Kickstarting Sexism with "Kingdom Death" UPDATED!

Sometimes, board games have cool miniatures and artistically admirable player pieces. Other times, they have patently sexist, exploitative and offensive miniatures. Sadly, this week has supplied an exemplar in the latter category. Kingdom Death, a horror-themed board game for 1–6 players and currently in development, just finished its Kingdom Death: Monster Kickstarter. The full game, available to backers of the campaign at $100 or more, contains a generous number of pieces. As the campaigns steadily racked up more backers, upgrades to the base game were unlocked via stretch goals. Creator Adam Poots had set the funding goal at for $35,000. He ended up raising $2,049,721 from 5,410 backers. While it's important to remember that both Kickstarter and Amazon take a percentage of a Kickstarter campaign's money in processing fees, it's equally important to point out that 5,410 people are really, really excited about this game.

Kingdom Death is described as a "nightmare horror game" that "underscores the brutal physical and mental torment of surviving in a world where people are the struggling bottom of a monstrous ecology." Though the examples of characters and monsters viewable online are not exhaustive, the thematic element that appears to recur is sexual organs. At least one monster, whose image appears on the game's main page, appears to comprise testicles, a tail, multiple breasts and arms, and at least one face. I'm always a little concerned when human sex organs are portrayed as monstrous or even sinister. The human race has enough issues with sexuality as it is, but apparently Kingdom Death is a world where giant sentient ballsack-breast monsters are but one of an adventurer's problems.

The portrayal of women in the art and miniatures is just as concerning. Miniatures in general are rarely varied or diverse in their portrayal of women; they're usually a tiny replica of the worst chainmail-bikini tropes. Kingdom Death has reached for the limits of this aesthetic. Sexualized portrayals of women abound in the game images available—some of them even called "pinups"—as do images of women in submissive positions. Female figurines are either monstrous, sexual, or both.

back side of a while molded figurine with large buttocks and high heels

The "Preacher Pinup" demonstrates a misunderstanding of what constitutes clothing.

 

I find it disturbing and discouraging that a creative team that clearly prioritizes making quality figurines chose to make those same quality figurines out of astoundingly sexist material. This scale of female sexualization in Kingdom Death's characterizations outweighs, for me, any other merits this game could have going for it. High production values don't change that a game with pointedly sexist artistic content was able to raise more than two million dollars to fund its manufacture.

I'd like to see the miniatures market catch up to consumers who don't want sexist miniatures. I'm also not expecting to see that happen any time soon. The success of Kingdom Death's funding campaign is a clear reminder that women remain outside the target audience of many game designers. I've seen a lot of people already saying "Don't like it, don't buy it," but the vote-with-your-dollars argument is a cheap way to shut down criticism—and neatly sidesteps the fact that sexism continues to be a problem in tabletop games.

Update, 1/10/13: I wanted to respond to the comments on this post. Because of the volume of them, I'm going to try and address as many as I can in one response. It's being added to the article to keep from repeating responses throughout many comments, and to keep from getting lost in the comments section.

I was unaware of the Kickstarter for Kingdom Death: Monster until after it was finished. I do have issues with the pinup's proportions, because I feel they are highly exaggerated and sexualized depictions of women's bodies. As has been pointed out, I did not clearly differentiate between which miniatures are present in the game versus other miniatuires, such as the "pinups," which were represented in the article's visuals. I ackowledge that was not a deft employment of language skill, but does not change that such sexually charged imagery was popular, and sold well.

There were several compliants pertaining to my opinions and biases not constituting journalism. My series is an opinion series, and newswriting is vastly different from opinion columns. I am not obligated to interview people.

I find the gorm pretty damn scary. I mentioned in the article that I find genitals in monster imagery very disturbing, and it concerns me because I think that feeds into societal issues surrounding sex. In this case, somewhat unintentionally. The Wet Nurse suckles children, so its appearence at least makes sense, but it still squicks me out.

A number of people seem to think that the issue is not that the pinups or game base minis are sexist, but there isn't an equal ratio of scantily clad hot men to scantily clad hot women. "Equalizing" the images of sexual consumption just exploits men too. Exploitation isn't suddenly okay when we're doing it to two parties. It just means more sexism.

Many comments seem to agree with my recognition that sex sells by protesting that people want to see attractive, scantily clad people. While this is true, my issue was with how selling those minis as part of the campaign struck me as sexist. It was using images of women's bodies to make money. We already see that every day outside gaming. The effort and quality of the Kingdom Death minis is some of the best I've ever seen. That kind of artistic merit stands on its own. That's, in part, why the pinups make me frustrated and dissapointed. The Kickstarter page is full of the pinup images. It distracts from the product. KD is a horror board game in a nightmarish world. Why not more exquisite monsters, instead of the default to selling women out?

I can expect better care from men who design games because designing is usually done by smart, savvy people. I don't expect men to universally be sexist, to attack women in any fashion, or treat others in a pejudicial manner just because they're men.

Since Warhammer came up: I've played Warhammer. I dig it. I think the few female minis in Warhammer feed into bikini-chainmail stereotypes. My bigger problem with Warhammer is how deeply women continue to be so absent from the minis. Which makes me sad. Thankfully it's slightly easier to cope with those aspects in the Warhammer RPGs, like Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader.

It is not forbidden for me to dislike a game, or its aesthetics, nor is it against any rules for backers and others to deeply appreciate and enjoy products I do not. I am not a monolithic voice, I am a single person expressing an opinion. I don't think people who backed this Kickstarter are evil, horrible, or lesser than anyone else. I've talked to backers in the past day who love the game and walked right past the pinups because it was Not Their Thing. That's okay. And it's also okay that other backers bought the pinups. I expressed my opinions about content I found problematic. At the end of the day, I have my opinion, others have theirs, and we all continue to have the ability to hold differing opinions and enjoy different things.

Comments

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Mentioning the argument re:

Mentioning the argument re: voting with your dollars actually raises an important point here. The public Kickstarter campaign with over $2 million makes it clear how strongly people are voting for the creation of the game. That at least raises the question of why that number of people would want the game to exist so badly. And viewing the figurines certainly goes a long way to answering that question.

In reply to 'neverdisparaging'

"And viewing the figurines certainly goes a long way to answering that question."
I disagree. We have seen NO statistics whatsoever about how many people bought the game for the pinups, and how many bought it for the actual game content, which itself has minimal exploitation of the female gender. (There are literally 2 female miniatures in the entire game that have exposed breasts, as far as we have seen, and I honestly do not see a problem with that number.)

But we really don't know why each person backed it. Once actual surveys are sent out to the backers to select which options they want in the game, then we MAY see if the creator wishes it. We will be able to compare the over-sexualized pinups, to the actual game content, as far as consumer interest goes. It is entirely possible that not a single person bought any of the pinups. Highly unlikely, but possible, because that is how little information we have. Jumping to conclusions about the sales figures, before even the CREATOR knows them, is one of the most demeaning things I can think of, showing a complete lack of interest for actually looking into the subject and instead just making up your own statistics out of thin air.

On a related note, I would like to say that I actually like the pinups this franchise (not game, franchise) offers, as they are a far more realistically proportioned then similar products from other companies. And while I would not like impressionable women thinking they have to look like that, I would much rather have them being comfortable with a more natural image, then starving themselves to the point of sickness, just because they are told that that is what beauty is.

Reply

I do not wish to seem uneccessarily confrontational, but you are only kidding yourself if you believe the Kingdom Death: Monster models to be I) realistically proportional or representational of average or even above average humans II) anything but intentionally provocative and licentious, both when representing male or female forms. I for one, quite enjoy this art direction. Please take a moment to compare the ratio of abnormally large female breast and hip sizes with hour glass waists in the Kingdom death cannon females to those you might see on a daily basis. If your require examples of unusual proportions or intentionaly permiscous models: White speaker 54mm, white speaker nico, Lion Knight's court, wet nurse, beyond the wall diorama, forge god, grand mother. Let us not deviate from the obvouse truth that none of the human survivor models are unhygenic, hairy or unattractive. Even the mosnsters are a macabre mix of sex and violence. I am not trying to suggest that you are arguing against sex in advertisement, but it seemed you were touching on this in one way or another. This form of sexual idealism sells, the public obvuosly likes it, but it does no one a favour to pretend otherwise.

You know, you could've said

You know, you could've said something before the KickStarter finished, that looks fantastic and might've gotten some people to pledge for a copy.

The pinups are exactly that,

The pinups are exactly that, the sculptor based them on women from the 50/60/70's good to see you dont take issue with the proportions :P They are also collector items and have nothing to do with the actual game. The female game pieces (minus the starting mini in which all characters are pretty much naked) are well covered and not wearing chainmail bikinis.

Way to be objective and transparent in your critisism

If you dont like it ....

.... then dont buy it. Seriously, I have more of a problem with the moral majority still trying to teach us that sex is somehow bad, and that they should feel guilty about enjoying various forms of sexual imagery. Some of the miniatures you mentioned, had you read the lore behind them, are designed to be abhorrent as they are stylized representations of a world gone horribly wrong. The figure you mention of the being that is made of breasts and testicles isn't even in the game as you state in your article. The figures of the scantily clad girls are ALL pinups, and are not part of the game at all. They are merely other figures available through Kingdom Death. The female figures that ARE part of the game are not dressed as you portray above.

Please do your homework before passing off opinion as fact.

>>> The figure you mention of

>>>
The figure you mention of the being that is made of breasts and testicles ***isn't even in the game***
The figures of the scantily clad girls are ALL pinups, and ***are not part of the game at all***
>>>

...then why did they make them?

Isn't that level of gratuitous pandering with sex (all these extra pieces that "are not part of the game at all!") even worse than anything this article author could attribute to the game, thinking they were part of the set?

I love lots of the monster designs. Reminds me of Dark Souls turned up to 11. But ain't no way I'm going to be seen with a copy of that game, because people in the know think I bought in to get all the half-naked collectibles that "had nothing to do with the game".

The designers could have easily made OTHER figures that "weren't part of the game": More monsters, more male and female non-pinup heroes, etc. They made the choice, they have to live with the scorn.

Replying from my phone so I

Replying from my phone so I dont have the time to copy paste your specific points to respond to them directly. Also not the person you were replying to.

