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@Riot A serious discussion about gender. Please read

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Senior Member


"My argument is that female champions are treated differently, and that there is less diversity amongst the female cast members."

Why is the majority of this thread talking about oversexualization then?

We need to stay on topic.

One: Female champions are treated differently.

My argument against this is that, I last hit with them, I kill towers with them, I kill nexus with them, and I'm not any more or less likely to choose her because she's a female champion. That being said, I'm not sure how one "treats a champion" to begin with.

Two: The beginning of this thread seemed to be more about females being treated with disrespect.

First of all, this is League of Legends. The community doesn't care if you are female or male, you WILL get verbally attacked or assaulted. If you feed, and you're male, you're a feeder. If you're female and you kick ass, there's still something else to attack. I'm a male, I do awesome in game, but I might say "Hey, you shouldn't have done that, "X" would have been a better idea." That there is an invitation for a "noob stfu" You being female isn't why you're treated badly.

It isn't the girl, its the community. Your gender is just something for someone to target, hell I've been made fun of for being a "male wasting his times on video games blah blah" (and that was a female, presumably, saying this).

Three: Less diversity among female champs

So? Don't expect a 50/50. They never promised a 50% female 50% male cast. If they added more females than males, some other people would complain about this mundane fact. It doesn't effect the gameplay at all, and only sensitives who try to find something to complain about complain about things like this. This is something I never even noticed or realized, because I don't play League of Legends to find a bunch of champs I identify with to play as, I play league of legends to kill mofos and pop towers.

This thread reeks of feminism.

This post reeks of male privilege and privilege in general. You automatically assume that it's a female calling you out for being male. You fail to notice or realize that the game's creative design is disproportionately geared to appeal to you, you don't see that it's a real issue that people use gender, orientation or race to disparage and mock other people with. Why? Because you're not subject to such abuse and you don't think about what kind of toxic social norms led Riot to pander to you specifically. You might be subject to being called bad at this game, which you might be. But you'll never know what it's like to be outcast for the reasons listed. And you most likely don't care. But that doesn't mean it's not an issue that needs to be addressed.

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Women don't mind playing as strippers or ninja pigs... as a matter of fact if you look at other games - they'll play men, women and most attach to sexy women characters. I have to market to women. There is plenty of characters selection and all of it is "woman friendly"

The key here is Riot needs in game icons that are women. They have teams that the guys attach themselves too. The easiest way to do it - create a women's event/league. Create exposure around them and even competitions specifically focused on them.

Two, women do not like toxic communities. Stop insulting them in games. Think of it this way if you are a new player... if you play two solo normal games, you probably played with a woman in the game. If you are one of those toxic players. you probably just made someone not want to play. Guys shrug off insults quick, we are ego filled, mindless automatons compared to them - women think about them - did the team really lose, should they really install... a lot of women probably don't get to level 10-15 before quitting. A woman will move onto a game that they will enjoy - free from "Uninstall and shoot yourself." comments....

It isn't really about the characters or the game play as much as community and marketing.

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Senior Member


So I was watching the quarterfinals today, and they did a segment on Alex Ich. Alex talked about how he is one of the few gamers who is married, when inspired a rather odd comment from Phreak. “More girls should play League of Legends.” I found it odd, because the LoL community isn’t always the most welcoming. I know of plenty of girls that do play, and they choose a gender neutral summoner name because of the grief they receive for making their gender known. I know of even more girls that choose not to play LoL at all because they don’t feel welcome.

One of my best friends is a girl gamer. She does play LoL, but only when playing with her boyfriend and myself. She feels marginalized by the LoL community, and Riot endorses this attitude indirectly. Whenever gender issues are brought up in these forums, there is a huge backlash. It’s almost as if gamers are threatened by this topic. They don’t want them womenfolk to change their games to make them more inclusive. They like that Riot caters to the majority (straight white male). Any time someone makes a perfectly valid point about sexism, they are met with massive downvotes and malicious comments.
How has Riot endorsed this attitude? While I’ve never witnessed a Riot take part in burning these feminists at the stake, they do dismiss these topics. I made a post about how human female champions are treated differently than human male champions, and Morello pointed out that I ignored counterexamples like Lulu, Tryndamere, Riven, etc. and therefore my point was invalid. I attempted to reengage Morello in conversation, but it he had moved on to other questions. Meanwhile, I’ve seen two threads this week mocking the entire conversation, each attracted three red posts joining in. These threads claimed that Pentakill Olaf and Gragas over-sexualize the male gender, and has caused the poster to be insecure with his body.

