Monday, June 24, 2013

Raging Heroes will bring female warriors, heaving breasts to the sci-fi fantasy battlefield

Earlier this month, a small French studio took to Kickstarter to drum up funding for an ambitious gaming project - one that would take the world of Warhammer 40k and other 28mm tabletop war games and recast it entirely with tough, independent female warriors.

Enter, the dark and gritty world of Raging Heroes.

But Raging Heroes wasn't designed to be your typical, male-focused game where women with model-like physiques charge off to battle war with the tits a-bouncing and their midriffs bared alongside their war snarls.  No sir!  Raging Heroes will be...

...uh, nevermind.

Yes, it's a sad day for women on the fantasy (tabletop) battlefield of the future.  What could have been an interesting concept for a wargame turned into an unabashed excuse to let bikini mail and fan service reign.

Sadder still, Raging Heroes absolutely blew the doors off its Kickstarter campaign.  Cory Doctorow reckons that its modest $12,000 goal was reached in 30 seconds and now its surprisingly ample, heaving warchest sits at over $420,000 with 12 days left in its campaign.  In other words, people didn't just like the hypersexualized depiction of women in Raging Heroes - they absolutely loved it.

What's particularly sad about this whole affair is that female character in tabletop wargaming has been put on equal footing with men recently.

Games Workshop, perhaps the biggest name in 28mm fantasy wargaming, dipped its toe into the pool of women warriors with The Sisters of Battle army for Warhammer 40k, and it proved that women didn't need to show skin to kick ass... so what happened with Raging Heroes?

The Sisters of Battle - note the full armor, lack of heaving bossoms

Your guess is as good as mine.  One could easily chalk up the depiction of women in Raging Heroes to cultural differences (Europeans are quick to point out we Americans are "Puritanical" with our views of sexualization), but that seems a bit too neat and tidy.  It's likely a case of "boys will be boys", with the designers not realizing exactly how offensive they're being with their (admittedly gorgeous) art in the first place.

The only thing that can be said for Raging Heroes was that it was out and proud with its art style and design concepts from the very beginning, so its Kickstarter backers knew exactly what they were getting into.