Mortal Kombat X: Feminism at Work

Mortal Kombat X: Feminism at Work

Alright guys, time to make an article that will make everyone hate me again because I’m going to talk about feminism. But first!

Is anyone else really excited about Mortal Kombat X? I have a whole lot of friends who are looking to make it big in the tournament scene. I’m really excited about the game’s new characters, fighting styles, stories, and lots more.

But I’m also excited because Mortal Kombat X is visible proof of feminism at work, in a good way, that as far as I can tell hasn’t made everyone flip out yet.

First, let’s examine Mortal Kombat 9’s character model for Kitana. She is not wearing a whole lot. Only a thin sheet of cloth covers her crotch, and her breasts are covered by what appears to be a bikini sewn together with string in order to mash her oversized breasts together. Everything else is bare, from midriff to arms to thighs, with the exception of some bracers and high heeled boots.

Now let’s examine the Mortal Kombat X model for Kitana. First of all, her breasts are far smaller. Second of all, her body is more toned and muscular, looking more like a gymnast than a model. Third, more of her body is covered. Most of her arms and legs are covered in armor or clothing, her chest and neck are also covered as well, but she still shows off some skin, which is fine! The point is she looks a lot more like a fighting princess this time around, rather than a porn star.

Mortal Kombat X: Feminism at Work

And I’m not just making this up. On a Mortal Kombat X Twitch stream, production manager Spiro Anagnostakos said “The mantra for this game has always been realism; heading towards a more realistic look. So the same thing applies to the proportions where we try to bring things back in per se to where they should be.” He went on to say that the women in Mortal Kombat X will look “more like women do.”

Even Kitana’s alternate design readjusts her proportions. She is covered by more, though still has skin showing, and is toned with smaller breasts that seem more natural for a martial artist.

The key here, according to Netherrealm, is that they didn’t exaggerate Kitana’s female features. They didn’t put emphasis on her breasts or butt. Instead, they opted for a more holistic design, focusing on her personality as a character rather than her body parts. The same design ethics can be found in the other female characters of the game, such as Cassie Cage in her special forces outfit.

Now, I pose this question to you: is the game any worse because of this new character design? Mortal Kombat X is already being applauded as being progressive and more appealing to more female gamers than its predecessors. Does this make the game any worse? I mean, this is a game that sells itself on bloody evisceration. It’s practically synonymous with exploitation even it is taking tiny and effective steps toward being progressive.

So let’s boil this down, then. This is the sort of thing that I would like to see more of. This is a very good example of feminism at work. Is this cool with everyone else who seems to repeat the mantra “keep feminism out of gaming?” Because I didn’t see anyone bothered by her character model until Netherrealm announced their intentions last stream.

If this is acceptable to you, and acceptable to me, then at least we have some common ground to stand on.

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