IF you haven’t noticed by now, I appreciate nicely armored ladies, and diverse depictions of women in gaming. This is unfortunate for me, because the majority of the time I end up with women in little clothing that I can’t even play. The solution? The Lady Knight simulator . Tumblr user dogbomber (a.k.a Sean Ng) created a Lady Knight Simulator to encourage other illustrators on Tumblr to draw some epic Lady Knights.
The simulator is composed of 5 categories (Weapon, Build, Personality, Culture, Personality) and has already generated my new favorite heroine ever. Meet Thorina:
Needless to say, I think I’m in love.Here’s another one to show how diverse these creations can end up being:
What I love about both images above is how the addition of the “personality’ category really fleshes out each character. Thorina, the bulky, tiger-loving, Russian is one happy lady. From the picture alone it feels like she takes pride in herself, and her ability to balance a tiger on her mace. Her smile and posture allow her to differentiate herself from the gruff armored ladies we might typically encounter.
Similarly, the Scary Aztec Spider Lady’s evil smirk pulls her out of the “Sexy half-nude armored lady” category. She may in fact be sexy and half-nude, but her face adds that three dimensional aspect that promotes her from two-dimensional sexy candy to three-dimensional character.
While dogbomber wasn’t going for a political statement with his generator (he just likes Lady Knights) it’s clear that these images can have further implications. With just five different categories, there is an endless amount of combinations to try, each Lady Knight different from the next. This could be an excellent tool for Game Developers to create complex, non-stereotypical, potentially queer characters. (If you check out dogbomber’s gallery of Lady Knights (or search the #Lady Knight tag on Tumblr) you’re guaranteed to see a slew of delightfully diverse Lady Knights that aren’t derived from stereotypes.)
One piece of advice coming out from GDC, was to turn stereotypes on their heads. What this Lady Knight simulator teaches us is that we don’t even have to deal with stereotypes in the first place. Instead, we can create new, never-before-heard-of characters by simply picking 5 traits off a list.
If enough people jumped on board, we could even make new stereotypes, based on inclusivity and diversity. What if this above plump Bunny Knight became the stereotype? That would be awesome. I would love to play as this adorable bunny knight. She sure beats the heck out of Bunny Lady (Can’t remember her real name) from Final Fantasy XII.