If Riot seriously wants to attract more girls to their games, then I suggest they listen to what the few girls who do play League of Legends have to say. Have a real conversation with them. Entertain the idea that there really is a problem with how women are treated by the players, and how female champions are treated by Riot. I’d find it refreshing if a Riot employee could actually admit that there is a problem, or that I at least raise some valid points. My friend knew Pentakill Olaf was going to be used as a counterpoint to “male champions aren’t sexualized” the second she saw him. But Olaf is not aesthetically pleasing to most women. His physique still caters to the same people that Miss Fortune does. I see the argument that “This is a game. Who cares if a champion is sexy?” That’s not the issue. The problem isn’t that there is no mancandy for women to oggle over. The problem is that champions are treated differently based on whether it is male or female. Riot is completely comfortable sexifying female champion, even in cases where it isn’t actually appropriate for the character. Akali’s outfit is impractical for a ninja. Shen and Kennen are completely covered up, and Akali is constantly on the edge of a nip slip.

Yes, there are obvious exceptions. Since I don’t want to be accused of sampling champions that prove my point, and ignoring ones that don’t, I am going to compile a complete list. But first, let’s list all the champions that are irrelevant to the conversation. Morello used Lulu as a counterexample, but I was careful to use the term “adult human females” because yordles just shouldn’t count. They exist to be cute, not sexy. Male yordles are fuzzy animals. Likewise, children shouldn’t count, because sexualizing them is awkward and inappropriate.

Anivia, Cho’gath, Fiddlesticks, Fizz, Galio, Hecarim, Karthus, Kha’Zix, Kog’Maw, Malphite, Maokai, Nocturne, Sion, Skarner, Trundle, Urgot, Yorick

Amumu, Corki, Heimerdinger, Kennen, Lulu, Poppy, Rumble, Teemo, Tristana, Veigar, Ziggs

Blitzcrank, Orianna

Annie, Nunu

Anthropomorphic Animals:
Alistar, Nasus, Rammus, Renekton, Rengar, Twitch, Volibear, Warwick, Wukong

Brand, Dr. Mundo, Jax, Kassadin, Mordekaiser, Nautilus, Xerath

*My definition of “monsters” might be broader than yours. I went ahead and included all the undead champions, void creatures, and anything that wasn’t humanoid. Anivia is the only female monster, which stands out even further if you lump in the champions that I categorized as Anthropomorphic Animals and Anomalies.

**Anomalies are champions I really didn’t know how to categorize. An argument could be made that they are human enough to qualify for the main conversation, or that they could be thrown into the monster list. If someone wants to reference one of these champions for the sake of an argument, I’d be willing to consider it.
So that leaves us with the following champions:

Adult Humans:
Ahri, Akali, Ashe, Caitlyn, Cassiopeia, Darius, Diana, Draven, Evelynn, Ezreal, Fiora, Gangplank, Garen, Gragas, Graves, Irelia, Janna, Jarvan IV, Jayce, Karma, Katarina, Kayle, LeBlanc, Lee Sin, Leona, Lux, Malzahar, Master Yi, Miss Fortune, Morgana, Nidalee, Olaf, Pantheon, Riven, Ryze, Sejuani, Shaco, Shen, Shyvana, Singed, Sivir, Sona, Soraka, Swain, Syndra, Talon, Taric, Tryndamere, Twisted Fate, Udyr, Varus, Vayne,Viktor, Vladamir, Xin Zhao, Zilean, Zyra

Not all of these champions are human, such as Zyra, Varus, Kayle, Shyvana, etc., but have enough human traits to count. Sure, Cassiopeia is partially a snake, and Ahri has nine tails, but what keeps them from being anthropomorphic animals is the fact that parts of their bodies look completely human.

So now that we got that out of the way, we can finally get to the meat and potatoes. The argument I am trying to make is not that every female champions is sexualized, and zero male champions are. My argument is that female champions are treated differently, and that there is less diversity amongst the female cast members. I will start with the most obvious disparity, which just happens to be sexualization.

Let’s compare male and female champions that receive comparable skins. Male champions tend to receive legitimate “profession” skins, like cop, doctor, cowboy, etc. Female champions tend to get stripper versions of those skins. The following is a list of what I call “Stripper Skins.” For contrast, I compare them to equivalent male skins.

