Project Atlas Hero diversity

AoveranAoveran Member

Hey, so I just downloaded the game! I excitedly played the tutorial. I flipped through the Atlaspedia. And now I want to talk!

Here's my feedback in the requested format:

I felt sad and slightly left out when I clicked through all the heroes in the Atlaspedia.

You may say I'm being hasty. You may say I should play the game and immerse myself for several hours before providing commentary. But please hear me out regardless.

I'm a geeky, geeky person, and I cosplay at gaming and anime conventions. Frankly, it's hard for people like me and my friends to cosplay when game characters tend to look the same.

Me personally, I believe the MOBA and RTS industry leaders have done little to address diversity. I'll talk specifically about League of Legends -- because more often than not, I find that League of Legends perpetuates common gender, race, and LGBT stereotypes.

For every 1 Vi (fully-clothed and arguably butch-like), there's about 8 or more scantily-clad girls in miniskirts or bikini tops or skin-tight catsuits, like Miss Fortune, Caitlyn, Ashe, Katarina, Zyra, Ahri, Elise, Janna, etc. For every 1 Lucian and 1 Ekko (both darker-skinned), there's about 8 or more lighter-skinned dudes with straight hair, including Ezreal, Varus, Vladimir, Taric, Jayce, Garen, Graves, Draven, etc.

I mean, I'm grateful that Vi exists! I'm grateful Lucian and Ekko exist! Don't get me wrong. But I don't think it's the best that we as a nerd and gaming community can do.

We as human beings operate in a primarily visual culture. And video games definitely have a visual component. Even if we're talking about aliens or elves or dwarves, they're still generally humanoid. They still resemble us.

Now, in the real world, we often leave clues on our bodies that the eye can see. These clues tell others about our identity or values. Hairstyle, jewelry, hats, clothing style, piercings, tattoos, etc. often can be visual shortcuts to signify just who we are and what we're about. They aren't always visual shortcuts, but sometimes they are.

All it takes is one glance at a knit beanie, a bracelet, knee-length cargo shorts, low-profile sneakers with a waffle sole, bleach blond hair with dark roots, and you start to get an idea about a person.

What you don't know is that the "North American skater bro" in front of you is really a punter on a semi-pro football team who loves to play Cooking Mama on the 3DS and cuddle with his silver tabby cat named Waffles.

But you still took a visual inventory of him, didn't you?

This is why I'm going to argue that all I need to see is a tutorial and an Atlaspedia to be able to talk about diversity. Because it's quick and easy to see things like skin tones, hair textures, and body shapes. Playing the game for 20 more hours will not affect my first impression.

I'm hopeful though.

Artillery only has a handful of heroes - 8 heroes as of this writing - and there will only be more of them as we get further into the art and development process. I'm hopeful that there will be many, many inclusive and diverse heroes. I'm hopeful that I'll get to cosplay this "Project Atlas" along with my friends and tell the world about this awesome game, as soon as the Non Disclosure Act lifts.

Goodness knows all human beings are not the same height, the same gender, the same sexuality, the same skin color, the same body shape, etc.

But goodness knows all human beings have the same capacity to play a game, test a game, geek out about a game, and love a game, if we so choose.

That is why I believe we are gathered here, after all.


  • TreiskTreisk Member, Administrator

    Very cool piece of feedback. Thanks for the post, and hopefully we can do ya proud! =)

  • SlammeRSlammeR Member

    In a game where every skin color is literally tied to their faction you are talking about racial diversity? Does green count as "Darker Skinned," How about blue? How exactly are we supposed to guess Vela's gender identity? From the shape of her robotic helmet? Alder seems to represent a pretty common modern style, Tree roots growing out of the head but lets not make any assumptions on his hobbies, he may love motocross as well as gardening.

    I am all for diversity in gaming but lets try to employ some common sense, this is a video game, not the real world. People in the real world do not have green or blue skin, they do not dress up in any way similar to the real world. If anything I think Atlas is doing a good job giving diverse cast of characters each faction feels like they have a slightly different feel and I think both Vela and Celeste are interesting female portrayals while maybe you dislike Eris's style but she seems to be a complete badass to me.

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