Thread: Razielim UVC (Underground Vampire City)

Razielim UVC (Underground Vampire City)

  1. #51
    Originally Posted by The_Hylden
    I think if they had Raziel naked here in his statue art, the fan-girl base collectively would start hemorrhaging Psyonix would have malpractice suits out of their butts to deal with...
    Technically, she is showing the same level of nudity that the Raziel statue is in that his and her chests are both bare. This is not an attempt at sexualizing one or the other (or both), especially given how we've avoided doing so with our main characters, but merely a nod to the stylistic approaches that many of the classical Greek sculptors took to displaying beauty in both men and women. Our female here is not intended to be subservient in any way, and in fact our approach was far from that in that she is holding that which is most precious to her people. She is intended to be attractive, just as the Raziel statue is meant to be, but not in the sexualized sense - more in the "this is a thing of beauty, and we as the Razielim are the most beautiful of the clans".

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    980
    On the topic of partiarchy, I don't think discrimination based on sexuality comes into Nosgoth as it was envisioned in Soul Reaver. It would be a disrespectful garbage argument for me to suggest the same old horrid fallacy that Amy Hennig is a woman and therefore her story contains no male gender bias, but wholly apart from that, she has actually stated her egalitarian notions in an interview.

    I really think the supposed male domination in Kain's empire is as innocent as the Sarafan commanders/vampire lieutenants just happened to be from a male brotherhood, and the Priestess just happened to be female. Those characters' gender doesn't really make a difference in the story. It's pretty arbitrary in practice and conceptually interchangeable, especially with Zephon the Alien Queen, hehe.

    Other than that, they are seven men, it's true.
    "A return to Nosgoth is not necessarily always welcome: only the attainment of that final gnosis will satisfy us." – Sam Zucchi

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    26
    Wow, i find our time where you have to justify everything incredible...

  4. #54
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    7,649
    Hm, I don't think anyone was forcing them to justify anything. So far, this has been simply friendly discussion on the matter.

  5. #55
    Originally Posted by Calengoth
    I realy realy love Raziel's and Kain's concert art.I love how you made the sword from the toy cannon. Toy Raziel had a scythe too,no?
    I would love to see the scythe in a Raziel statue!

    The blood fountain looks very cool too,but i would love to see an area with one like those BO1 !
    This is new to me...do you have pics of this?
    If so...could you say it is anything similar to what Jake Pawloski is doing in LoK - Prodigal Sons?



    [Edited by Moderator]
    Last edited by The_Hylden; 23rd Apr 2014 at 03:38. Reason: Removed accusatory statement.

  6. #56
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    7,649
    I advise that, like I was saying, we keep the discussion here friendly -- a.k.a. without tossing around unfounded accusations, or dismissing others' opinions because you think they are "silly."

    Thanks.

    Edit: Calengoth was referring to this (which appears to be what Jake modeled the Skythe after, yes):

    Last edited by The_Hylden; 23rd Apr 2014 at 03:50.

  7. #57
    For my part, I am in the "aesthetic, not sexual" corner, Classics-lover that I am. As Eric pointed out, the nude Priestess statue displays the same degree of nudity present in the Raziel statue, which is more egalitarian than anything else. I'd actually be happy to see depictions of Raziel with even less clothing than he currently has there. After all, we have seen depictions of Kain and his lieutenants in vestments other than their official military uniforms - remember the amazingly cool SR1 menu screen showing them almost as beatific figures in religious-looking robes? I think that statues of Raziel in various states of undress or less dress scattered around his underground city would fit the theme of idealizing aesthetic beauty well. As others have mentioned here, the Razielim are meant to be the most beautiful and they certainly do idolize that beauty; I can picture quite clearly a statue of Raziel lounging on a couch with a totally bare chest and shoulders and maybe a sheet or skirt just barely covering his genitals so that the angles of his oblique muscles heading down toward his groin are visible. This would not seem out of place to me and, in fact, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Furthermore, I would also humbly suggest - without intending to offend anyone - that accusing bare breasts of being objectifying when they are intended (rather clearly, in my opinion) to be artistic is more sexist than what the accusation entails because it on some level proceeds from the clearly mistaken assumption that women's bodies cannot exist outside of the framing of how men view them. They do exist in this framing, of course, and sometimes (OK... more like often) problematically so, but that in no way means that they cannot exist outside of it. Anyway, as we all know, nudity is far from necessary for sexual objectification; Umah's clothed form was far more offensive and sexist in its objectification than this unclothed but tasteful form. If anything, I think, this depiction is empowering, not objectifying.