• Nurse Akali is a stripper nurse. No real nurse dresses like that. However, strippers with themed costumes do dress like that. Surgeon Shen is an actual medical professional.
• Cowgirl Miss Fortune is just missing a pole. Her attire is completely impractical I sure hope she is wearing underwear under that flap. High Noon Twisted Fate actually looks like he belongs in the Wild West. Sheriff Caitlyn is wearing hotpants.
• Officer Caitlyn is in many ways the most disappointing. She is in a position of authority. She is the Sheriff of Piltover. But, she gets a stripper cop outfit. Riot Graves, and outlaw, actually looks like a real cop. No officer in real life dresses like Caitlyn. They’d never be taken seriously. She could have been a badass. Real missed opportunity, here.
• Battle Bunny Riven is a Playboy Bunny. This is the most blatant one of them all. You can’t even pretend that this is anything but a stripper skin. There isn’t a male counterpart for this.
• Prestigious LeBlanc is a Vegas showgirl. Magnificent Twisted Fate is an actual magician.
• French Maid Nidalee is something you’d see in a gentleman’s club.
• Heartseeker Vayne. I guess if Jack of Hearts Twisted Fate is the male equivalent, though again, the male character is fully clothed.
• Mistletoe LeBlanc, Candy Cane Miss Fortune, Snow Bunny Nidalee draw a strong contrast to Santa Gragas and Old St. Zilean.
• Sandstorm Katarina is a belly dancer.
• Red Card Katarina doesn’t dress like any referee I’ve ever seen. Fifa banned players from taking their shirts off.
• Kitty Kat Katarina reminds me of Halle Berry’s Catwoman, and that’s offensive on a whole new level.

Not a single male champion has a stripper skin. If I missed something, please let me know. You could have a sexy fireman or something. It’s something exclusive the female champions. It’s just one of the ways that women are treated differently.

Next, we will talk about the base design of champions. Miss Fortune and Ahri are flirtatious, and while that isn’t really a problem, there are no guys that tease or flirt. The following are champions that are sexualized, not just in skins, but in their default splash art.

• Zyra is technically a plant, but she is using a human body as a vessel; one that she barely covers.
• Syndra’s cleavage is the focal point of her splash art.
• Akali’s rather large breasts are barely covered by those strips of cloth. It’s completely impractical for a serious warrior.
• LeBlanc is barely covered.
• Sivir is wearing the most pointless armor of all time. She isn’t protecting any vital points.
• Sona’s boobs. Need I say more?
• Ahri at least has lore to justify her being a flirt.
• Miss Fortune is hands down the most sexualized character in the game. In her new splash art it looks like her clothes don’t even cover her nipples. If we had more of a bird’s-eye-view, this game would probably have an AO title
• Caitlyn should probably not shop in the children’s section and find something that fits.
• Fiora’s skin tight outfit accentuates her ass.
• Evelynn is wearing lingerie. She is literally walking around the fields of justice in her underwear. I guess she is relying on her stealth.
• Lux used to be a counterexample. She used to be.
• Morgana gets thinner and thinner, and her breasts get bigger and bigger. She is also wearing a bra to battle. Smart.
• Cassiopeia may not be human from the waist down, but if you are arguing that that disqualifies her, then you are arguing that mermaids are not a sexual fantasy to millions.
• Katarina screams ***. She has three stripper skins, but the default skin isn’t any less sexualized.
• Nidalee kind of has an excuse, since she is basically She-Tarzan.
• Janna even makes a phone *** reference, solidifying the portrayal of women as adult entertainment workers.
• Soraka’s old art was all about the side boob. Her new art is better, but still very sexy.
• Sejuani seems to be immune to the cold. In fact, everyone from Freljord seems to be.
• Ashe is better than Sejuani, at least.
• Varus. The only male champion that makes the list. More on why, later.

So here are the female champions that are not sexualized (much):

• Karma is great. Her Sun Goddess skin is culturally appropriate, so I don’t have any issues.
• Leona is wearing high heels to battle and her armor accentuates her figure a bit too much. Compare her to armored champions like Garen, Taric, Darius, ect. There is a noticeable difference. Still, Leona gets a passing grade.
• Kayle is perhaps the best portrayed female. Her armor is actually practical. No complaints.
• Shyvana is pretty well done. None of her skins really do her an injustice.
• Irelia is acceptable, in my opinion. Her Frostblade skin showcases her ass a little much, though. I really like that Aviator Irelia looks like a real pilot, and not a stripper.
• Diana’s default look is fantastic. I am not thrilled about her Dark Valkyrie skin.

So there are six female champions that aren’t overtly sexualized, and 22 that are (Battle Bunny Riven and Heartseeker Vayne did them in). Over 78% of the adult human female champions are sexualized. That number is pretty freakin’ high.

The following are male champions that people use as examples of sexualized men. They may show skin, but being shirtless means nothing when they are morbidly obese or freakishly muscular. Female body builders are nasty. Male body builders are also nasty.