I would like to hear what you have to say about the fact that the gorm has a giant nut sack and probably a penis, and the lion god hhas hands coming out of its ass, holding onto its tail which is a giant penis. Is this sexist? The monster you're addressing btw is the wet nurse. Should a monster whos job is to suckle infants NOT have teets? Or is it just outside of yiur comfort zone, as its meant to be and as gorm and lion god are for me? Btw I bought both, and if wet nurse came with rules I would buy it as well.

Incidentally I disagree that the pinups make this KS sexist. What does is the fact that there are no half naked men. I dontr personally buy adams claim that hes open to the idea, but "the inspiration hasnt struck" him. That is something he should have been mindful of.

My personal opinion on the pinups is that we ALL objectify each other sexually. We need to and its healthy. The problem is simply that there is no equal representation.

Monsters of Jungian complexity and darkness

One of the things I find appealing about the Kingdom Death: Monster monsters is their unusual design.

Not the pin-ups, of course. They are simply fanservice out to pay for the game, not an actual part of it.

But the actual monsters in the game have a wonderful, disturbing imagery far from the typical dragons and ogres of fantasy games and far more inventive than the vampires and zombies and eyeball demons of typical horror games.

The monsters of Kingdom Death: Monster are beautifully sculpted horrors in the tradition of Hieronymous Bosch, amalgms of animal and human and symbol, archetypes of true nightmare.

I would not avoid such an aesthetically exciting, creative game just because it is associated with pin-ups.

And as for why the company made the pin-ups when they are not part of the game, it is for economic reasons. The pin-ups sell well, and provide much of the revenue for the company to make the more interesting miniatures.

One may certainly question the pin-ups. Most of them are in questionable taste. But as to why they are there, that is pretty obvious.

"Then why did they make

"Then why did they make them?"

Because they felt like it. They could have "easily" made other figures, but they didn't, and they aren't obligated to.

And honestly, the authour did very little digging to come up with her opinions about the game, as evidenced by her "update".

Have a problem with it? Make your own game, launch your own Kickstarter, and see how well you do. Free country.

Also if your friends think that lowly of you that they would immediately assume you bought the game for the pinups on a single glance, you either need better friends or you really need to work on how you're perceived.

Much worse than you think

Take a closer look at those monsters.

The wet nurse is not only an image approving of rape, and repeated rape at that, but bondage, torture and androgyny. The wet nurse is both male and female. The body is a scrotum, the head a penis and the tail a penis that rapes the slave girls that are bound to it to bear the "children" it "suckles".

Then we have that toad thing that barfs out a woman. That is actually a giant penis head that is ejaculating. It then violates the female children it ejaculates. Take a look for yourself...pretty blatant to my eyes.

And then there's the male figure in the chair with an S&M / pedophile theme surrounding him.

These figures are all about couched bestiality, sexual torture, pedophilia and twisted perversion. I wonder if the makers are Freemasons?

The author didn't go far enough. The makers ought to be shot.

Not really

Shot, eh? Cuz murder is a whole lot better than those other atrocities you mentioned.... Jesus Christ Internet, bring us better trolls than this!

I don't understand how the

I don't understand how the use of babies as shoes can be seen as sexual imagery. Strange and disturbing yes, sexual, well... no! Perhaps your mind is warped for thinking these things?

You do your homework before

You do your homework before passing on your opinion. There is nothing wrong with sex there is everything wrong with treating women as if they are objects. That is not sex that is a symptom of a patriachal society. If you think sexism is dead you definitely haven't done your homework. Over a millennia of female subjugation doesn't go away in less than a century of human rights movements! Furthermore playing upon small exceptions to the rule of Kingdom Death's negative portrayal of women to prove your argument is playing on semantics. It is the fact that the blatantly sexualized female models they specifically chose to craft themselves because they wanted to and not for the purpose of the game that demonstrates the issue being discussed here. Those women are not created for a fictional world gone wrong they are representations of the society we currently inhabit. If those images weren't littering their page those of us who enjoy well crafted models might be able to benefit from their artistic abilities. It is an obvious issue worth pointing out.

Man has always had an

Man has always had an obsession with the female form. As is clearly shown with ancient statues such as the Venus of Willendorf, Venus of Hohle Fels, Venus of Dolní Věstonice. These are among the oldest pieces of art in the history of mankind, and are about the female form. Of course as time move on man has created countless depiction of female beauty, across a wide median of materials. As we move in to modern times the obsession has not change, nor the reasons behind them. The only thing different is the median use to display them.

Unless the majority men becomes homosexual or bisexual this is unlikely to change in the future. Should that happen, it'll just mean we'll have male pinups instead.

Pin-Ups, Duh...

The "Pin-up" figures are just that- scantily clad pretty girls for the sake of looking nice. As others have pointed out, they are all Optional purchases, while the base game comes with 20 or so female figures in various sets of armor, which you totally fail to mention. Nice fair, unbiased reporting here, just like Fox News...

Perspective

As a backer of this game, and one admittedly interested in the highly sexualized models of which you speak, I would like to provide some perspective.

Most of the female models you are referring to are not part of the game. We have been explicitly told by the creator that they are in no way part of the game itself. They do not come with rules, they do not come with any way to include them in actual game play, and they never will. Yes, they are associated with counterparts from the game, and yes they are from the same creative team, but if you look at what actually comes with the set (armor that is not only effective, but modest, for both genders in every instance) you will notice that no, there never was any "misunderstanding of what constitutes clothing," as you put it. Mr. Poots is well aware that the Preacher Pinup has no place in Kingdom Death: Monster or in any tabletop game of his design. There are some exceptions to this, and no I am not happy about their inclusion, but sex, sadly, sells. If you are going to write an article about how these models outweigh the merit the game could have held, at least actually research how those models fit into the game. Hint: they don't. What you actually disagree with is Mr. Poots' business model. These models are being sold on the side to help fund the project and hey, at least they're not inhumanly skinny despite their overinflated mammaries. Some of these girls have curves, and some, thankfully, even have some meat on their bones.

As for the ridiculous giant sentient ballsack-breast monster, I really could have done without (In fact I can, that particular model isn't even part of the Kickstarter, despite its popularity. Yes, popularity. I will never understand). But stuff of nightmare and things of horror are often well portrayed by horrific genitalia. We do indeed have too many issues with sexuality, but playing off of deep seated issues is what makes horrific things actually horrific. If something doesn't make you uncomfortable, how could it possibly be something out of your nightmares?

By the way, where are you getting your sexism in tabletop gaming from? And I assume you mean problematic sexual imagery, since that is what you have written an article about. Not only have I have seen an equal number of muscled and topless men in rule books as I have scantily clad bikini warriors, but In fact I am seeing an increasing trend of there being fewer undressed barbarians and more women in actual armor. A trend, I might add, that I noticed YEARS ago. I mean, have you ever seen a Sister of Battle? Hell, I just flipped through my Dungeons and Dragons 4.0 Player's Handbook. Not a bikini or exposed midriff to speak of.

I am a woman very much in this target audience, thank you; and really, when a man creates a game on his own and decides to market it, what can you honestly expect?

I'm not going to knock your

I'm not going to knock your tastes, but simply state that I disagree with them.

However, I do want to point out that Sisters of Battle are in fact sexualized and their armor definitely displays their endowment.

I do hope you'd agree with me in the statement that the D&D 4.0 book is the exception to fantasy artwork, not the rule.

It begs the question, who's fantasy is it?

If anything, this Kickstarter

If anything, this Kickstarter shows that gamers don't need to consider the easily offended in their market analysis, and that at least warms my heart. It's a crude product, sure, but worrying about whether or not someones private hobby advances your social agenda is a ridiculous concern, especially when it's nerds, not the mainstream consumer, buying the item. This is something only especially open minded women are going to be able to enjoy, but really, there's nothing wrong with a market not appealing to everyone. I'm sorry, but us weirdos won, and if it makes you feel better, you don't need to worry about us nerds. Focus on "fixing" the normals first.

A surprising review...

I must applaud you for noticing that there was a successful kickstarter project, looking at it, being offended and then looking at a home page and being more offended. I'm sure you then did more research and asked Mr. Poots for an interview and had one with him, I can't wait to read what it has to say. I'm eagerly awaiting your reaction to other interviews he's done.

In the meantime I'd like to share some links to positive female imagery you might have missed.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/poots/kingdom-death-monster/posts/38... (Allison the pin-up Twilight re-imagined, because she was cool, into a powerful and viable game choice... notice the clothes.)
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/poots/kingdom-death-monster/posts/38... (Kara Black, a woman that awakens with a sheet wrapped around herself (like all survivors) and a lantern. Flowing sheets are stupid, they're torn into functional and covering clothing so she can really hurt things that massive stone she's wielding.)
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/poots/kingdom-death-monster/posts/38... (You'll notice that while the woman does indeed have a 'breast plate' that the man is just as pretty as just as well presented, if not more so... he's pretty.)

In the mean time things you should actually be offended by if you want to be offended...
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/poots/kingdom-death-monster/posts/38...

Notice what the king is made up of? That's a mass of dismembered arms and a swarm of infants in a moving morass under a robe holding up a metal head. Personally that's nightmare material to me... which I think was the point.

Notice the Scribe beneath him? You might ignore the woman (artist's choice, not the game designer's) split open chest, exposing her internal organs, or her head mounted as a light by her spine to look at what the scribe is resting his feet upon.

Are you getting it now?

The whole game is made to make EVERYONE feel distinctly uncomfortable. They're meant to pull you out of your comfort zone. The Forge God does this really well as well. http://gallery.kingdomdeath.com/Forge-God (Notice the castrated men on the rock around him?)

Here's an interview that may shed some more light on the whole project.
http://thefrontlinegamer.blogspot.com/2012/11/industry-talk-adam-poots.html

Wow, Jessies comment in the

Wow, Jessies comment in the comments section was very well thought out and would make a much better article than the tripe Lillian Cohen-Moore wrote. I understand Jessies point of view, and I agree with it. I, speaking as a 27 year old guy, is getting annoyed by sexy poses/clothes when it is out of context. For instance, females wearing bikini armor in a fight is pants on head stupid, bikini armor at a party or the like is pretty much ok.

So, all about the context which that commenter gets, unlike Lillian.

This article is uninformed.

This article is uninformed.

2M$ for a project like this is literally a drop in the bucket. Maybe an impressive as a milestone for Kingdom Death, but sexually enticing figures still remain firmly a niche rather than being some continuing trend of the market as you imply. If there's anything in the industry that feels like it needs any curbing at all, it's the overgrown male power fantasy that is Warhammer 40,000.

