Parkour ’em up game Mirror’s Edge seems to have attracted more attention with its character designs than with any other aspect of the game, specifically where the notoriously ugly (to 2channers at least) protagonist Faith is concerned.
Naturally, 2channers soon set about improving matters, and now it seems the moefied version has attracted more attention than the nondescript original, overseas as well as in Japan.
Animated comparison (enlarge to view):
There are some interesting comments to the effect that she looks Chinese (she would be ugly either way, I’d wager) rather than “Asian” (let us not forget this is a lazy term, and there is as much variance between the appearance of East Asian races as there is between European “whites” or African “blacks”, that is to say, a lot). Some go so far as to say the moefication is actually Japanification…
The game producer responsible, Tom Farrer, is on record as saying:
“I remember when I first had that image sent to me. To be honest, I found it kind of sad. We’ve spent time in developing Faith. And the important thing for us was that she was human, that she was more real.
We really wanted to get away from the typical portrayal of women in games, that they’re all just kind of tits and ass in a steel bikini. We wanted her to look athletic and fit and strong [enough] that she could do the things that she’s doing.
We wanted her to be attractive, but we didn’t want her to be a supermodel. We wanted her to be approachable and far more real. It was just kind of depressing that someone thinks it would be better if Faith was a 12-year-old with a boob job. That was kind of what that image looked to me.”
It seems he thinks gamers, Asian or otherwise, should accept his “real” ugly character and like it. Possibly, he should have considered looking at what passes for beauty in the East Asian markets prior to actually designing his orientalist vision of what a gritty Asian women should look like, but never mind.
Interestingly, 2channers actually reworked her back in September, and you can see something of their chaotically evolving efforts below:
We should doubtless subject the matter to a vote: