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Dissecting Smite is a series of threads that I create to raise awareness of just what is wrong with Smite, how and why it is wrong, how it can improve, and examples of what can be done better. It's basically an information dispensing device.
This is the biggest issue, and the issue I want to tackle first. Smite oversexualizes its goddesses.
And because I'll have to explain this eventually, oversexualization of women is bad because its part of the whole double standard that women face in...everything, really. You know, sort of like how James Bond can sleep with dozens of women and be described as be "cool" or "suave" or "a ladies man," while a woman who casually sleeps with more than one person is a "****." Or how women are expected to look sexy to attract customers, while men can look badass and cool and other ****. This is discriminatory, or unfair, which is BAD. Seriously, I can't believe I have to explain this ****.
Now that I've explained what oversexualization is, why it's bad, how HiRez ****s up, why other fanservicey games like League don't **** up, and how they do it better, it's time to move on to the next part of the List of Fun.
Confession: I lied. This issue is just as bad as Oversexualization.
I'll make this real easy to understand.
This is a minor issue, but Smite has seventeen goddesses and forty-four gods, for a total of 27.8% women.
This is less than every MOBA I know. I guess some MOBAs might have less than Smite, but there's are a lot of MOBAs nowadays.
There's a difference between a thin, sneaky type not being suited to wear a breastplate, and a war goddess wearing a metal bikini.
It's the difference between this:
Now, someone recently said some **** about how gods can fight naked if they choose to do so, because they're just that good. About how "it's gods and ****, so it can be unrealistic!"
Firstly, if armor wasn't important, then it wouldn't get so much prominence in mythology. Weapons and armor are treated as equally important, and together they let mortals fight off gods. You can't tell me that armor isn't useful, even to a god.
Second, if they don't need armor, they wouldn't ****ing wear the "armor" they have on, because armor is clunky and heavy.
Thirdly, Athena wearing a boob plate is only slightly less realistic and revolting than the idea of a sci-fi exoskeleton armor being only operable by women. There's a difference between "real life" realistic and "story logic and consistency" realistic.
Here's a list of images that show a portrayal of the goddesses that DON'T oversexualize them. Take them as suggestions.
We all know that inequality, discrimination, etc, are all bad things. But the issue - the REAL issue - isn't from some giant problem like the Ku Klux Klan or slave trades or something like that. They are issues, don't get me wrong, but the biggest problem is in the little things.
You see, humans compartmentalize ideas. We sort things out and put it in a neat folder, and when we pull that folder out, other things come to the forefront of our brain, with it. This subconscious imprinting is called internalization, and yes, it applies to things such as misogyny and racism. And this isn't some theory or idea, it's an established fact. (Don't take my word for it, look it up.)
The point is, we absorb harmful ideas and associations, through our lives. Even people who know that stereotyping is wrong can't help absorbing the stereotypes that are pervasive in our culture, and in the end, most people we condemn as being misogynistic or racist aren't particularly misogynistic or racist. They're just average people - which says something about the average.
Smite, among many other things, is one of those factors that influence you. And frankly, Smite is doing far worse than other MOBAs. That is why you should care, that is the point of all this; Smite's toxicity isn't something harmless. It's unacceptable because it is harmful. Out of many little things that quietly put words like "****" or "weak" or "sex" into your "female" folder, Smite is one of them.
Video games as a whole are guilty of this, and Smite isn't the biggest problem, but nor is it the smallest. It's one of the main reasons why female gamers have problems like GamerGate, and why the industry is so hard to change. People tend to take it badly when you call them discriminatory, even if its subconsciously discriminatory.
Most people think that better representation or equality are "a noble quest" that needs a virgin's tear to drop on a rose on a warm sunrise in January. It's not. And let's cut the ******** excuses. "Part of life?" Why should it be? It's only a part of life because our culture is the thing that spawned it. And ironically, we produce more culture after absorbing it. It's a vicious cycle.
I'm probably not going to convince you to not play Smite. But I'm trying to show that what Smite is doing is not acceptable. That there are no justifications, no excuses, nothing to change the fact that what HiRez is doing is wrong. It doesn't matter if everyone else is doing it, it doesn't change how its still wrong, you dumbass.
That is why I wrote this. That is the point of all this. That is why this is an issue. That is why this is a thing.
That was my first in my Dissecting Smite series. Please let me know what you thought of it. If it sucked, if it was good, and if it made you think.
Finally, to end on a humorous note:
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