Error in Article

The figure you mention w/ multiple breasts and a face on the game's main page is actually not part of the game. Kingdom of Death originally sold unique figures before making the game and that is one of those; however, it actually has no part in the Kingdom Death: Monster game whatsoever. While the pin-up girls (of which I purchased none because I can't really paint and they don't affect gameplay even if they were good for raising money) are scantily clad, I can't recall a single exposed nipple. I'm not saying the game is tastefully conservative, just you're mistaken in saying that that figure has a part in the game. It may in the future, but as of now it's just made by the same guy.

ever paint a miniature before?

Some people like the pin ups they show a lot of skin how are we to learn to paint skin tones if no model ever shows it they're female because most people in this hobby are male but yet they're are male pin ups too so your point is invalid anyhow. Also sitting down for hours and hours and painting a single model can get you sleepy having something a bit more eye appealing makes doing MY hobby more enjoyable since it is my hobby and your input wont ever change what I choose to paint and how i choose to paint it. Nothing is wrong with these pin ups I never hear guys say things are sexiest when a girl says "suck it up like a man" NO we suck it up like a man then. get over it

I think it would be a great

I think it would be a great idea, and really help you to practice your skin tone painting, if there were more miniatures featuring virile young warrior males scantily clad, perhaps even naked. If you really want to become a skin tone painting master, it's important to make sure you thoroughly understand the anatomy of both sexes.

yeah, getting the veins on

yeah, getting the veins on the penis to look realistic takes a lot of dexterity

Dry Brush or Wash

Do you dry brush the penis or use a wash and then highlight up?

dry brush. it's all in the

dry brush. it's all in the wrist.

Room for Many Aesthetics in Miniatures

Maybe there’s something else to take away from the Kickstarter success of Adam Poots’s Kingdom Death: Monster.

There’s a avid market out there for high-quality tabletop miniature games. Since the aesthetic of KD: M isn’t to everyone’s taste, why not craft a game to match your personal aesthetic, as Adam Poots did, and share your artistic vision with the world?

Commission female figurines you feel have dignity, grace and power. Present a society where sexual violence is as rare and as socially unacceptable as cannibalism. Design a game that encourages players to celebrate gender equality. I’d buy it and play it, if the quality in design and gameplay were there.

But please don’t bother pearl-clutching about finding disturbing sexual imagery in a horror game, or for discovering erotic imagery in miniature sculptures. Horror is supposed to make us uncomfortable. Erotic figures, whether female or male, often capture the vulnerability of intimacy. Merely pointing out these artistic choices makes for poor art criticism.

On the other hand, if you’d like to petition Adam Poots and his sculptors to level the field by releasing erotic sculptures of men, please go right ahead!

You had me right up until the

You had me right up until the pearl-clutching comment.

For goodness sake, if you have a good argument to make (and your points are on the whole well made), don't succumb to the temptation to make a wisecrack or belittle the people you are arguing with. It cheapens what you are saying.

Yet Still I Feel Pearls Were Clutched

My intent was not only to present the argument that there is room for many kinds of artistic expression in miniature sculpture, but also to express my distaste for the author’s criticism, which seems to me to be just a visceral reaction against the erotic and horrific elements of the Kingdom Death: Monster, not a thoughtful reflection on gender politics or sexual violence in art.

“Pearl clutching” is meant to be a dig at the author’s criticism, not at the author. She is, of course, free to express her outrage, but as this piece suggests that most erotic art is exploitative by nature (‘"Equalizing" the images of sexual consumption just exploits men too. Exploitation isn't suddenly okay when we're doing it to two parties.’), I feel it presents too narrow a view of both human sexuality and artistic expression.

Yet Still I Feel Pearls Were Clutched

My intent was not only to present the argument that there is room for many kinds of artistic expression in miniature sculpture, but also to express my distaste for the author’s criticism, which seems to me to be just a visceral reaction against the erotic and horrific elements of the Kingdom Death: Monster, not a thoughtful reflection on gender politics or sexual violence in art.

“Pearl clutching” is meant to be a dig at the author’s criticism, not at the author. She is, of course, free to express her outrage, but as this piece suggests that most erotic art is exploitative by nature (‘"Equalizing" the images of sexual consumption just exploits men too. Exploitation isn't suddenly okay when we're doing it to two parties.’), I feel it presents too narrow a view of both human sexuality and artistic expression.

I'm a longtime reader of

I'm a longtime reader of "Bitch," a feminist and the descendant of feminists.

I'm also a roleplaying gamer since the early days, a girl gamer back when the weren't any others to be found.

I'm also one of the pledgers for "Kingdom Death: Monster."

I'm not sure what else I need for full disclosure. I'm an artist and occasional science fiction illustrator, if that counts.

While I understand your outrage at the KD:M figures, and I am not entirely fond of them myself, I feel you have missed some important elements of the game.

For one thing, the"pin-up" models are not actually part of the game. They are a side matter, souvenirs with no role in the game.

There are actual female characters in the game proper. In fact, the game has 50% female characters, and they are dressed in practical, fantastical armor of many varied and strikingly creative designs. I find them interesting, strong, and appealing, and I would have killed for a female game figure that looked like one of them back in 1980.

I freely grant that many, perhaps most, female roleplaying game miniatures are still designed only for the male gaze. But not all of them. Between prolific sculptors like Sandra Garrity and Julie Guthrie and companies such as Reaper Miniatures, which has a strong line of well-dressed, practical female figurines, there is a lot to choose from that has a strong, independent, female-oriented aesthetic.

The Kingdom Death:Monster pin-ups are not part of that aesthetic. They are pure, sexualized male-gaze eye-candy, as was noted in the article. But they are not the actual female game characters. As far as I can tell, they have simply been the funding engine that drives development of the game proper. They sell well, and so the developer can produce the actual game components.

I do not especially like the pin-ups. The game itself has a deeply visceral horror and a strong artistic aesthetic, with overtones of the art of Hieronymous Bosch, with all its body horror. The pin-ups are anime-influenced and lightweight.

They do not really go together. I regret that the focus on the little plastic pin-ups has drawn attention away from Adam Poots' serious, symbolic, and highly original game.

Are you serious?

Here we go...you know for decades stuff like RPG's, Table-top gaming, Minatures wargamming were almost exclusively played by typically younger males who are somewhat social akward and have been rejected by "Girl World" as being nerds, geeks and whatever other monikers others want to impose on them, . And so the feminist movement and women in general would largery ignore this genre and just dismiss it and wouldn't even care less about the genre at all....As time goes by..and conventions like comic-con and other sci-fi conventions are getting more mainstream, more popular and Millions of dollars getting involved, feminist once again wants to interfere with it, and have there place at the table for something they did not create, was not involved in, or in any other way a part of it, just because of the minatures that Game Designers create? That it doesn't fit the feminist verision of things? PATHETIC!!! Next thing you know, feminist will critize Games Workshop for saying that Females cannot be Space Marines and call Warhammer 40,000 sexist and teaches guys not to respect woman or some such non-sense, and do feminists even understand how stupid they sound with there discourse at all? I mean why do all of you at Bitch Magazine want to impose censorship on Minature Desingers and what is acceptable and what is not? Gimmie a break!!!

Seriously? Games Workshop is not sexist?

Please see my earlier comment. While the stereotype, and to a large extent the reality of roleplaying games is that they are exclusively male geek hobbies, the truth of the matter is that there has been a female and feminist presence right from the start.

I should know, I was there.

While I did not find other female gamers until college, we were seriously involved, many of us in rules systems and handbooks, some professionally even early on. And there have certainly been female gamers from the start.

Kindly do not cast this as a feminists-versus-gamers thing. A lot of us have been both feminists and roleplaying gamers longer than most Warhammer players have been alive.

Speaking of which, if you wish to seriously argue that accusations of sexism in games are unfounded, could you have possibly thought of a worse example than Games Workshop and Warhammer? They are almost a watchword for female-unfriendly sexist game content.

Could you not have brought up, say, Gloranthan Runequest with its richly matriarchal troll society? Or, well, anything else. Even Shadowrun is less sexist than Warhammer.

Roleplaying games -- and computer games and sci-fi and comics -- have never been exclusively a boys' club. Criticism may certainly be answered, but it should not be attacked with unsupportable statements.

Do you have a problem with english comprehension?

By the way I never said it was an exclusively a "Boys" club. I said it was almost exclusively played by guys and it still is today for whatever reason, I guess these types of games are marketed towards males, just like Barbie and hello kitty is marketed more towards females, but you don't hear guys complain about that...Even when somebody modeled and converted the Hello Kitty Space Marines. You had even said yourself that you could not find any other female gamers until college. In all the gaming groups that I have been involved with there has been up to a few female gamers in each group, yes, even back in 1987 when I first started to play Warhammer 40,000 but the vast majority is ALMOST exclusively male. I wasn't trying to be exclusionary just trying to state a little bit background facts that's all (This is in addtion to my post below)

Female unfriendly content in Warhammer 40,000? Let's see: Eldar Howling Banshee's, one of the most powerful assault units in the game (When used correctely) that is in the background "Mostly Female" Games Workshop makes an ENTIRE ALL FEMALE ARMY called the Sisters of Battle, Again if used correct also very powerful (In fact 2 weeks ago, I was playing my Ork Army against them and got my butt kicked!!!!). In the Grey Knights Codex, there is the Callidius Assassin (agiain in the background ALL FEMALE) again, when used correctely, and depending on the scenario, could be a big game changer, I use one in my Grey Knights Army Myself. Games Workshop in the past has released an Imperial Guard Female Commissar model, (I'm not sure if it is available anymore) To me it looks like Games Workshop is giving the image of female emopowerment to a point. So I'm not sure about the few amount of Female Minatures.

In Codex Dark Eldar: Dark Eldar society does not distingush the difference between male and female in it's roles. In fact, the vast majority of Dark Eldar Wyches are Female. Lelith Hesperax is among the most powerful assault characters on the tabletop. Granted the minature is a little racy, but I think it needs to be put into contex of what the Dark Eldar wyches are as presented in the overall background of 40k and the Dark Eldar, That it is actually easier for Dark Eldar females to develop more athletically for the types of kills easier then what males would. And so wear a Wychsuit is a flexible bodysuit worn by Wyches that has been designed to protect one side of the Wych's body (usually the side they habitually turn towards their opponents) whilst not impeding their movement or agility in any way.

