Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

July 24, 2008 -

It’s not always easy to predict which video games are going to upset people. 

One of the games that debuted at last week’s E3 was Sony and Titan Studios’ upcoming PSN title Fat Princess, a cartoony, capture-the-flag game in which the object is to rescue your princess from the enemy’s dungeon.  The hook is that the enemy is plumping up your princess with cake, making her more and more difficult to haul back.

It’s cute.  It’s colorful.  It’s surprisingly bloody. And, from many reports, it’s a lot of fun. But, according to Joystiq, at least two feminist bloggers have taken issue with the fat part of Fat Princess.

Shakesville’s Melissa McEwan says in an open letter to Sony:

[Fat Princess]  looks and sounds just adorable—but the only thing I can't figure out is why anyone would want to rescue a fat princess in the first place, since everyone knows that fat girls are unlovable human garbage at whom any sensible bloke would sooner hurl invective than cast a longing glance... I'm positively thrilled to see such unyielding dedication to creating a new generation of fat-hating, heteronormative assholes.

Meanwhile, Feminist Gamers’ Mighty Ponygirl offers her take:

Honestly, the “core game mechanics” are brilliant, and if I didn’t care one whit about the objectification of women or fat-bashing, I would think this was the best thing since… well, Team Fortress 2…

 

Instead of running out into the forest to find cake to fatten up the princess with, why not go out and find gold (which is a lot heavier than cake) to stuff into a treasure chest. The more gold in the chest, the heavier it would be, and the harder it would be to carry.

 

Oh, but that’s not as “cute” as cake and fat chicks. Right.

For his part, Titan Studios' art director, James Green, said in an email to Joystiq:

Does it make it better or worse that the concept artist (who designed the look, characters, everything) is a girl?

-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen prefers ice cream...
 


Comments

Thank you.

I cannot thank you enough for that post.

 

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

Busted out the thesaurus for that one, huh?

Your own arguments would probably be stronger if you didn't degenerate to name calling yourself:

... That being said, both harpi... er, ladies said that they liked the gameplay ...

... I've had more success communicating with my cat. ...

... attitude that, ironically, so many "feminists" share. ...

My suggestion - stop making massive generalisations. Not all women are feminists, not all feminists are women, not all feminists share the same values or ideology.
 

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

1. I haven't called anyone in here a name. I made a joke about calling the female bloggers a name... though hardly fulfilling the requirements of your accusation.

2. I HAVE had more success communicating with my cat then I have dealing with the kind of feminists that post the blogs in question. I'm sorry if that reality bothers you, but there it is.

3. Many feminists do, in fact, have the attitude in question.

I'm very sorry, but you've failed to actually demonstrate anything real here. I stand by my comments. I'm afraid that if you want to attack my position you'll need to do so by way of another method.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

[quote]I'm not calling you "sweet-cheeks" or "jugs"[/quote]

 

Ah, the inevitable assumption that I must be "one of THEM". That never gets old.

And yet....

Does the assumption of being "one of THEM" make it untrue? Also, I love the fact that you only notice one sentence in his post; typical for people with selective knowledge.

You make broad sweeping statements about the entire gaming community, assuming that every one of us is like those 15-year old squeakers that you hear on Xbox Live; e.g. call everyone who plays video games "Immature twats". You assume that every gamer fits into your misguided notion of the "degenerate Halo monkey"; which I find crass, misguided, stereotypical; and this is from someone who claims to want "equality of the sexes", what you REALLY seem to want is a group which will shelter you from the reality that both males and gamers are real people with real concerns, real desires, real hardships, and real obstacles. You seem to forget this in your overzealous quest for what isn't truly equality but social dominance; achieved by either manufacturing controversy on your blog only for people who agree with you, or being patronizing with your sexist slang. Have fun being delusional!

Re: And yet....

aahhh thank you for relieving me of my need to scorn that hypcritical moron.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

Ah, more boasting, condescension and chest-thumping. That never gets old either.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

I'll spell it out for you, I'm not female. I like that every singe argument I have on GP, invariably someone slips in their assumption that because I'm defending group A/saying that issue B warrents actual discussion/or that the majority of gamers commenting here are fucktards, I must be a woman/black/gay, while simultaniously whinging on about how I've steryotped them.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

ZZZZZZZZZZ - seriously, why get worked up about what a couple of people, who have lots more issues than just how much they weigh, say? 