• Gragas. Everyone uses him as a joke example, but it’s frustrating for those of us trying to have a real conversation.
• Tryndamere is built like a rhino. I’m tempted to move him to the anthropomorphic animals list.
• Pentakill Olaf is not going to turn anyone on. He still caters to straight guys’ tastes.
• Lee Sin is shirtless, and not hideously muscular. But his shirtlessness is more about him being a martial artist. It serves a practical function. It’s not about being seductive.
• Ruthless Pantheon isn’t contorting his body in unnatural ways to show off his body. His physique is secondary to his battle prowess. There is nothing about this skin that suggests the artist wanted to make him look sexy, even if he isn’t wearing much. To me, it’s the same as Sun Goddess Karma. It’s not about *** appeal.
• Twisted Fate is suave, but his charm has nothing to do with his body, and more to do with his style.
• Ezreal has boyish good looks, and he is a favorite amongst players who are attracted to males. But being attractive and being a sexual object is not the same thing. If it were, I’d have to change the verdict on all six of the female champions that have a passing grade.

If you don’t agree with me, or you think I missed a champion or skin that should have made the list, let me know. I’m open to discussion. In fact, that's the entire reason I am posting this. I want this to turn into a discussion.

Now, Varus made the sexy list because he has an attractive physique, and his nakedness doesn’t seem to serve any apparent function other than fanservice. Still, he is the only example I could find that meets these requirements. That is one male champion out of 28. That means 3.5% of male champions are sexualized, and 78.5% of female champions are sexualized. How can you tell me that there is no disparity? That everything is fine. How can you deny the fact that women are treated differently?

Moving on, let’s talk about body types. I won’t devote too much time to this, because there isn’t much to say, but when you look at the guys, you have skinny Shaco, bulky Tryndamere, obese Gragas, Athletic Talon, and everything inbetween. Female champions range from super model thin to anorexic supermodel. You can see Morgana’s rib cage. There really is only one body type that gets recycled with every female champion. Bust sizes may vary from moderately large and “you’ve got to be kidding me,” but the frame of the ladies is indistinguishable.

Next, I want to talk about apparent age of champions. The men enjoy a huge range; you have youthful Ezreal, who could pass for a teenager, to Zilean, who is ancient. Here are the champions that look middle aged or older:

• Darius is graying and wrinkles are forming. He looks like he is in his mid 40’s.
• Draven can’t be much younger. Early 40’s.
• Gangplank’s beard makes it hard to see his face, but he looks like he is at least late 30’s. His skins can age him quite a bit.
• Gragas can be anywhere between 30 and 50. It’s hard to tell.
• Graves looks at least 45. Jailbreak Graves looks even older.
• Ryze is tough to place, because he is blue, but if Tribal Ryze is his human form, dude looks 50+.
• Shaco looks like a creeper. The makeup makes him impossible to place, but his bone structure suggests that he is well past young-adulthood.
• Singed is definitely past his prime.
• Swain doesn’t look a day younger than 50.
• Tryndamere is at least 40.
• Udyr is certainly in his 50’s.
• Viktor’s prototype skin shows that he is graying.
• Zilean is a geezer. For someone with time powers, he makes no attempt to reverse his age.

Absent from this list is every single female champion. Diana looks the oldest, at maybe early 30’s. This is pretty indisputable proof that Riot has different design philosophies for male and female champions. I’m not asking Riot to make an ugly female champion just for the sake of making her ugly. I just don’t understand why every female champion has to be young, thin, and attractive, but they aren’t afraid to deviate from that mold when they are making a male champion. I tell you, I would absolutely love a Baba Yaga inspired champion. Ursula and Maleficent is extremely popular as far as Disney villains go, so it’s not like older ladies, or even fat ladies don’t have any appeal.

So Riot, what say you? I worked hard on this because I believe in you as a company. I’m really hoping this doesn’t go ignored.

I know it's unlikely that you'll see this, but I just wanted to thank you for such a well done post on an important issue.

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Senior Member


You have no idea.. NO IDEA.. how in love with the Unprepared Garen skin I am..

..or "Sexy Fireman Graves"

I'm a real life volunteer firefighter. Please make this skin. I didn't purchase firefighter Tristana before it was too late, so I need SOME kind of firefighter skin!

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Junior Member


She does make a point I am gay and I have always had Pink Taric Although Lee Sin is a whole bunch of sexy

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roit junior

Junior Member


I cannot possibly know everything Rioters have ever said on the subject. I can only talk about my own experiences in dealing with red posts. I never had the pleasure of engaging IronStylus in conversation. You missed the point of my post entirely if you think I am trying to make Riot look bad.