Now when it comes to the Dark Eldar prisoners minatures I guess I could understand the agruement that it could be sexist..Even though both of those models show human females scantlly clothed and looking pretty vunerable does present a sexist stereotype, BUT one of the minatures, if look closely on the back, she is holding an Dark Eldar Knife, like she is hiding it, maybe looking for an oppurtunity to exact an escape....Does it excuse the sexist nature of it? Maybe not, but it is something else to put into contex.

Misinformed

I am a backer of Kingdom Death, and those overly sexist models that you chose to mention to gain some blog hits? I backed every single one of them.

Anyone reading your article has just been fed your version of a twisted half truth.

Everyone is entitled to their own views and opinions. I have no problem with you feeling however you feel about the models. Certain people who are backing the game happen to share your opinion. However, you chose to "report" on it in a way that only takes one VERY narrow scope of view.

If you had done some research and *fairly* reported on this game, I don't think anyone would have had a problem. To each their own, and beauty is found in the eye of the beholder. But you didn't do that. Instead, you focused on 9% of a game OPTION, and tried to rip it apart.

Some facts for you, from a person who will gain EVERY model released from this Kickstarter:

There are 136 models. Exactly 15 of them are considered "pinups," which, again, as previously stated, were optional, came with no game content, are not included with the game itself, and have absolutely no bearing on the gameplay. Those specific models equate to roughly 9% of the total number available.

This is the most succesfully funded Boardgame in the history of Kickstarter, beating out the former "title holder" by a margin of $1,098,467.

To me, you saw the absolute success of this game, and used it as a piggyback vehicle to add some hits to your own blog. To me, that is more offensive than any of the models available for purchase from Kingdom Death..

You are entitled to your own opinion, the same as I am entitled to mine. I would advise you that, the next time you report on something popular, you do more research. Until then, my opinion is that your "journalism," and "news reporting style" are complete garbage.

Misinformed

I am a backer of Kingdom Death, and those overly sexist models that you chose to mention to gain some blog hits? I backed every single one of them.

Anyone reading your article has just been fed your version of a twisted half truth.

Everyone is entitled to their own views and opinions. I have no problem with you feeling however you feel about the models. Certain people who are backing the game happen to share your opinion. However, you chose to "report" on it in a way that only takes one VERY narrow scope of view.

If you had done some research and *fairly* reported on this game, I don't think anyone would have had a problem. To each their own, and beauty is found in the eye of the beholder. But you didn't do that. Instead, you focused on 9% of a game OPTION, and tried to rip it apart.

Some facts for you, from a person who will gain EVERY model released from this Kickstarter:

There are 136 models. Exactly 15 of them are considered "pinups," which, again, as previously stated, were optional, came with no game content, are not included with the game itself, and have absolutely no bearing on the gameplay. Those specific models equate to roughly 9% of the total number available.

This is the most succesfully funded Boardgame in the history of Kickstarter, beating out the former "title holder" by a margin of $1,098,467.

To me, you saw the absolute success of this game, and used it as a piggyback vehicle to add some hits to your own blog. To me, that is more offensive than any of the models available for purchase from Kingdom Death..

You are entitled to your own opinion, the same as I am entitled to mine. I would advise you that, the next time you report on something popular, you do more research. Until then, my opinion is that your "journalism," and "news reporting style" are complete garbage.

The success of this game on

The success of this game on Kickstarter and the other comments on this article make me despair for the hobby.

This article could merit

This article could merit novels worth of reply on my behalf so I'm going to be as brief as I can. As a miniature gamer myself I have always been aware of the fact that there is some undeniable sexism present in my hobby. Frankly a lot of it has made me uncomfortable, including some of the kingdom death content.

But there's another side to it. Let's not forget all the nudes you'll see in any museum. Unfortunately as a fringe hobby miniatures are quickly dismissed from having any possible artistic merit. But these tiny sculptures you've linked above aren't some filthy porno shoot taken in a dirtbag motel. A human person took the time to lovingly craft them. Shouldn't they have as much right to create representations of the female form as Rodin or Monet? I suspect all that these sculptors wished was to create something beautiful. And it's hard to argue that they haven't succeeded; albeit perhaps under the stigma of the infamous male gaze.

But if you're still not convinced there's more to this hobby than sweaty fatbeards ogling their tiny toy ladies at home in their filthy apartments I present the following as evidence. Below are the links to the online galleries of several world renown female miniature painters. As a miniature painter myself I consider all of these artists as sources of personal inspiration. You don't have to look too hard to find females in all four galleries dressed in outfits more scandalous than the two shown here. I find it difficult to believe that anything more than joy in artistic expression was the motivation for the care these women clearly lavished on their subjects.

http://www.coolminiornot.com/artist/mrika?browseid=3953450

http://www.coolminiornot.com/artist/fluffy?browseid=3953486

http://www.coolminiornot.com/artist/haley?browseid=3953502

http://www.coolminiornot.com/artist/Ana?browseid=3953530

Confusion about the beautiful Arts

"Shouldn't they have as much right to create representations of the female form as Rodin or Monet? "

uuhhh...I think you meant Manet. I am sorry but your attempt to elevate pop art in this manner, failed. A lot of art in fact is more or less an excuse to gaze at meat, even if some people don't like to hear about that. Degas or Gauguin need to be viewed critically, as well, and Rodin portrayed females in very thinly veiled not exactly gynophile suggestive poses. Very often in arts, if you see a naked body, you should not leave it at gazing at the body, but you need to go one step further and feel the thoughts behind the gaze, and just because something hangs in an exquisite museum does not mean those thoughts were particularly humanist, or at least loving. This is why we do not like objectification - the object is just a worthless shell, the value is only in the mind of the beholder.
So I suggest you to cover yourself up, because this kind of nakedness, no one wants to see that.

Author doesn't seem to know difference between fantasy/ reality

Would have been nice if the author of this article would have looked at the male figures in this game before rage got the better of her, because these are extremely sexist aswell.

I don't look like any of those male figures, nor do I know or work with anyone who does. I rarely see someone like that in the streets and that is completly fine because it's a fantasy game with people who look more like roman statues than actual human beeings.

Look at the trailer of the game for example: it features a male super model inventing weapons and fighting monsters, do the readers of this site honestly believe thats a perfectly normal depiction of a male person?

Ofcourse it isn't! it is power fantasy and makes the protagonist nice to look at for people who fancy the male form. And there is nothing wrong with that because it is game aimed at adults who know how to differentiate between fantasy and reality.

So please bitchmagazine: Next time resist the urge to ride the wave of popularity and to cash in with a bad article and poorly aimed at outrage at the latest hit on the internet.

Have fun with my comment, which boosts the exposure of this blogpost.

Sexism does indeed exist in games

Re: Anonymous' comment, entitled "Are You Serious?"

Please see my earlier comment. While the stereotype, and to a large extent the reality of roleplaying games is that they are exclusively male geek hobbies, the truth of the matter is that there has been a female and feminist presence right from the start.

I should know, I was there.

While I did not find other female gamers until college, we were seriously involved, many of us in rules systems and handbooks, some professionally even early on. And there have certainly been female gamers from the start.

Kindly do not cast this as a feminists-versus-gamers thing. A lot of us have been both feminists and roleplaying gamers longer than most Warhammer players have been alive.

Speaking of which, if you wish to seriously argue that accusations of sexism in games are unfounded, could you have possibly thought of a worse example than Games Workshop and Warhammer? They are almost a watchword for female-unfriendly sexist game content.

Could you not have brought up, say, Gloranthan Runequest with its richly matriarchal troll society? Just by way of example.

Criticism may certainly be responded to, but it ought to be with reasonable, supported arguments.

While I feel Ms. Cohen-Moore's analysis missed some important elements of the game, such as all of the actual female characters, her criticisms of the nonessential pin-ups are valid. In my opinion they are, as I stated in my earlier post, a jarring element in an otherwise richly deep and symbolic game of horror.

To state that because of this feminism and roleplaying game culture are opposed is incorrect and unhelpful.

I have played

Warhammer 40,000 since the very beginning in 1987 since the orginal Rouge Trader, and yes in the various gaming groups that I have been involved in there have been some female gamers involved in those groups, especially more recently so I guess I was "there" also you could say. And to my recollection I don't think I would describe any of them as being feminists...I have not been involved to heavily into RPG's as such, I am more into table top wargaming (Alot more fun than video games IMHO)

You have stated that criticisms need to be with "reasonable, supported arguments". What part of my post did you not understand? Oh I get it, only with supported agruements that agree with feminist sensiabilites right? Let me try to break it down for you.

When Warhammer 40,000 came out in 1987, it was not very popular or very known, in fact Table-Top wargaming was not very popular at all in the Sci-Fi genre ( or at least not as popular as RPG's like AD&D or GURPS), it was considered more in line with historical wargaming, But as time went on the 2 Games Workshop games (Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40.000) slowely became more popular and as a result table top gaming in the Sci-FI genre expanded. Part of the reason is because Sci-FI in general was becoming more mainstream and popular especially with the success of Comic-Con and Star Trek convenitons ect...Sci-Fi Table Top gaming's rise coincided with this

Now, during the years when these games were not as popular, there was very little back-lash against it from Religous Groups and feminists because of it's content until it started to become more popular, hence feminist want there place at the table. All of sudden articles like this in a feminist e-magazine. So the comment you made about please don't make this into a gamers vs feminist thing, well, when an article like this appears in a feminist magazine that is what you are going to get. This author of this article decided to fire the shot.

You have also mentioned that if I wish to seriously argue that accusations of sexism in games are unfounded that I, could have possibly thought of a worse example than Games Workshop and Warhammer 40,000? That they are almost a watchword for female-unfriendly sexist game content? And then say critisims certainly can be responeded but then you don't give any examples...I suggest you follow your own advice. So do tell what are the "worse examples" of "sexism" in Warhammer 40,000? Then again, I guess if you look at something hard enough you find anything

So in the spirit of your comment of "Criticism may certainly be responded to, but it ought to be with reasonable, supported arguments." (Such a loaded statement when you are the one who seems to define what "reasonable" and "supported" are) Before you respond to the question just remember that the background of Warhammer 40,000 is fiction. And for the record I never said that the gaming culture and feminism are opposed but when an article is written attacking it, it does not help things either.

The fact that you

The fact that you misrepresented this game by judging it by pinups aside. How can you complain about the demented genitals while two of the ads on the side of this site are for sex toys or sex shops. Sexism is still a real thing, and the pinups do, to a certain extent, help perpetuate that, but this article as a whole is off base and under researched.

