioning. I learned the last five years that if a community really really wants a toxic or otherwise unacceptable element growing within their community removed they need only assert the values of said community and demand the element leave. This was taught to me by progressive gamers and even devs/publishers who adopted their rhetoric. Thank you, ideologues; there is truly nothing like applying recently learned skills.
SoulCalibur’s “objectified women”, eh? Okay so this is the part where the SC community ‘fansplains’ to her how many male characters are ripped, rugged he-men who are far removed from the average male gamer. Perhaps we respectfully advise her that with Create-A-Soul, SoulCalibur’s ten year old character creation/edit feature, her female character can be as modest as she wishes. Ohh, maybe I can get a little technical and muse about how playable characters in games are by definition ‘objects’ to be acted upon, with no actual will of their own aside from fictional motivations pertaining to the overall story..?! Me and the SC community can discuss all of these points, anectodes, experiences, and fan perspectives all fucking day. Hell, you might think this very blog entry is exactly that; exploring these concepts as a response to Cecilia’s dreadfully route, predictable hit-piece.
We’ve seen that YouTube video, we seen that Tweet, we seen that comment section post (and by the gods there are people on Gawker, under that article, finally done with such divisive sophistry). It’s an old song and dance; ideologue writes a piece attacking a game/developer/community and gets bombarded with often obvious counter arguments from various places. Not this time. That’s not the ‘re’ of this response. Actually, I’ve opted to adopt what people like her do when they have the keys to the gate. And believe me, we SoulCalibur fans still have those keys if Ivy’s reveal trailer means anything. Unlike Dead or Alive 6, our little patch of land is clean of irrelavent bullshit that aims to reshape what we love.
Because, Miss Cecil (may I call her Cecil?), she made a critical error. She attacked us after we already seen for years what happens when her type gets even the smallest gesture of acquiesce. The tiniest olive branch to appeal to her group 100% spirals into the destruction of what we love. Each. And every. Time. So in the spirit of how they talk to us after they gain enough power in our communities, this is my response:
Don’t like it; leave.
As one the Soul series’ most recognizable fighters, Ivy has always looked like a caricature of a pubesc-
Don’t like it; leave.
Bandai Namco has pigeonholed what could be a stellar fighting game for everyo-
It’s not for ‘everyone’ it’s for whoever’s down with what it is. Don’t like it; leave.
I knew that worming my way into the game’s culture, battling other players and getting competitive would be harder for me, even though I loved the gameplay, the stages, the single-player mode.
Unfortunate. Don’t like it; leave.
In my interview with Okubo, I felt that I’d been presented with a golden opportunity to hear the response to a question I’d had for 12 years, a question about why a game I’ve loved still feels so off-putting to play.
Don’t like it..?
Anybody getting the theme here? Am I doing it right? This… gate keeping thing people like Cecil employ only after they extorted yet another dev into doing what they say? What’s sad is: I would love to chat with Cecilia about my favorite fighting game series. There’s nothing I’d like more than to get back to discussing gameplay and new designs and story and all that good shit. But I can’t. In current year – I have to put content like that hit piece on blast so Project Soul doesn’t think, or gets terrorized into accepting, that Cecilia speaks for even 20% of the SC community. Because that leads all the way to the ideological pandering that hasn’t improved a single community.
And no, unlikely Progressive reader, I’m not talking about females/LGBT/minority characters being playable in games. Embrace the horror that not only do you make minorities sick, but we happen to be smart enough to know the difference between genuine diversity… and yet another afro-puff jive-talking black woman headlining a trailer about killing nazis. Cringe.
See that character above? That’s Isabella fucking Valentine, also known as Ivy, stable character and icon of the SoulCalibur fighting game series. Her attire and fighting style is themed on a dominatrix, expressed in her primary attire and sword that becomes a whip. Why? Because it’s badass. Because it’s sexy. Because it’s interesting. Because she’s Isabella fucking Valentine and this is SoulCalibur.
Fellow fans, lore geeks and sweaties alike, let us Guard Impact this completely cliche attempt at driving an ideological nail into something we love and loved for 20yrs now. No more debates, we did that. No given inches, we know what happens afterward. Just a mirror reflection of what they do the second they get to keep the gate:
Don’t like it; leave.