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

don't feel too bad for the feminist in the article. especially that pony girl chick. talk about ill logical, mad with power because i have a blog feminist. she definitly has a gang mentality-if you don't agree with her 100% she bans people from her board. now that would make sense for the people that go there and just troll but if some one tries to have a normal logical converstation or even debate that is not bashing a group in any way she still boots them, especially if it is a debate she is obviously loosing.  rational arguments are not her style and talk about a hypocrite, wow if you read any of her posts on her site she lives by the saying "do as i say not as i do".

 if feminist don't want to come off to the general public as a bunch of way out there nut cases they need to discuss their issues and not come off as fanatics that won't even listen to opposing view points. the scary thing is these feminist like pony girl are extremeists in every form of the word, the second you stop listening to everyone but yourself and your group of "yes men, or women" your extreme point of view will only get worse.

Re: Can't please some of the people any of the time.

This country has become way too sensitive. People need to stop being offended by every little thing and quit their crying. Especially these feminists.

What would make them happy? If a woman is fat, then it's bashing fat chicks. If they are skinny, it's saying girls have to be thin to be pretty. If a woman is pretty then it's setting an unrealistic standard for beauty. But if a woman is ugly then it's bashing ugly chicks. And we can't treat them like guys because that's offensive to them. Seriously, WTF do you want?

To anyone offended by this or any other game: GET THE **** OVER IT! If you don't like it then you don't have to play it!

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

I think what annoys me the most here is some of the previous posts on the "Fat king" or "prince" idea. It's not that the idea of those things annoys me. What annoys me is they're right. If it was a fat king or prince there would be little to no outrage at all. It largely sounds to me like a lot of these feminists just have really thin skin when it comes to this kind of thing.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

I should clarify the above in the context of your comment by noting that fat men don't get it half as bad in terms of the random abuse, IMO.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

Ahhhh well that changes things a little I'd agree, but not enough I'd think it makes a diffrence really. The game is still cartoony and unreal and such and meant to be taken as such. Anyone seriously thinking this game might be trying to insult or demean I'd have to think has a screw loose.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

That may be true, but quite honestly, from what I've seen, most fat chicks have a MUCH easier time finding a date than the average fat man, and I suspect that the fat fetish community is predominantly male.  This could be because women in general have an easier time getting laid, but... just as many men will not date fat chicks, I know I'm not the only girl out there who finds overweight or obese men repulsive.  Sure, I'm less likely to tell a guy that to his face, but he might still suffer as a result. 

The thing is, that's life.  I know that a lot of people find me ugly (yeah, I'm thin, but I don't exactly look like a barbie doll), and I've just learned to live with that, enhance what I can, and seek out partners who find me attractive.  Sitting around and whining isn't productive.  If you're fat, you have two options: learn to live with it and date the minority who finds that attractive, or get into shape.  Begging society as a whole to change just to accommodate you is not a valid option, especially when you technically are a burden (pun intended) on the system.  People keep telling me how hard it is to find time to exercise and eat right, but I find that I can keep my weight stable by walking to the grocery store (roughly a 10-15 minute walk) every few days, eating lots of fruit and whole grain products, and avoiding fast food like the plague.  Occasionally I even go to the gym at the local community centre.  That's something that anyone can do.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

You wouldn't happen to want to run for President with me in 2016, would you? (I'll be 35 that year)

I was going for President, but I'm OK with being VeeP to the first female President.  You in?

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

Thank you, part of my point I couldn't really get across about how this whole unequal view of the sexes thing is silly. Both sides have it bad in their own ways so trying to highlight one as worse really doesn't work well.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

To play devil's advocate, I find it hard to object to fat people being "thin skinned".  Have you paid attention to how fat people are treated  by strangers (and sometimes even friends)?  I'm not surprised that kind of unprovoked abuse makes people rather jumpy and defensive.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

allow me to retort. I am Fat. 300+ a lil and I'm a gamer. I've had all those stares and comments and such. And you know what? They don't bother me anymore. Because I got over 'name calling' being much of an issue because it's a recourse of people who can't think of something better to find me 'wrong' on. Besides the core of my argument before wasn't the 'fat' part of the issue. It was that if it was men being portrayed this way the objections would be a dull whimper compared to this outraged roar.  I was accusing "feminists" of having a thin skin not fat people.