    Ruevergne, you may find this to be a tenuous connection, and I do apologize if this comes off as mansplaining since I am offering this for the benefit of the others in this thread as well, but going on the thread of Greek artistic influence, I think it's highly relevant. As you can see, the nipples of the statue are painted. Women in the Minoan civilization centered in ancient Crete, before the rise of the Mycenaean civilization in 1200 BCE or so, customarily wore dresses that bared their breasts and often rouged their nipples. In this context, they were not sexualized, but were symbols of female strength and significance. The Minoan religion was one that emphasized fertility, motherhood, etc, with a Mother Goddess at the head of its system; women were explicitly and implicitly empowered in this society. In fact, a great deal of the mythology from the Mycenaean culture - what we lump together as "Greek mythology" today - essentially served to legitimize the overthrowing of the Pelasgian (indigenous Greek mainland tribes) and Minoan feminine and fertility-oriented religions by the patriarchal Mycenaean pantheon that we know today. In this process, women in the Aegean region went from being empowered and in control of their sexuality to basically becoming chattel, with few exceptions (most notably the culture of Sparta, in spite of adhering to the Olympian pantheon: women there had no social stigma for being sexually liberated and their familial customs were alien to the rest of the Greeks). So, basically, I would argue that this statue evokes not sexual objectification but empowerment and religious deference. It depicts her truly as a powerful Priestess, the highest-up in the religious hierarchy and most connected to the life- and strength-giving blood (again, the theme of fertility). Combined with the clearly Classically inspired aesthetic elements such as the white marble, to me, this is the furthest thing from objectification.
    Last edited by Hashakgik888; 23rd Apr 2014 at 09:22.

  8. #58
    Originally Posted by The_Hylden
    I advise that, like I was saying, we keep the discussion here friendly -- a.k.a. without tossing around unfounded accusations, or dismissing others' opinions because you think they are "silly."

    Thanks.

    Edit: Calengoth was referring to this (which appears to be what Jake modeled the Skythe after, yes):

    I still think the evolved Razielim should have this wing colouring. As I'd mentioned elsewhere, the bone shape and smoother skin on the wings is probably as close to Raziel's wings as you could get without changing the rig, but the colouring would make a lot of difference as well. I suppose the Razielim don't have to be all the same colour, so I'm hoping Raziel's would show up in a few varients at least. Especially in the ones with the clan uniforms.
    "If events are matched closely enough to course, they have a way of restructuring themselves to familiar outcomes." ~ Scorpius, Farscape

  9. #59
    Originally Posted by The_Hylden
    There is a sense of classical nude statue they are trying to give her, I think.
    Originally Posted by The_Hylden
    We'll see if this is something they wind up changing, if enough people have the same feeling about the nudity. Even though she is bare-breasted, I do have to say she looks much less objectified than anything in BO2, lol
    I certainly agree it is less objectifying that BO2 and I don’t deny the classical aesthetic, but art and sexism are not mutually exclusive (I have doubts that anything can be wholly exclusive of art) and, for me, sexism that can be inferred from art can often be just as important as sexism that is implied.

    Originally Posted by RainaAudron
    the image on the block is not the Priestess.
    Do you mean the second image? Is it from the chapel of the drowned abbey?

    Originally Posted by Psyonix_Eric
    Technically, she is showing the same level of nudity that the Raziel statue is in that his and her chests are both bare. This is not an attempt at sexualizing one or the other (or both), especially given how we've avoided doing so with our main characters, but merely a nod to the stylistic approaches that many of the classical Greek sculptors took to displaying beauty in both men and women. Our female here is not intended to be subservient in any way, and in fact our approach was far from that in that she is holding that which is most precious to her people. She is intended to be attractive, just as the Raziel statue is meant to be, but not in the sexualized sense - more in the "this is a thing of beauty, and we as the Razielim are the most beautiful of the clans".
    Thank you for taking the time to respond (likewise for everybody else). I understand the aesthetic that you are aiming for and the comparison between the vampire’s obsession with superiority and beauty and that of that particular form of Greek art, with its obsession with peak physique and beauty, is certainly fitting to the LOK canon and inspired artistically. However, there are important differences between the statues:
    -Raziel’s statue is not nude to quite the same degree. His attire covers more.
    -The female (I note you don’t actually refer to her as the/a priestess, so perhaps she isn’t, and you said “her people”; is she a vampire?) is kneeling to make a blood offering to her gods/kin (is this not subservient?), whereas Raziel’s statue, with its lowered sword and skull in hand, radiates the power of the conquering warrior.