The question haters need to ask

If the cheesecake minis don't have anything to do with the game, why are they there?

Isn't it in fact more insulting that they're there despite not having anything to do with game content?

Game Designer on the Pinups

Here's the game designer's words on the topic:

Concerning The Non-Game Component Pin-Up Miniatures

The pinups are not part of the game world...They are alternates and pieces of art.

...The Pinups are separate from the game world. They were inspired by the American classic pinups from the 40's, 50's & 60's. I give the artist that I work with on them a ton of creative freedom, so a lot of his personal views on pinups come through in the designs.

The pinups in all honesty have played a very critical role helping the project gain momentum and despite them not being "canon" I won't be turning my back on a single one. They are what they are, to those that it offends I apologize, but that is all I can offer in respect to the artists whom pour so much effort into the art and their physically sculpted incarnation. They are more art to me then anything else, but I guess a lot of the project is like that!

Now, in regards to the normal non pinup woman, the proportions were exaggerated a bit to make them more easily identifiable from their male counterparts on the table top. So there is a definite design choice there. There is also a game world reason, being that the original humans in the game were made in a certain image by something. I don't want to give out spoilers so I won't say any more.

Agree

As a male gamer who pledged $255 to support the game, I have to say that I definitely see the merit to your perspective. Having strong female characters who aren't sexualized/fetishized would be preferable for most females, whether it be in books, movies, comics, or board games. However, it is no secret that many men LIKE sexualized/fetishized depictions of women. So when you have a market that is primarily made by men for men, you'll end up with art like this. It's the same story with Marvel, XBOX games, and other mediums that match that demographic trend.

There are plenty of men, like myself, who would have liked the game just as much (if not more) if the imagery was a bit less sexual. But we still will buy such products- we just tend to ignore the sexuality. We're complicit in that exploitative art style partly due to a lack of alternatives, and partly because we are not the ones being exploited. It is (unfortunately) easy to write off things that don't directly offend your own race/gender/religion. Many people, especially white males, only get up in arms when they feel they are the ones being offended.

One of the first steps is getting males to recognize and acknowledge that by supporting this art style, we're keeping girls away from our hobbies. Don't we want girls to join us in our hobbies?

I was linked to this article

I was linked to this article from the kickstarter page from Kingdom Death: Monster. I was expecting a scathing review of the play...but I found none.

I thought your article was very well written, and you posed several good points. What drew me into supporting the game was the complex, realistic gameplay. Not the sex.

That being said, I also know that sex sells. If I went to view a horror film at the theater, I expect that they will throw in some senseless sexuality. Much like the pinups from the kickstarter campaign. Adam created a game and wanted to make it sell. He combined rigorous gameplay (for people like me) and sexuality (for people like the typical miniature collectors). Good or bad, he pleased everyone.

I respect your views on the game, but please don't let the advertising turn you away from the game itself. Imagine a group of your friends, huddled around a table, working together and trying to defeat the Phoenix. THAT is what the game is about.

For whatever its worth, most

For whatever its worth, most of the monsters and creatures in the game are not composed of genital amalgams (see phoenix, lion knight, or dragon king). The pinups are not game pieces, and while the concept art is great (yes, I enjoy scantily clad buxom women), the final miniatures rarely live up to the art, with thunder thighs and asses to make Nicki Minaj look anorexic.

It's supposed to be horrifying....

Sexuality is disturbing for a whole lot of Americans, and probably a whole lot of the world. Why should it be? Having horror with sexualization in it can have the effect of making it worse, but it can also have the effect of questioning why a monster with a penis or a multiple breasted abomination is so unsettling. Muscular men and thin voluptuous women showing skin tantalizes a great deal of us, however. And for most, that desire makes us feel guilty. Makes us feel like animals. Primary and secondary sexual attributes call upon our biological urge for reproduction, the same way a picture of a can of soda with moisture beading along the sides beside a waterfall makes us thirsty. What should be done? How should things be censored so that marketing doesn't call upon our baser instincts?

The world does portray women as sexual objects by showing them in revealing outfits or via nudity, and by having them move in a ways to stimulate sexual desire. The world portrays men as rich and physically powerful to stimulate desire. A poor man is worthless, as is a fat woman. That's what the media tells us. A scrawny man is worthless, as is a plain woman. It really sucks, and I want that to change. As a man, my worth is primarily focused on if I am financially well-to-do. Nice car, nice clothes, nice house, nice dinner-dates, extravagant vacations... what we can afford equals how we rate as human beings. As women, my sisters, nieces, aunts, mother and all those female friends I care about and more... they all must strive to keep themselves pretty, show off assets that are culturally desired, and obsess about having too much fat, too small of breasts, stretch marks, wrinkles, and pretty fingers and toes.

Is condemning sculptures of a woman in a bikini with a sword really the right way to approach the issue? You're just trying to shame people for feeling sexual desire. I don't know how to fix the world's problems, but condemning an art form because of sexualized attributes doesn't seem to be doing anything but make people defensive and trigger shame in desire. It's the shame that is the problem. We feel shame when we don't fit societies image of success. Being rich, having large breasts... we don't often celebrate men who don't have money or celebrate women for being without blatant sexuality. I'm a backer of this Kickstarter, and I got riled up with everyone saying how terribly sexist and wrong this game was mainly because of the pin up art. Say you don't like the portrayal of and depiction of breasts and such is one thing, condemning people for liking it and making them feel guilty for being "sexist" because they like the figurines is another. This writing is sensational, and wrather poor and one-sided.

You really seem like you are capitalizing on the success of this project to bring in readership, screaming into the storm instead of coming up with solutions. But I can at least thank you for giving me an outlet to brainstorm my thoughts on sexism and the portrayal of men and women in the media. It helps to write these things out. Feminism does not have to mean condemning those who appreciate the female form. Why condemn people for a preference? Condemn people for how they treat you and others. The world is full of enough guilt and shame already.

"It really sucks, and I want

"It really sucks, and I want that to change"

Then speak out when you see people depicted that way. The only reason the idea that "scrawny guy = unattractive" persists in the West is because of cultural repetition. In Japan, thin men are often thought of as attractive. These stereotypes only exist because people allow then to. So if you want "women = sex objects" to change, resist the presentation of it.

I think I am at a weird

I think I am at a weird crossroads with KD pin-up miniatures.

Its not the outfits or scantily-clad-ness of them that bothers me. Its the body language. Their poses are mostly submissive or defensive, never outright aggressive or hostile. Neutral at best. The expressions on their faces come off as worried, scared, or demure, which is completely counter to any idea of them being 'fierce survivor-warriors in a hellish landscape'.

Combine that with the article update and those are more or less my feelings on this whole thing.

I'd still buy some of their minis, and the game mechanics intrigue me, but KD is still disappointing.

I'm sorry, did the definition

I'm sorry, did the definition of sexist change? I did not realize that busty, female miniatures, or that buying them was considered the definition of such. I will have to inform my fiancé.

Did this kickstarter tell women to stay in the kitchen (where they can cook up food poisoning)? Did it tell women that they are weak, stay behind the big strong men, and bare our children (say no to the std known as child birth!)?

Did the pin ups objectify the women models? Mmmm and how. What's that dear? You like how nice and fleshy some of them were too? It's good to see fantasy and some real bodied women in those minis.

So, we have "the female body is great to look at." And apparently the author has never been outside the USA and seen the world. Ignorant, biased point of views and narrow minded; that's what I've read here. It's good to have a feminist mindset, but at least understand what you're preaching.

This game is a hobby, get the

This game is a hobby, get the fuck over it, idiot. Not everything needs to be social issue. Maybe go find a hobby yourself.

Nice Blog

Nice blog ! just found this site http://sexychatroom.org - its all about nude models showing everything on video chat

For God's sake...

Thank you for making gamers everywhere look like maladjusted social idiots.

This makes the FSM very sad.

I understand, you live in a culture where the appropriate amount of clothing is not like that: "The "Preacher Pinup" demonstrates a misunderstanding of what constitutes clothing."

It's so wrong...

Some Muslim countries have a different notion, Burka is the good way of clothing.

Some tribes and people in the nudist culture have a different notion too, nudity is perfect and clothing causes many problems, like self esteem problems and many others.

Maybe virtue is in the mean (Aristotle) but there is no mean, the mean can be anything from a thong to a Niqab, but if I have to choose, I think nudists are healthier and happier than... well basically anyone that thinks that human bodies must be covered for some religious or traditional ideas with no basis whatsoever.

And the same that stands for nudity stands for public affection displays, dance, music, lyrics, vocabulary, etc. There are plenty of arbitrary distinctions being made that are pointless in best cases and harmful in most.

So can't we just accept that people like sex and they can get their porn (it's not even porn!) made of figurines where no woman was exploited and get along with it?

I think you missed something

I think you missed something when you looked at Kingdom Death: Monster and began calling it sexist, particularly when you mention how many more scantily clad females there are then men.

What you missed was the numerous comments in the kickstarter from Adam Poots saying almost word for word "I would love to do some MALE pin-ups as well but, I CAN'T FIND ANYONE TO SCULPT THEM"

probably the most traffic

probably the most traffic this author has seen in a long time... kudos for your ignorance

It's not sexism when women

It's not sexism when women are portrayed as sexual objects in a miniature model. Sexism is when women are discriminated against in a fashion that impedes on their equal rights. This is not the case here, as you attempt to portray it. Model companies have no obligation to make miniatures that women like or find tasteful (I know many women who like sexualised representations of women, so that point was not valid anyways). When they exercise their right not to, it is not discrimination. Just like handbag companies have no obligation to make handbags that men like and are not sexist for exercising that right. Women ARE sexual objects. So are men. Our world revolves around sex because without it, we never would have evolved and we never would have survived to make miniatures that are sexualised. I think maybe the author needs to visit the middle east to get a proper sense of what sexism is.

It's not the "sex", you dummy!

Bitch, you find what you are looking for. You wanted sex, and you found it. Bravo, I'm sure that was hard work.

But why is it that this particular Kickstarter pulled a record-smashing $2 MILLION whereas the previous best game didn't even break $1 million?

You're aware that none of the other girlie miniatures Kickstarters came close? For example, "Bombshell Babes" barely pulled $140k, despite being nothing but sexualized pinup type models?
- http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bombshellminis/bombshell-babes

Or maybe just search Kickstarter for "Pinup" and "Pinups" - of the dozen such "artsy" Kickstarters which have launched, they're lucky to fund, and if they do, $5k is a typical funding level.