And in Honesty most fat people I know arn't "thin skinned" most of them can take a joke in good humor or an insult meant to hurt and just shrug or laugh where fitting.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

I consider myself a feminist but these chicks need to learn to choose their battles.

Why does the mere presense of a fat female character make that one blogger ramble off about how fat women are unloved garbage so why would anyone want to save the fat princess? She's got some serious issues. So is that the message every time a fat woman so much as appears in media, or is that your own borderline insane self-loathing showing through, lady? If so you're not really that empowered. I'm comfortable enough in my own skin to say this game doesn't bother me in the least, although I can't help but feel just a TAD disturbed about the creepy fetishists it will inevitably attract.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

A point of advice, leave off the "I consider myself a feminist, but."  I agree with the rest of your post and don't doubt that you are a feminist, but emphasizing it makes you look like a concern troll.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

You know, I wanted to post to Melissa McEwan, but I can't bring myself to. It's just so..... ONE-SIDED & Troll-Filled. The few posters who weren't trolls and tried to form an opinion were trolled by folks who honestly had nothing to add or debate with. It's just disgusting in there.

I'm all for pushing the envelope and providing opinions out the norm, but after reading a vast amount of incredibly immature and biased posts, I just couldn't do it. I'd like to think of all people I could try to be neutral and start up a dialogue... but DAMN. That won't be happening anytime soon.

I'll let the trolls have this one.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

You know, when I first saw this game, I was pleasantly surprised to see an overweight character portrayed in a relatively positive way.  I say relatively because yes, her weight is a negative in that she becomes harder to carry, but the player is not encouraged to in any way judge the her character or desirability as she becomes larger and larger.  Rescuing her is still the object of the game.

Also, as a few others have pointed out, James Green's contribution is valid.  He's not saying that he has female friends, he's saying that a girl played a key role in the game's design.  Yes, girls can be sexist (just as homosexuals can be homophobic, Jews can be antisemitic, blacks can be anti-black, etc.), but the odds of it being a calculated attack on women rather than a cute and harmless idea drop considerably.

Incidentally, while I am female, I'm also quite slim.  Perhaps I am less sensitive to the fat angle than a larger girl might be, but... I don't think my more objective perspective is necessarily a bad thing.  Objectively, I don't think the game is an attack on women OR fat people.  It's cute, it's silly, and, sure, it plays with stereotypes like any game in its genre, but... not negative stereotypes, in this case.  If you see a fat character and, without any external input, immediately think negative things... well, that says a lot more about you than about the game.

And for any fat feminists (or other rabidly fat-positive individuals) who might find their way here, how do you want fat women portrayed in games?  No, it's not enough to just say "positively," because clearly making the fat girl a princess and requiring players to rescue her isn't good enough.  "Normally" isn't good enough either -- there are plenty of games with overweight NPCs wandering around, and because they typically aren't mind-blowingly gorgeous, some might view them as a negative portrayal of larger women too.  Do we need overweight or even obese heroines?  And if so, how the hell would we make that work?  A woman who should logically have a hard time running to the end of her driveway will look ridiculous running, leaping, and swinging around as an action hero, and some might see even that as an insult, because they would imagine players laughing at such an improbable heroine.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

I completely agree.  It's impossible to have fat heroines for most games because of all the action.  These feminists are too lazy to excercise and instead they complain about non-issues. 

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

You could make a game where the obese girl "runs" to the end of the driveway, has to stop to catch her breath, then decides it's "too hard" and the game ends.  That's realistic.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

Look my family is about 70% women 30% men so trust me when i say BUGGER OFF ponygirl so shes fat i've got this brilliant idea lets make it so that you starve here instead how about that. after if she can't be fat lets make her rail thin or i know lets just say hay if you have a problem with the game don't play and don't bitch. and another thing RE5 is in africa  so ya black people, just as RE4 was in russia so ya WHITE ZOMBIES so all of a sudden RE crosses the racal barrier and now everyone is racist. pu-lease you people i mean everyone out there right now not one group need to learn that just because there is a location specific race used as the foe dosen't make the creater racist it means the game is in that area and that is the most likely group to become the foe. leave it at that. END OF STORY!!!