    I appreciate with your playable characters that you have not sexualised them and I am not suggesting that you are intending to sexualise her, but I did infer sexualisation, intentional or otherwise. I did note the alchemists wearing practical armour… it made me smile. I have been pretty impressed by almost everything so far.

    A last note, I don’t object to all portrayals of beauty or sexual beauty and I certainly don’t object to the vanity aspect of the Razielim, but this does look a little uneven to me.

    Originally Posted by Lord_Aevum
    On the topic of partiarchy, I don't think discrimination based on sexuality comes into Nosgoth as it was envisioned in Soul Reaver. It would be a disrespectful garbage argument for me to suggest the same old horrid fallacy that Amy Hennig is a woman and therefore her story contains no male gender bias, but wholly apart from that, she has actually stated her egalitarian notions in an interview.

    I really think the supposed male domination in Kain's empire is as innocent as the Sarafan commanders/vampire lieutenants just happened to be from a male brotherhood, and the Priestess just happened to be female. Those characters' gender doesn't really make a difference in the story. It's pretty arbitrary in practice and conceptually interchangeable, especially with Zephon the Alien Queen, hehe.

    Other than that, they are seven men, it's true.
    Thanks for the link. An interesting read. Again, I did not mean that elements of sexual bias in SR1 were intentional and I was referring more to the series as a whole rather than just SR1. I agree that the layout of Kain’s empire just happened to based on the brotherhood of the Sarafan, so this works quite well. My disappointment was more to do with a lack of main female characters throughout the series.

    Interesting that you mention Zephon, since the vampires are supposed to be sterile and I’ve sometimes wondered whether the makers ever redefined the bundles, or whether they just considered them infertile eggs.

    Originally Posted by Hashakgik888
    For my part, I am in the "aesthetic, not sexual" corner, Classics-lover that I am. As Eric pointed out, the nude Priestess statue displays the same degree of nudity present in the Raziel statue, which is more egalitarian than anything else. I'd actually be happy to see depictions of Raziel with even less clothing than he currently has there. After all, we have seen depictions of Kain and his lieutenants in vestments other than their official military uniforms - remember the amazingly cool SR1 menu screen showing them almost as beatific figures in religious-looking robes? I think that statues of Raziel in various states of undress or less dress scattered around his underground city would fit the theme of idealizing aesthetic beauty well. As others have mentioned here, the Razielim are meant to be the most beautiful and they certainly do idolize that beauty; I can picture quite clearly a statue of Raziel lounging on a couch with a totally bare chest and shoulders and maybe a sheet or skirt just barely covering his genitals so that the angles of his oblique muscles heading down toward his groin are visible. This would not seem out of place to me and, in fact, I would greatly appreciate it.
    As I said before, I don’t think sexuality and aesthetics divide into separate corners. I think I covered most of my intended response to your first paragraph in my response to Eric. I wouldn’t have any problem either with depictions of the Razielim’s beauty, but I don’t agree that the current imagery is balanced.

    Originally Posted by Hashakgik888
    Furthermore, I would also humbly suggest - without intending to offend anyone - that accusing bare breasts of being objectifying when they are intended (rather clearly, in my opinion) to be artistic is more sexist than what the accusation entails because it on some level proceeds from the clearly mistaken assumption that women's bodies cannot exist outside of the framing of how men view them. They do exist in this framing, of course, and sometimes (OK... more like often) problematically so, but that in no way means that they cannot exist outside of it. Anyway, as we all know, nudity is far from necessary for sexual objectification; Umah's clothed form was far more offensive and sexist in its objectification than this unclothed but tasteful form. If anything, I think, this depiction is empowering, not objectifying.
    Again, I don’t think that art and sexism are mutually exclusive and I did not say that women’s bodies cannot exist outside the framing of how men view them. My main point centres around balance. I would have felt I had a cause to object if I felt that the male portrayal was equal. We agree about Umah, but I don’t see any reason to view the depiction of the statue as empowering.