Now compare with other high-profile miniatures board games - Sedition Wars, Relic Knights, Zombicide. $780k to $950k for each of them, and I surely don't recall any sort of cheesecake in Sedition Wars or Zombicide.

The rational conclusion is that miniatures games are popular on their own merits, and that "sexist" pinups don't drive funding (nor do they hurt).

Sexualizing something is not

Sexualizing something is not sexist, discrimination against a person on the grounds of their sex/gender is. You also keep using the term "sexist miniatures." Inanimate objects cannot hold opinions and therefore cannot be sexist. Properly using terminology leads more credence to your writing.

I would also like to point out that assuming an artist is sexist for their sexualization of subject matter (as your article seems to imply by consistently referring to the models as "exploitative" and "sexist") is an extremely baseless accusation to make and only leads to you seeming like an ignorant biggot.

Last time I checked "bitch" was derogatory to women

Please don't speak for female gamers. I am a female gamer and I love those miniatures, I don't find them sexist these are powerful women kicking ass, my girlfriend loves these minis as well guess we are biased. I checked with the other girls in our gaming group... nope still fun and sexing not sexist. I love how everyone trying to point out that the minis are sexist over looks the men scantly clad in bedsheets, these are the starting hero minis! Those boys are ripped, I'm sure most guys in gaming groups wishes they could look that beefy with abs for days.
Looks like this is a game of everything looking monstrous or incredibly sexy, I wonder if that could be both for contrast and to touch on things that stir people's emotions. People have knee jerk strongly emotional reactions to anything associating with sex so why not use it to draw emotions into the game. We are sexual creatures we love looking at sexy things at least these sexy girls have curves rather than having the stick-like supermodel figures. Do you have any idea how low a man's body fat needs to be in order to have muscle definition like that?
Go back to putting skirts on the feet of table legs.

Please don't speak for female

Please don't speak for female gamers. You're opinion is just that - an opinion. So is the author's. One that I, as a female gamer, wholeheartedly agree with. I have a few issues with this. First, I have seen men that look like the starting heros. Not many, but at least a handful. And none of them went under the knife to achieve that look. I have never seen a women who looked even remotely like the pin-ups without having gone under the knife. Second, my problem is the very fact that we find these minis sexy. We're shifting towards more and more unrealistic expectations of women every day. Why do you think more women have plastic surgery than men? Why do more women suffer from eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, cutting, and self-hatred? I would feel completely confident in saying that 95% of the women I have met in my life hate at least something about their appearance. The more that these unrealistic models of women appear in the mainstream - in TV shows, movies, board games, etc - the more young women are going to be exposed to this imagery and feel the pressure to conform, to achieve that unattainable goal.

Try looking to a good deal of

Try looking to a good deal of fantasy and horror novels artwork before, and including, the 70's, notice a similarity to the art style of KD??

funny how KD takes some of its inspiration from it.

Lets hear a rant on several decades of artwork then, from one of the most "sexually liberating" time periods.

Also check out Soda Pop Miniatures then, sure to float your self-righteousness even more.

I voted with my wallet

I'm a man and i'm freaked out by most of what Kingdom Death put out, I think thier non sexualised creations are great, but the majority of the monsters are freaky as hell.

I watched the vid going through the gameplay and it looks pretty bloody good, and I wont refuse a game of it if offered at the local club, but I really don't want to own at least half of those figures!

On the subject of women in games, I too wish for more reaslistically armoured women, everytime I see a scantily clad female fighter my eyes roll and the thong and armoured bra with no other cloaths worth mentioning, it's about as practicle as a man entering conflict wearing just a cod piece....

I am happy to report though that on a number of forums I visit the feeling is quite mutual with many gamers wishing for more realistically proportioned and armoured / armed females and some companies are attempting to meet this demand (mantic games have said that their battle nuns would be and you can find many examples in the Warmachine line of armoured females.

The world is changing little by little but it kind of feels to me that it's going the wrong way (e.g. instead od less presure on women to be sexualised there is more pressure on men......)

Thanks for voicing your opinion.

I appreciate what you had to say about Kingdom Death. I've always disliked that the instant you set foot into a game store you're generally bombarded by images of scantily clad women with wizard's staves posing as if they were in "World of Whorecraft". The fact that the differentiation between fantasy pornography and fantasy art is as flimsy as the material making up most female character's brassieres is profoundly annoying.

In full disclosure I am in fact a male gamer. I love Warhammer Fantasy Battles for the sheer delight of seeing rank upon rank of spearmen crash into the hordes of Chaos. I love Warhammer 40K primarily for Dan Abnett's Ghost Novels and stylize my armies in honor of him, as well as my love for the egalitarian Tau community (which still sees a difference between male and female Tau with regards to the miniatures, but comparatively speaking it isn't worth mentioning).

But Kingdom of Death is just gross. The Forge God on their gallery page is gross. The Testicle monster is gross. The Baby Monster is gross. They can hide behind survival horror all they want, its gross and it won't get my money.

The fact is I have to weigh everything against the values my parents instilled in me, and the value-set I hold with my wife. Both of us love games, sci-fi, and fantasy. But there's a point where you have to draw the line, and Kingdom Death ignores that. I will never convince her to play that game with me, and for that it isn't worth my investment. I'd be embarrassed to show a finely sculpted and painted testicle monster to my father (who's Imperial Guard Tank Regiment I spent my teens trying to defeat). There's nothing that appeals to me as a mature consumer.

Honestly it is as though the designers of Kingdom Death took Jonah Hill's sketchbook from Super Bad and modeled everything from there.

blah....

A bit judgemental?

 

I have to say that I find your comment to be a bit judgemental towards those people who HAVE pledged for the game and actually like the aesthetic choices made by Adam Poots and his design team at Kingdom Death.

Full disclosure:-

-I am male 

-I am 18

-I am a miniature COLLECTOR, not a gamer

-I invested in the Kickstarter, which includes both my favoured expansions and all of the pinups in resin.

Firstly, you say in your comment:- "The fact is I have to weigh everything against the values my parents instilled in me". Whilst I'm not petty enough to be offended by this, it implies that the people who <i>have</i> invested have not had values instilled by those they were raised by (parents, guardians, etc). My parents have instilled a sense of right and wrong in me since I was young, and I have grown up with values that they held - and still do - I still like Kingdom Death's miniatures. Indeed, my parents often comment upon the uniqueness and bizarre nature of the artwork and miniatures. The fact that you might not be able to show a 'testicle monster' - not even bothering to refer to it's given name is also kind of disrespectful, in my opinion - to your father <b>COULD</b> be more to do with your own personal hang-ups rather than the horrific nature of the models - <i>I am not saying that you do have any personal hang-ups, just that you could</i> - as I am sure there are others who would be perfectly happy showing their parents these miniatures, myself for one. 

Secondly, whilst I agree that you have every right to your opinion - I would be against you not being able to voice it - but I feel that putting it like <i>"Kingdom of Death is just gross. The Forge God on their gallery page is gross. The Testicle monster is gross. The Baby Monster is gross. They can hide behind survival horror all they want, its gross and it won't get my money"</i> is stating your personal opinion as fact. Initially, I didn't actually like the Forge God <i>(available here for those whom haven't seen it)</i> myself and thought it was pushing my boundaries, but upon closer inspection I realised the love and time that had been put into the concept and sculpting, and now it is one of my favourite KD miniatures. I am not quite sure which miniature you're referring to when you say 'testicle monster', if I'm honest, but the Gorm ... Again, it pushes the limits of my personal tastes, to the limit. <i>But some people like that!</i> The way that Adam has come up with these creations and forced us to confront these nightmarish creatures is a brilliant move - risky, yes - but clearly successful.  

Thirdly, despite being only 18, I would consider myself a 'mature consumer', and I do find that the implied tone with which <i>"There's nothing that appeals to me as a mature consumer. Honestly it is as though the designers of Kingdom Death took Jonah Hill's sketchbook from Super Bad and modeled everything from there"</i> is naturally read to be VERY condescending, implying that those who have incested aren't 'mature consumers', despite the very mature nature of the game - and game lore - in and of itself. Beyond that, the last two lines of your comment are just plain rude, implying laziness on behalf of Adam and his team as opposed to the THREE YEARS he has spent building up a reputation for himself, as well as a highly unique, highly sought after brand in the miniature industry.

<b>What I would like to say to EVERYONE - this is not directed at Kennanator specifically, I just felt there was no point posting a second comment - is this has always been billed as a 'mature horror' game, and was always aimed at a niche market from my understanding. Not everyone is taken with it. Understandable. But to then refuse to see the value in it to others is just plain ignorance. 

I would also like to say that I do not consider myself SEXIST - which has been used  for choosing the Pinups (well, I will be once the survey is out) but the sexualisation there is no more prevalent than in everyday, mainstream media, and society as a whole - typically Western society, granted. I do not see that there is any problem with women portrayed as they are here. It does not thrust them into a subservient role, or say they cannot do certain things. The expressions they wear has been commented upon - whilst not 'canon' to the game, the expressions of fear, etc, are entirely reasonable considering the setting of the Kingdom Death universe! 

 

Knew I Forgot Something ...

Now, whilst the way I view the pinups - as works of art - is just that, I know there are others who view it differently, but that has to do with their perception of women in the first place! For example, my brother has seen the concept art for some of the KD models and said 'Why aren't there any women like that around here?' Whilst not purely down to society, it doesn't help! In the end, the perception of women in this kind of art comes down to the individual, and I would just like to say that, as some don't find it derogatory - including women! - it MIGHT be more to do with the individual who objects rather than the art in and of itself!

Hypocrisy at it's finest...

So far as I've been able to discover (checked with 4 of my local shops) there is no game called "World of Whorecraft", nor do any of them have posters or materials for an upcoming release with that title.

Kingdom Death doesn't "ignore" the imaginary and arbitrary line that you've set for yourself, it simply isn't aware of it. It's not up to the developers to cater to your seemingly hypocritical standards (violence in Warhammer gets a thumbs up, bare breasts in Kingdom Death is highly offensive...? ). It's up to them to make a product they think will be profitable and fun, put that product out, make a profit, and repeat the process. That's business.

If the game doesn't appeal to you personally, that's one thing, but to drag your artificial morality into the equation is just over the top. I know plenty of people who were fascinated with the world Kingdom Death invented.

