In an inspired bit of blogging last month, Kotaku's Brian Ashcraft presented these two images of "Mirror's Edge" protagonist Faith.
He showed the official version made by EA-owned Swedish development studio DICE, as seen up to the left here. And he showed a version made by a gamer on a Korean message board apparently in the interest of depicting what that gamer found to be a more appealing vision of Asian female beauty, which is on the right.
- Hundreds of comments debating the depiction of women in games
- Dozens of arguments about designers from one culture who craft characters drawn from another culture
- And... what we didn't know until now, at least one crest-fallen developer at DICE.
I asked "Mirror's Edge" producer Tom Farrer if he'd seen the images -- of course, he had -- and what he thought of them. His unvarnished answer:
"I remember when I first had that image sent to me. To be honest, I found it kind of sad. We've spent time in developing Faith. And the important thing for us was that she was human, that she was more real.
"We really wanted to get away from the typical portrayal of women in games, that they're all just kind of tits and ass in a steel bikini. We wanted her to look athletic and fit and strong [enough] that she could do the things that she's doing.
"We wanted her to be attractive, but we didn't want her to be a supermodel. We wanted her to be approachable and far more real. It was just kind of depressing that someone thinks it would be better if Faith was a 12-year-old with a boob job. That was kind of what that image looked to me."