Despite some folks ambivalence towards it, rAge is a pretty damn important event on the gaming calendar locally. It’s the only really big gaming expo we have (read: only expo at all really), and it gives international developers the chance to fly out here, show off their games and get a good sense of our market. It’s also a great time for everyone – serious gamers all the way to casual – to gather and catch up on the months coming. So you’d think that a event like this would need a rather appropriate mascot, right?
I would say so, and so far the past Roxy designs have been pretty decent. Not great, not awful, and certainly not as provocative as the brand new design – set to kick debut at the event later this year – is in comparison.
Let’s get one thing straight though – This new Roxy, from a purely artistic view detached from any social duties, is pretty great. Amazingly detailed, with a top notch representation of classic pin up style, this submission by Caroline Vos hit all the checkboxes the brief was asking for. In fact, looking from the waist upwards, I’d say it is the perfect mascot for rAge as an event. A stronger take on Roxy, that looks like she’s ready to kick some space ass with that blasters of hers.
Things get extremely weird though at the bottom of the picture, and it’s where the design crosses the line in terms of responsible representation. There’s almost no clothing from the waist down – worsened by the fact that Roxy’s legs are entangled in suspiciously manga looking tentacles (which I don’t really need to go into detail about, I think). Local developer Matt Benic, writing for htxt, thinks it’s a step backwards for the entire local gaming industry.
Now looking at that design – which will be used to market the expo via digital campaigns, posters and banners – does it accurately represent the target market of rAge? I like to believe that the gaming community has moved past such things, with a more balanced representation of male and female gamers. It’s no longer a hobby solely attributed to a young, single-male demographic – a time where this design would have most definitely fit in with the rest of the crowd.
Gaming in general is trying to be more understanding of its demographic of players, which is evident from the crack down on overtly sexualised booth babes at most international expos and events. Having this design, not only present, but representative of own home-grown expo suggests that we haven’t yet got to that stage – which I think reflects badly on where our community actually stands on the matter.
It’s almost as if the marketing team behind rAge don’t really understand who their community is anymore, which is why there also doesn’t seem to be any real action being taken to rectify this commission either. As a South African gamer, I feel a little ashamed that the first thing international developers and influencers are going to see about rAge is this new Roxy – especially after they are the ones being pressured from people like us to be more inclusive in the experiences they create.
You could feel completely differently on the matter to me as well, and I invite your discussion in the comments section below. Or you could simply hit the poll below and decide whether you think the new Roxy is fit to represent our premiere gaming event of the year or not. It’s a great design, don’t’ get me wrong – but as a mascot for an entire community, it’s wildly inappropriate.[interaction id=”55420bb3ca16d6d87fa9c1d2″]
Last Updated: April 30, 2015