So, thanks for sharing your highly irrelevant personal reasons for not investing in Kingdom Death: Monsters, but pretending that those reasons should be applied as some objective standard is misguided. The market obviously disagrees with you.

Sexism vs. Sexual objectification vs. Fantasy

Let me start by quoting the dictionaries definition of sexism:
"Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially discrimination against women and, or behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex."

I've seen absolutely no indication that Kingdom of Death: Monster makes any prejudice or discrimination against women or men, except maybe their differences in the reproductive process (Women get pregnant and men produce the other half of the genetic material). As far as I see, both men and women character have all the same options and combat capabilities in the game.

What your referring to is 'sexual objectification', which some think and claim is part of sexism, but according to the dictionary it is not. Sure, they can be related, but they certainly don't have to be. I get the feeling that either the author does not understand the difference between the two, doesn't want to understand, or is just spewing the popular opinion of a certain sub-groups.

I would also point out that sexual objectification generally relates to a person as far as I understand it. I have a problem if someone sees a person as just a walking/talking sex doll, I don't have a problem with someone who sees a fictional character as a (walking/talking) sex doll, because I assume that a normal person has the ability to distinguish between a person and a fictional character. The assumption that a fictional character should represent the average human male/female is ludicrous, they are characters for a reason. Just because I see a group of jackasses doing stupid stuff on the tv doesn't mean I should go out and do that stuff myself, we all know it's not a good idea to do so (with a few exceptions). That doesn't mean I don't find such jackasses distasteful, and don't watch the stuff in the first place.

There are legions of folks that are sexually attracted to fat people, should we not depict fat people? There are folks that are turned on by high heels, horses, and all other kinds of stuff, should we not depict those in any way because someone might sexually objectify a fiction character because certain folks have certain 'tastes'?

As for the monsters such as the Wet Nurse, those creep me out, in about the same way as the Aliens grub springs forth from the stomach of it's victim. Repulsive, but interesting in a odd sort of way, not to mention the intricate and detailed sculpting. I can just imagine the reactions from my old RPG group if they would ever encounter the Wet Nurse "What the F is that!", but also the discussion "Should we kill it?" and "What is it exactly?".

I'll not even start with the sexism is an odd duck, due to some women getting angry because you open the door for them and other women getting angry if you don't open the door for them. So I err on the side of caution and open the door for women and feign ignorance if they complain about it ;-) I also open the door for a lot of men because I'm just a helpful fellow (if I'm fully awake and the civility sub-routine has fully been started), but on the whole I open the door for more women then for men. If a public display of a person's sexuality is an issue, let's all wear a burqa (including a complete veil because the eyes can sometimes be the most attractive part of a person), besides the legal problems in certain countries, it also causes other issues "Because a person's sexuality should not be something (s)he should be ashamed off.".

In short, don't throw words like 'sexism' around when you find something distasteful, describe in detail why you don't like something instead of using generic words incorrectly and repetitively.

As for the "Don't like it, don't buy it!" argument being a cheap one, it's a practical one. I don't like (maybe detest is a better word) reality TV, I find it cheap, stupid, and simple television. But if folks want to watch it, let them enjoy it, I just don't watch it. Same with these sexually 'charged' miniatures, some of the monsters are almost C'thulu-esque in their bizarreness, the odd use of sexuality makes them interesting imho. You don't like it, I can only advise "Don't buy it and ignore it.". Personally I'm also far less interested in the pinups, my interests lie more in the Phoenix, the Dragon King and the Dung Beetle Knight. I must really twist my mind a good deal before I can see any harm in the pinups...

This article...

missing_the_point.jpg.

I don't know if kingdom death

I don't know if kingdom death is sexist - but they've sexualized every female character they've made - indicating a strong focus on portraying females as sex objects, or at least valued in terms of sex alone. Not all their work is sexist but a large portion of it is.

Other than that, it's just plain icky porn-inspired design.

I don't know if kingdom death

I don't know if kingdom death is sexist - but they've sexualized every female character they've made - indicating a strong focus on portraying females as sex objects, or at least valued in terms of sex alone. Not all their work is sexist but a large portion of it is.

Other than that, it's just plain icky porn-inspired design.

Hmmmm....

I just have to point out this is horribly biased....and how can anyone take this argument seriously when you distracted from the article by the flashing sex toy ads? I am offended by having strange female sex accoutrements basically thrust in my face. Good job, ya'll.

You must not be married. My

You must not be married. My wife's toy collection stopped scaring me years ago.

Is it worse than romantic fiction?

I'm surprised by the level of denial that's going on with responses to this article. I think it's pretty unequivocal that Kingdom Death has kinky figures. The overall setting is a dark horror fantasy but also a sexy fantasy. It's a dark, sexy, fantasy game. There's no point denying it or making excuses for it, if you think that sexualising women is bad then you cannot defend this game.

But I don't really see why wanting sexy fantasies is all that bad. Yes the female characters are sexualised but it's a leap to say that it's also dis-empowering them. They may be sexy but they're not submissive. These kinky characters are the heroes of the game. While I agree it says a lot about the backer's taste I'm not sure it says so much about their morality.

Her "update" only makes her

Her "update" only makes her seem even more negligent. If you're writing a piece, even an opinion piece, you should at least attempt to do a little research. To say you aren't obligated to interview people is like saying you aren't going to even bother doing any research (which your backpedaling update only further proves). You should be ashamed of yourself.

Can't find 'sexualization' in my dictionary.

"...but does not change that such sexually charged imagery was popular, and sold well."

I've got to say, no shit, Sherlock. Of course 'sexually charged imagery' will sell well. That's the point of using it.

And one more thing - it's not 'exploitation.' It's a drawing. Yes, the form is greatly exaggerated. Yes, it is obviously sexual. Please tell me what exactly is wrong with that, besides "the form is exaggerated and it is sexual"?

Do you know why 'sexualization' is not a real word in any dictionary? Because sex is a normal human function and it is a property of healthy adults to find certain traits sexually attractive. Contrary to the beliefs of modern "feminism," it is not a great moral crime to take pleasure in sexually attractive depictions of women. Many men, including myself, find submissive women with large breasts and cute faces attractive. It's a fact of life, and coded into our very essence by thousands of years of evolution. The only advice I can give to you is to pull the immovable rod out of your ass and lighten up a bit.

I agree with your post in the

I agree with your post in the main part. I am a 31 year old male and have been minature wargaming for almost 20 years, but I find figures like the wet nurse disgusting, I simply do not like looking at it, disturbing might be a better word than disgusting, as well as very demeaning to women .

Having said that, I do have two points about your article I want to make.
Firstly, whilst women do game, they are in a massive minority, and as wargames are just that WARgames, and males are typically are the main protaginists in war, is it really unreasonable for a majority of games to have male minatures?
Secondly, in reaction to your comment about the sexualisation of women in gaming (and comics etc), is it really any different to how males are portrayed? There are huge amounts of male minatures scuplted of scantily clad males representing an unrealistic physical ideal? How is it that when a female is scuplted in unrealistic physical ideal it is sexist, but when males are scuplted in that way they are not? There are minatures of fat old women, as well as minatures of fat old men, but really, maybe they are rarly scuplted beacuse they jsut do not look as good?

There's a very real

There's a very real difference between something being sexualised and idealised. When scantily clad models with huge breasts are put out those aren't ideals for the handful of women likely to be playing the game they're there to be ogled or won. Whereas a guy playing a big muscle bound hero is a wish fulfillment thing and that's kind of the end of it. Here I think jim stirling sums it up better than I can though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR9UMgOFeLw

It is quite amazing...

To me just how many comments this article has received that are bashing or negatively charged against the author. And most of the comments are, no doubt, from men - men who enjoy the gaming world, for many reasons, and scantily clad women are just a bonus, right? If men didn't find the drawn female image enticing there wouldn't be anime porn - so everyone just calm the f* down about whether or not the fixation on the female form - naked or scantily clad - is insidious in our culture, society, and economy. Let me be very clear - IT 100% IS. The simple fact of the matter is this: THE GAME WOULD SELL JUST AS FAST W/O THESE IMAGES. There is no person on the planet who would see a board game they like and choose NOT TO BUY IT because there aren't enough scantily clad female action f*cking figures. SO GET OVER YOURSELVES. Does sex sell? Yes. Does everything that we sell not do harm to consumers who purchase it? NO. This is just yet another example of how men (and women who don't know any better) manipulate and distort sexism to reverse the aggression on the woman who points it out. The author is a blogger - the author doesn't have to interview people or give another side of the story. And whether or not the author purchases this game or any other game has no bearing on an ability to assess something as sexist or not. And yes, simpletons, throwing on top of this steaming pile a bunch of scantily clad male characters is just more exploitation and objectification. It doesn't "equal out" anything. The word 'sexualization' is NEW. New words happen, you know. Just ask Webster-Merriam. It is used to describe our current social state where 7 year old girls are complaining of being fat or hating their hair or wanting to wear mascara and lipstick to school. That is what us HUMANISTS call the over-sexualization of young girls. The only people who are being negligent here are the ones who, instead of meeting the author with intelligent banter and argument, are simply pointing their sexist little finger at the author for being 'a feminist - ugh.' So maybe before you go castigating the author you look beyond your own nose...or are you too busy ogling a pair of tits to see how your actions and words actually justify the author's argument.

It is quite amazing...

To me just how many comments this article has received that are bashing or negatively charged against the author. And most of the comments are, no doubt, from men - men who enjoy the gaming world, for many reasons, and scantily clad women are just a bonus, right? If men didn't find the drawn female image enticing there wouldn't be anime porn - so everyone just calm the f* down about whether or not the fixation on the female form - naked or scantily clad - is insidious in our culture, society, and economy. Let me be very clear - IT 100% IS. The simple fact of the matter is this: THE GAME WOULD SELL JUST AS FAST W/O THESE IMAGES. There is no person on the planet who would see a board game they like and choose NOT TO BUY IT because there aren't enough scantily clad female action f*cking figures. SO GET OVER YOURSELVES. Does sex sell? Yes. Does everything that we sell not do harm to consumers who purchase it? NO. This is just yet another example of how men (and women who don't know any better) manipulate and distort sexism to reverse the aggression on the woman who points it out. The author is a blogger - the author doesn't have to interview people or give another side of the story. And whether or not the author purchases this game or any other game has no bearing on an ability to assess something as sexist or not. And yes, simpletons, throwing on top of this steaming pile a bunch of scantily clad male characters is just more exploitation and objectification. It doesn't "equal out" anything. The word 'sexualization' is NEW. New words happen, you know. Just ask Webster-Merriam. It is used to describe our current social state where 7 year old girls are complaining of being fat or hating their hair or wanting to wear mascara and lipstick to school. That is what us HUMANISTS call the over-sexualization of young girls. The only people who are being negligent here are the ones who, instead of meeting the author with intelligent banter and argument, are simply pointing their sexist little finger at the author for being 'a feminist - ugh.' So maybe before you go castigating the author you look beyond your own nose...or are you too busy ogling a pair of tits to see how your actions and words actually justify the author's argument.

Exactly. I'm also annoyed

Exactly. I'm also annoyed with people confusing "sexualized" and "objectifying" with sexuality. You can have figures that you find attractive or sexually appealing without objectifying or sexualizing them. And just because the author is complaining about these things doesn't mean she thinks you shouldn't be able to see naked women or like looking at naked women. It's a completely different issue about HOW these scantily clad women are being presented.

I'm seriously confused by

I'm seriously confused by this. I looked at all the main female characters, the ones that aren't labelled "pinups" and still found them, while not quite as bad as the pinups, very sexualized and the drawn pictures above them even more so. Whether or not you think this is bad is one thing, but are people really suggesting that they're not sexualized at all? And they're proportions are realistic?! What are you talking about?

It's Anita Sarkeesian

It's Anita Sarkeesian syndrome all over again: don't comment on geek culture, or else.

Seen this a million times. My only question, why?

If you don't like it, don't play it. Simple as that.

Instead of complaining and implicitly demanding censorship every time you see something that offends you, why don't you do something productive like make your own game; a game in which your asexual, hypersensitive, PC, no-fun utopia can be realized without recourse to verbally crapping on the creations of others.

I'll add that I don't have anything against feminists or women's equality, I don't even think the game looks all that great (bit too weird for my tastes) I just think its unbelievably thin skinned and selfish of you to act as though the creations of others should conform to your whims and sensibilities.

Backer who agrees with you

I backed KGM significantly, and I agree with much of what you have written here. My backing was in spite of, not because of, the pin-up models (though obviously this is still problematic). I backed it for the intriguing concept and gameplay, the disturbing monsters, and the excellent character-construction "armor kits."

The objectification of women present with the pin-up models is distressing. I like pinup art, but one of the keys to that art that seems missing in a lot of these is that the model is usually looking directly at the viewer, engaging with them. As you noted, the poses and expressions in KD's pinups is mostly passive.

There are two major areas where i disagree with you. One is that I think the game miniatures (not the pinups) do not objectify women. Looking at the poses of the two female starting survivors, we see that while one is topless, her pose does not present focus on her breasts - she is bent forward, holding out her lantern and knife in a combat stance. The other has a similar combat stance. They're a perfect example of how objectification is unrelated to how much skin is showing - these half-naked badasses are far less objectified then any of the more-covered pin-ups.

The female models from the armor kits are the same. A good way to see the contrast is to compare the armor kit model with the pin-up version of the same armor set (Phoenix armor vs. Phoenix Dancer pinup, etc.). These game models are something that I will be happy to use in many games while I won't touch the pin-ups.

The second is the monster design. Sex organs are a recurring theme, but not a major one - the dominant themes are faces and hands, adding human elements in grotesque ways to non-human creatures. I find the Gorm's testicles far less disturbing than the fact that it has human hands, a baby's face, and multiple human arms around its monstrous mouth.

Similarly, look at the King and his minions (King's Hand, Kings Men) - heavy emphasis on hands. The White Lion is disturbing specifically because of, again, hands rather than forepaws. Look at the Scribe's chair. It's all part of a unified body horror aesthetic where creatures seem to absorb or alter humans into their bodies or tools.

I just don't get it.

I'm sorry, but I really don't understand why people are getting so worked up over Kingdom Death: Monster. I've been following the Kingdom Death sculpts for a long time now, and I have always thought they were extremely well done. It seems like Poots is trying to create this disgusting, disturbing fantasy-horror world, and he does a pretty darn good job of it. The monsters are sort of cringe-inducingly gross probably because they present biological functions in a very exaggerated and bizarre sort of way. If weird genitalia horror is what Poots thinks is scary, I don't really see the problem.

The sexualization of women, however, is what prompted me to write a response. As I mentioned before, I have been following KD for a while now. I am a married female gamer, and I actually like the pinups. More than the game, the pinups were actually the only reason I wanted to support the Kickstarter at all. The sculpts are extremely detailed, and the women are actually attractive. My problem with the majority of miniature-based games is that females tend to have pretty poorly sculpted faces. The KD girls are all either very fierce or very pretty. Why would the girls have to have realistic proportions? It's a fantasy game, and if everyone in Kingdom Death land has a six pack or H-cup tits, who freaking cares?

Ultimately, I just feel like this is another case of people getting "all up in arms" because that is the popular thing to do. I don't feel like the "sexualization" or "objectification" of little plastic women is going to lead to the downfall of civilization as we know it. How about we get worked up about something that actually matters?

Squick is the point, silly

Squick is the point, silly feminist.

Really?

However sexist one may find such content, it can not be denied that it is popular. If there is a complaint about miniatures games going in a sexist direction ask yourself, "why don't women make miniatures games then?" This article seems to be written to further women's rights goals and has very little to do with miniatures games. As far as sexual organs in monstrous proportions, don't all predators find what will demoralize their prey the most in order to better hunt or fight it? If you find it disturbing, maybe the people of the world in which these monsters exists do too, and that is the point. I suppose the bottom line here is; You do not have to like it. If your neighbor has a messy yard, are you going to call in county ordinance so you don't have to look at it? No, and the county or city probably wouldn't do anything about it anyway. Get over it already.

really now...

So I'm going to inform you of a little known fact in the creative art field. When you create a hero for your game you want them to look well heroic. This means they need to look fit to do battle. This means yes females need to look fit. I enjoy the fact that you failed to notice the many matriarchal figures from this line as well featuring *gasp* pregnant women. Part of the premise of the game is that the heroes have bare minimums to start with too and that you can upgrade their armor as you progress. This means your characters will start with minimal armor. I'm fairly certain you still don't get it though but maybe you can send them an email requesting them model a new hero decked out in a feminazi pantsuit. I don't think it'll sell very well though. Maybe you could develop your own game around heroic liberal women who go around kicking men in the balls for having character designs that are to risque? Let me know how that works for you.

-_-

Oh good grief. -_-

I have a female friend who I tried to show this game too because I thought it would be something she'd be interested in. I was flabbergasted when she said that this game was incredibly misogynistic and she'd already read about how it involved rules for raping women after you'd captured them (it does not have anything like that). So I searched all over the internet to try and find where this giant snowball of bullsh** rolled down from, and it looks like I've finally found it.

I'd just like to say congratulations, because the person who's enjoyment of a game you've managed to pollute is probably several times smarter than you; in fact, I do believe she is WAY too intelligent to be roped in by your bullsh**, but hey, it's the internet, so anyone can spout any sort of garbage without even a shred of evidence.

Let me just say that I've never read "bitch magazine" before, and I'm not sure what kind of stuff it publishes; but let me just say that the content you've posted seems to fit that title pretty much exactly. And I don't mean that in any way that you should feel proud of.

Being the main art in basic

Being the main art in basic kingdoms that are set up on some city roads, has been provided a place in the stock of cops convulsions. portable generator reviews

Much adoe about nothing

I can't help but feeling annoyed about these selfish agendas some women have going on whenever they scream "sexism". In this case it's clearly not sexism as no gender is discrimanted in this game and I'm getting equally tired of people who use superlatives or very strong words which indicate a scandal when in fact it's a tempest in a teapot.

Undeniably this game portrays both genders apparently attractive and sets very high standarts for what this game sees as normal yet I haven't seen a single women ever complaining about a sixpack in the media when they see them or even demanding to get rid of an advantage that she has in society thanks to her sex just because they she wants to be treat equal. Even in this game, where both genders are treat equally, you only complain for your own benefits and I can't help to say that you have either a very egocentric field of view for not noticing that or knowingly only argue as long as you benefit from it and for your own favor only. In both cases you apply double standarts.

Regarding this game it has chosen to portray a world as the lead artist imagined it and while miniatures can be seen as equally art as those marble statues of ancient times, it's makes equally less sense as to protest in a art gallery because they display statues which depict the beauty ideal of their time.

Justified Genitalia...

I think the one part of the design that's justified is monsters that employ (or are made up of) human genitals are organs, or are grossly exaggerated takes on some aspect of human seuality (like Mother). I've always been OK with this style of representing monsters and demons, because I feel like if monsters and demons were real, they'd try to employ the most disturbing and shocking imagery possible. Warping the pleasurable act of intercourse and reproduction into something terrifying and scary seems like a tactic that a demon would readily take to.

The over the top sexuality of the characters (and the fact that from what I could see, every single one is a buxom female in skimpy clothing) is just an extension of our oversexualized marketplace. As evidenced by the campaign - sexuality sells. Busty women wearing little more than a leather strap over their nipples rakes in dollars, so as a company or a designer, it makes vastly more sense to just bite the bullet and give the public what they're looking for, so your company remains a viable concern, rather than stick to your principles and risk going broke. Like you yourself pointed out, Kingdom Death was pegged at $35,000 (which in reality is an impossibly low number for a minis game). He cleared over $2m. The marketplace is showing literally zero incentive for developers to not over-sexualize their content, so we can debate the point all we want, it's literally going to affect nothing.

I largely agree

I just found out about this kickstarter and checked out their video and the game looks fun and interesting and the models and crature designs that were present in that were all pretty cool. I did notice the buxom aspect of the two women present but didn't think too much of it. Then I looked at some of their other models on the website and started to get that itching feeling I get when I can't help but feel something isn't appropriate.

There's very much a bias in their line-up to male villains in hulking armour and terrifying aspect and then highly sexualised and twisted female models and I can't help but feel it's a bit gratuitous. I have no real problem with sexual organs being depicted as horrific and twisted as a base desire like hunger and such it is pretty horriffic to see such things taken out of all proportion and made malevolent.

In short I'm somewhat disappointed I got really excited for this game from what I saw and now I'm just not sure i'd be comfortable playing it even if the gameplay is excellent.