 

 

"I shoot a White Guy and I'm a killer, I shoot a Black Man and I'm a Racist Fachist Zealet? How did that happen?" - Wise man saying

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

So do white men ever get tired of complaining about how non-whites or women never get tired of complaining?

Every time gender or race comes up here it is always the same: "OMGWTFBBQ!!! It is just a game!  What are they complaining about!  They are offensive for finding something offensive!"  Yawn.

I would like to see more acknowledgement that it is possible to have some concerns about a game with out being TEH EVAL

 

http://www.popularculturegaming.com

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

I get tired everyonce in awhile but then I drink a red Bull and I am good to go on the whole OMGWTFBBQ front

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

LOL. you make game chicks skinny and busty and hot and feminists complain. you make them fat and they complain. i guess the only way to make them happy is to make boring plain jane female characters. but they'd complain. how about no female characters? nope. they'll complain. some people just live to complain. spending all their valuable time on things they don't like.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

I think you're missing something creatively if you think that boring, buxom, and barbie-esque is an exhaustive list.

How about characters like the main character of this?

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

You know what might actually be helpful in this situation? Taking the high ground and inviting Shakes to guest-blog here and open, oh, I dunno, a constructive dialogue on this issue instead of trolling her website. Both sides have been plenty damned obnoxious here -- maybe what we all need is more communicating WITH each other instead of hurling invective AT each other.

M, feminist, gamer, thinks this whole brouhaha is completely idiotic.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

I've been trying to "communicate" with "feminists" for 15 years. I've had more success communicating with my cat.

It's not because these women (yes, almost exclusively women) aren't smart or well-read, the problem is that they can't see their own hypocrisy and when you point it out to them they lose their minds.

I'll start "communicating" with feminists again when it seems readily apparent to me that that's actually what they're interested in, because my 15 years of experience dealing with these people tells me that real communication is the last thing they want. They want to rant and scream and as far as they're concerned the only "discussion" that's permitted is simple agreement with whatever self-victimizing hatred they can come up with.

In other words... we (as in men, largely) are not <i>allowed</i> to "communicate", we are only allowed to shut up and/or agree. That's it. Anything other than that, anythign even approaching a voice of dissent is drowned in a sea of villification and abuse.

I'm done with them.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

At least with your cat you can bribe it with food and shoestrings and they'll love you forever.  Feminists won't settle until they've claimed your dignity and backbone.

I'd rather deal with cats than feminists.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

Unlovable human garbage?  Wasn't that a little harsh?  In fact, I think that was severely harsh.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

Fucking feminists.  Being fat isn't a good thing.  I'm sick of this new way of thinking, where 'fat is beautiful' is the norm.

Newsflash:  Fat people are unhealthy.  They put too much stress on their body because they carry around 100 to 700 extra pounds.  They cause health care to skyrocket in some areas, they cause infant mortality rates to skyrocket (fat people have more stillborn and premie children), and they still get special treatment!  In many places, if you're fat you can get a handicapped sticker so you don't have to walk more than 20 feet to stuff your face!

If you look like a wild hambeast, that's your problem.  But when you get mad because people look down on your inability to do things that other people manage to find time for, like exercise and eat right, then you're just being a jackass.  It's the consequence of your inability or unwillingness to maintain some amount of fitness.  Then when you get mad that you're paying for that extra seat on the airline, you're just going too far. People shouldn't kiss your ass because you're lazy, because you're too stupid to eat right (and eating right has nothing to do with money, you can eat right for about 2 dollars a day), and because you're too poorly disciplined to replace that donut or double cheeseburger with a few piece of celery with peanut butter on them.

Over 60% of Americans are obese, and its this feminist way of thinking that is helping that percentage to continue to rise.  Parents, I encourage you to take your children outside to play.  I know, video games are fucking awesome, trust me.  I get in a good 2 hours of play a day.  But you need to play for at least an hour outside, or we'll end up a country where a 5 foot 6 inch person weighing 250 pounds is the norm.

Also, fuck feminists.  You barely had a point years ago, now you're just looking to start problems where there are none.  You can't play that 'women don't have equal rights and opportunities' crap anymore, not after what I've seen.  When I was young, my mother made 12 million dollars a year as  the head of companies that produced chemicals for shampoo.  Inequality my ass, learn to work for what you want instead of bitching to Affirmative Action that you don't get into management.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

Ughk don't get me started on affirmative action. -_-;

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

12 million dollars a year, huh?

Say, can you lend me forty bucks?

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

Even better is that "obesity" is a disease now so they have more of an excuse even though 99% of those that are obese or grossly over weight are the cause of their own doing. But nope, no one can take responsibility for themselves anymore. Is it really any wonder that people here are generally allowing the US to become more and more of a nanny state?

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

Feminists amuse me. Wait, no they don't.

The "fat princess" idea is a game device. NOTHING MORE. Any attempts to peg any further meaning to having the fatten up an enemy princess so the enemies rescuing her can't haul her back to their castle is stupid and immature. Especially when the "meaning" being pegged consists solely of "WAH FAT BASHING WOMEN HATERS WAAAH!"

I would hardly call this a "controversy." More like a few feminist trolls looking for an excuse to accuse somebody of being sexist. What next? Are the health nuts going to start throwing a fit because the game promoted obesity?

 

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

...

2 Things:
1. You can't replace it with a chest of gold.  Because the other team would have no interest in stealing another chest of gold if they are already filling their up.
2. Need you remind these individuals that the teams are TRYING to rescue their princess.  It is not like once the enemies make your princess fat you ignore them and find a sexier princess.  The game concpet is cute and funny for anyone.  Eat it up feminists.. like cake!

Forgot to mention...

Feminist Gamers’ Mighty Ponygirl: "Instead of running out into the forest to find cake to fatten up the princess with, why not go out and find gold (which is a lot heavier than cake) to stuff into a treasure chest. The more gold in the chest, the heavier it would be, and the harder it would be to carry."

Right, because when your rival is trying to get a treasure chest, the most logical thing to do is fill it with gold! Maybe you can help them lift it or give them a backrub halfway through to ease their journey.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

"1-2-3-4 You're gonna fall through the floor!" - Al Bundy

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

I bet if it was a prince instead of a princess, no one would say a word. Get over yourselves, feminists.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

Funny thing I read a while back was about commercials and how they potray men compared to how they potray women.  Men are typically potrayed as dumb, stupid, barely capable of putting on their pants let alone shoes where as women are potrayed either as showing the man how to make it in this world or as empowered with near superhero abilities.  An example would be the yogurt commercial in which the man is searching through the fridge for the deserts as his wife is rattling off stuff she has been eating to a friend on the phone.  Funny yes if you don't take it from the stance that they are saying he is to stupid to see the yogurt right in front of his face with the different desert names on them.  Now will you see any major uproars about this commercial probably not because most men are used to being shown as stupid brutes ignorant etc and we just shurg our shoulders and say whatever.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

It's been that way for years. A female is portrayed as being smarter, stronger, faster, etc. etc. etc. in just about every commercial on television. The worst part is that the marketing douchebags try to portray it like "Whoa! Can you believe a woman just beat a man in a car race?! This is going to make people remember our product!" which is blatantly sexist.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

"A female is portrayed as being smarter, stronger, faster, etc. etc. etc. in just about every commercial on television."

I should add that I do not mean to say that women can't be smarter, stronger, or faster than a man since that simply isn't true. It's the fact that they are scared to show a female as the dumb one that puts a plunger over her face or loses a footrace to the gym to which I was alluding.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

That reminds me of a scene in the first episode of the new, awful and quickly canned Bionic Woman where the main character is running in the woods next to a road and runs past a moving car, the girl in the back mentions it to her mother and well at the end of the scene the girl says something like "I just thought it was cool that a girl could do that". Or something like that, it's almost a year since I saw it. Just a big eye rolling moment.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

So...does anyone know if the game is any fun?

Really, unless a game is disturbingly gross or blatantly unfunny I really only care about whether it is a good game or not.

Re: Sony's Fat Princess Causing Controversy

I'm not sure the game's even released yet, Kitten. I'm not entirely certain though.

That being said, both harpi... er, ladies said that they liked the gameplay and that the design was good.

 
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MaskedPixelante3DS version.09/12/2014 - 3:23pm
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