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Assassin’s Creed fail reveals how sexist animation standards are failing real women,

This is the same gorgeously animated, acclaimed franchise that devotes an entire subset of game play to tree-climbing. Swinging from limb to limb high above the incredibly detailed world? High on the priority list of Assassin’s Creed features. Putting a single woman into an active role in the game? Nah.

Earlier this year, the lead animator of Frozen protested that Disney's 3-D animation software literally didn’t possess the ability to make women’s faces look distinguishable from one another.

This is the same studio that employed a visual effects team of over 40 people in order to design the unique properties of snowflakes. Literally, the women of Tangled and Frozen were less distinguishable to Disney animation software than a pile of snow.

The tangle of issues and layers of sexism that contribute to this situation is overwhelming, but at the core is the fundamentally flawed way women are portrayed in comics, animation, and gaming: a feedback loop of sexual objectification and industry complacence.  

When you perpetuate the idea, across various art-based mediums, that women in drawn art, comics, and animation must and should look and move with flowy, exaggerated gestures, graceful movements, and hips, chest, and ass thrust forward in order to pander to the male gaze at all times, then you make it easier, later on, to use your own sexist animation and art standards as an excuse for why you don’t have more women.

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We take you on a visual walk-through of the gaming industry and animation culture’s resistance to making women look, act, and move like human beings.

Important and potent.

Bloodmagic Temple of the Light Mages

this was a project that i made as a final for my 3D art class last year. it’s about 31 inches tall, and is made of several layers of pink insulation foam.

            The aliens led me to their temple, through the vast, bright deserts. Crystals of light were held suspended in mid-air, select pearls among the numberless grains of sand. They huddled away from me as I trod through the dry mire, the low humming that invaded every moment felt as vibrations in my boots as they swum through the air, as if I were creating an invisible current with my movements. The temple, with its stacked layers of solid, colored rock, extended skyward to create a flat-topped pyramid, two golden protrusions stretching before it like giant arms; straight, yet holding between them an immense sphere of orange-hued crystals, jagged but brilliant. It was covered in strange patterns, markings of brilliant silver and gold. Most impressive, however, was the lava that welled up from cracks in the temple’s surface, and from deep fissures at the ends of the arms. Its heat created distortion within the air, warping and distorting any image seen through the haze.

            The temple now seemed to take up the entire landscape, its oppressive mass inescapable. The lights that floated above the sand grew thicker as I approached the temple’s base, gathering into swirling tornadoes, thin and steady, a stream of tiny, bring particles circling into the sky, which was beginning to change its hue to reflect the light of the Green Sun. The eddies of light formed a circle around the temple, almost fence-like, with no dots of light beyond them, none touching the temple. One of the aliens set their long, tendril-like fingers on my shoulder, the small palms of its thumbless hands far from where the tips of the fingers operated. It smiled, an odd look for something with a lizard-beaked face… it almost reminded me of a turtle, but the beak was far sharper and more pronounced, more resembling the face of a dinosaur… save the plume of iridescent, reflective hair, starting at the top of its head (females boasting what resembled a lion’s mane around their neck and upper chest), and ending at the tip of its prehensile tail. “We will waiting. Others will coming.” These words came from a translator that was pinned to the shoulder of the purple-dusted robes that the alien was wearing, coming out in a filtered, genderless voice that was played over the words that he was actually speaking, at a slight delay. His horizontally-slitted eyes shone in the greening sunrise (which was happening just after the chartreuse sunset). He was smiling, so I smiled back.  I turned back to face the temple, noting the intriguing markings that adorned its sides. I pointed, “what are those? The markings, I mean. The gold and silver ones.”

"Multiple marking make by ancient magic users," the alien responded, a tone of pride evident in his real voice, "now all died. Multiple magic symbol, ward against invade enemy so protect Blood Temple." He pulled me close to him, pushing my head up with a long, muscular finger, so that my gaze was directed at the markings. "Made barrier. Against anything fly, ground, underground. Against foreign magic; foreign blood." He began to push me forward, and I heard mumbling behind him, the chatter of many more voices than those who had initially accompanied me to this place. I tried to turn my head, but the alien gripped it, holding it in place as he forced me forward. "Was effective, but was problem. New blood need for keep temple defense strong. Sacrifice multiple mage and multiple archmage, but not enough. Foreign blood need, too." With those final words, the alien shoved me beyond the swirling spires of light, past the orbs that floated above the ground. I immediately fell to my knees and screamed, the world I saw instantly being replaced by total black, and coupled with unbearable agony. Something warm and wet oozed down my face. A finger, long and arching, scaled and hard but gentle, brushed lightly against my cheek, and a genderless voice said, "not worrying. Just your eyes burn."

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