Stellar Blade Makes Games Journalists Insult Women

The latest video game on everyone’s lips is Stellar Blade, a new third-person action game from South Korean developer Shift Up. Stellar Blade, which is being published by Sony and will be available for the PlayStation 5, puts gamers in the role of a warrior named Eve who returns to an Earth that’s been conquered by aliens to reclaim it for humanity. While the game won’t be released until April 26, 2024, a demo is currently available, and people seem to like it. A promise from Stellar Blade’s director and the CEO of Shift Up, Hyung-Tae Kim, that there will be no “additional expenses that gamers are not aware of, other than the cost of purchasing the package,” unless “you create a costume collaboration with a third-party IP” – in other words, no micro-transactions – is also making players happy. And to top it off, the main character is a woman; surely that means games journalists will be gushing praise for Stellar Blade, right?

Not so fast, Wesley. It turns out there is a problem with Eve, Stellar Blade’s protagonist: she’s hot. Her character design is curvy and sensual, she is decidedly feminine, and her outfits are form-fitting – when she’s wearing anything at all. That’s right, you have the option of giving Eve a “skin suit,” a barely-there, skintight costume that leaves little to the imagination. The skin suit comes with disadvantages like decreased defensive capabilities, making it mostly there just for fun. But that’s not stopping games journalists from railing against Stellar Blade and anyone who wants to play it, with enough self-righteous pearl-clutching to make Tipper Gore want to relax and enjoy some rock and roll. In that same interview I linked to above, Hyung-Tae Kim addresses the meltdown from “Western media outlets” with this:

“In the West, I know that in many ways, game characters have to reflect their realistic appearance, and there are a lot of issues that are intertwined, such as gender and racial diversity. However, Stellar Blade is just entertainment and a cultural product. I just want you to keep an eye on it as an interesting action game.”

In other words, take the stick out of your ass and stop ruining everybody’s fun, Nurse Ratched.  (This is so embarrassing; remember when America was the cool kid, not the uptight librarian?) Not that they’ll listen, of course; they’re too busy getting a euphoric jolt from wagging their fingers. But one outlet took their criticism too far. Ben Ossola of IGN France wrote a pious diatribe about how good-looking women are evil and also figments of virginal gamers’ imaginations (which, dude, if you think all women look like the video game version of Mary Jane Watson, you’re the one who needs to get out more) in which he calls Eve “a doll sexualized by someone who has never seen a woman.” Aside from its inherent smugness, this statement is a slap in the face to Eve’s model, a woman named Shin Jae-eun, of whom Eve is, according to Bounding Into Comics, “a full, 1:1 body scan,” with only her face being altered in the game. Also, one of the people who helped design Eve and the rest of Stellar Blade is Jiyun Chae, the wife of director Hyung-Tae Kim. You can see images of both below, courtesy of X user Pixel Shaun:

So, in an embarrassing turnabout for the narrative, gamers defended two women against the miserable games journalist who demeaned them. IGN France’s reaction was to make slight alterations to the sentence and insult gamers (would they be games journalists if they didn’t?) by saying they intentionally misrepresented the sentiments of the author.

(This last sentence has been slightly edited for french speaking people pretending not to understand what we meant, and the english speaking mob who google translated the initial text.)

What absolute pigs. They won’t apologize because they’re so hate-filled that they can’t admit they were wrong, and maybe not all women look like Paula Poundstone. For all their preening about their compassion for women, they won’t even take back an insult directed at two real women, whether intentionally or not. There’s nothing much to do here outside of continuing to ignore these insincere thugs, but your big takeaway should be never to take a word they say about you to heart. They’re much worse than anything they accuse you of being. It makes me want to buy a PlayStation 5 so I can give Stellar Blade a whirl, not so much for Eve’s look (cartoon girls don’t tend to do it for me) but because I want to see the headlines that get shared and mocked when it becomes a huge hit.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the new updates!