Your tone is dismissive and insulting. Pretty much what I was expecting my first response to be, sadly.

thats sir was a epic win reply lmao

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Senior Member


The worst champion is by far Miss Fortune especially her new splash art is too much.Her butt is so big that her pants doesnt even fill in and i can see her nipples.I personally like this(because am a guy) but damn small kids play this game.Back in the day i would easily fap to this splash art LOL

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This post reeks of male privilege and privilege in general. You automatically assume that it's a female calling you out for being male. You fail to notice or realize that the game's creative design is disproportionately geared to appeal to you, you don't see that it's a real issue that people use gender, orientation or race to disparage and mock other people with. Why? Because you're not subject to such abuse and you don't think about what kind of toxic social norms led Riot to pander to you specifically. You might be subject to being called bad at this game, which you might be. But you'll never know what it's like to be outcast for the reasons listed. And you most likely don't care. But that doesn't mean it's not an issue that needs to be addressed.

This post was awesome and spot on.

Not related to that post, I think that early on, when LoL was being launched and still young, many aspects of game creation - including character design - was centered around obtaining new players (this is something I want to bring up later). Now LoL is huge and has changed, and the need is changing.
- With a relatively stable fan base, design can be less centered around attracting players and more around supplying new characters and story that stay true to what LoL has become
- With more female players, there's a need to make sure they don't feel marginalized (This statement sounds cold. I am NOT saying that females should be marginalized in smaller communities. I am a huge fan of what this post is talking about, and I'm glad it's being discussed.)
- Stories are gaining depth and the number of champions is always increasing. This makes the need to differentiate the stories greater.

I think due to those reasons, and others I can't think of off the top of my head, the change from a sexist slant to a cast that is badass with diversified female representation is not only necessary but inevitable.

Now, on the new player attraction: I was talking with a few friends who play LoL with me, and they were saying "well why not avoid sexism from the beginning?", but I don't think it's that simple. Even though women are getting into video games, culturally it's not all there yet. Everywhere on television men are the one playing video games, but now the difference is that ALL men play (jock stereotypes in TV shows get Madden / CoD, nerds get D&D or WoW, beer fish usually get a controller and don't need explanation), while women now sit back and say "it's a guy thing", as opposed to ten years ago when women made fun of nerds for gaming.

I think that's more of a media thing, but some people who feel more self-conscious about playing video games post in these forums somewhat often about feeling victimized by girls for playing games. This means that the general trend for gamers tends toward men, and this style of game attracts a younger fan base, adolescents and young adults that want sexualized females. Equality will continue to increase as video games level with television as a staple of entertainment.

Now these are all kind of general statements. The last thing I want to say is again, I'm glad the change is happening. I don't mind oversexualization as long as it's equal across genders and the female cast has a strong representation of the not sexualized (EHRMEGHERD GREMMEHR), and I really liked IronStylus's responses to the posts.

tl;dr version:
- A new company that only launches one, on-going game needs to attract a stable fan base
- Culturally, a fantasy-style online PC game is still in a realm dominated by young men
- Both of those first two points become less important over time, and Riot (and the industry as a whole) will adapt accordingly.

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Jiz Khalifa

Senior Member


You know what the ONLY problem with the whole female/male discussion is? THREADS LIKE THIS. Noone cares, just play the goddamn game. This isn't a political correctness discussion forum, it's a game. Stop trying to change things with these topics because the majority just doesn't care. 90% of people don't even go to the forums. Stop coming here and trying to change the game because you are personally dissatisfied with how Champs are designed. You have the option to leave. Stop trying to change things to your personal liking. What makes your opinion worth more than the majority? Why do you think because YOU don't like how female and male Champs are designed, they need a change? Majority likes it.

And now go ahead and call me ignorant and sexist, I don't care because I know I'm not. I'm simply annoyed by these threads that are a huge waste of time when there are way better things to be discussed.

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I think that the women in this game are sexualized because it's titillating. I find strong looking males and sexy looking females more exciting than their bland, normal, or ugly looking counterparts. It really doesn't matter whether they are sexy; It matters whether they are fun/exciting to look at.

Video games are played to have fun. I find sexy women more fun than old, fat, normal, plain, or very young women. I find that in men I have a wider range of what I like looking at.

I find the argument for having sexy men much more compelling and reasonable than the argument for having un-sexy women. But as a man, I don't find sexy men compelling. I won't EVER buy a male skin because it's sexy. However, my female friends do find sexy women compelling. Really, I think EVERYONE finds sexy or sexualized women compelling, whereas fewer people find sexy men compelling. I think sexy women skins will sell more than sexy men skins.

But that's just my opinion, feel free to disagree.