    Originally Posted by Hashakgik888
    Ruevergne, you may find this to be a tenuous connection, and I do apologize if this comes off as mansplaining since I am offering this for the benefit of the others in this thread as well, but going on the thread of Greek artistic influence, I think it's highly relevant. As you can see, the nipples of the statue are painted. Women in the Minoan civilization centered in ancient Crete, before the rise of the Mycenaean civilization in 1200 BCE or so, customarily wore dresses that bared their breasts and often rouged their nipples. In this context, they were not sexualized, but were symbols of female strength and significance. The Minoan religion was one that emphasized fertility, motherhood, etc, with a Mother Goddess at the head of its system; women were explicitly and implicitly empowered in this society. In fact, a great deal of the mythology from the Mycenaean culture - what we lump together as "Greek mythology" today - essentially served to legitimize the overthrowing of the Pelasgian (indigenous Greek mainland tribes) and Minoan feminine and fertility-oriented religions by the patriarchal Mycenaean pantheon that we know today. In this process, women in the Aegean region went from being empowered and in control of their sexuality to basically becoming chattel, with few exceptions (most notably the culture of Sparta, in spite of adhering to the Olympian pantheon: women there had no social stigma for being sexually liberated and their familial customs were alien to the rest of the Greeks). So, basically, I would argue that this statue evokes not sexual objectification but empowerment and religious deference. It depicts her truly as a powerful Priestess, the highest-up in the religious hierarchy and most connected to the life- and strength-giving blood (again, the theme of fertility). Combined with the clearly Classically inspired aesthetic elements such as the white marble, to me, this is the furthest thing from objectification.
    An interesting read and you certainly seem to know your classics, but I’m not convinced. Obviously, being chattel is worse than being ascribed these attributes, but for a culture to choose the purpose - in this case, mothers, or fertile mothers-to-be - of an entire gender is, in itself, sexist. The Spartans, though far more equal than their neighbours, also ascribed roles and duties dependent on gender and I have read that sexuality in Sparta was not nearly as clear cut as the polyandrous/polygynous, sexually liberal picture claims. Sexual conquest, sexual favours, etc, may well have demonstrated a gender imbalance also. I believe sexual favours in politics, for example, were recorded amongst women more frequently.

    What “empowerment” are you referring to? The theme of fertility does not make sense with regards to the vampires and the blood is offering. And what does her semi-nudity have to do this “religious deference”?

    Also, “mansplaining”? Odd portmanteau and I haven’t actually said that I am a woman.

    Apologies to all for the length of this post. I didn't want to leave anybody out.

  10. #60
    Originally Posted by Ruevergne
    -Raziel’s statue is not nude to quite the same degree. His attire covers more.
    -The female (I note you don’t actually refer to her as the/a priestess, so perhaps she isn’t, and you said “her people”; is she a vampire?) is kneeling to make a blood offering to her gods/kin (is this not subservient?), whereas Raziel’s statue, with its lowered sword and skull in hand, radiates the power of the conquering warrior.
    Out of curiosity, how would you advocate modifying the clothing on the statue of Raziel to be more egalitarian? His pectoral region is fully exposed, no less than the Priestess's. His shoulders are not bare, but does that make that much of a difference? He is wearing armor because he is a warrior; that is absolutely 100% his role. Also, as I said, I would be very happy to see more fully unclothed depictions of him with only token coverage of clothing in order to more strongly evoke the Greek traditions. Even a fully naked one - think David or the Discobolus - could work. This game is rated M, after all, so no one who's playing it should complain about seeing a statue's aesthetically presented junk.

    The Vampire Priestess is a human who basically ran a cult of human pro-vampire fanatics in the Human Citadel. She had some magic powers. As for her subservience or lack thereof, her depiction in the statue can be seen as empowering, in my opinion, because she is symbolically controlling the source of the blood on which the young vampires depend. It looks as if she is deliberately holding it up above her rather than simply carrying it - almost out of reach, just low enough for the fledglings to get to it (judging by the height comparison), which conveys that she is showing agency in allowing them to get to it; she is not simply an object to hold the blood for their benefit. This makes her an active medium between them and the sacred source of life, which I would argue is empowering for her in the same way that all religious authority figures are empowered: they are thought of as possessed of a connection to the divine that others cannot have for their own, and this, for better or worse, gives them power within their cultural structures. I would certainly argue that this applies to the Vampire Priestess.



    Thanks for the link. An interesting read. Again, I did not mean that elements of sexual bias in SR1 were intentional and I was referring more to the series as a whole rather than just SR1. I agree that the layout of Kain’s empire just happened to based on the brotherhood of the Sarafan, so this works quite well. My disappointment was more to do with a lack of main female characters throughout the series.
    I think a great many people were disappointed with that, as well. It was certainly not the story's strong suit.


    An interesting read and you certainly seem to know your classics, but I’m not convinced. Obviously, being chattel is worse than being ascribed these attributes, but for a culture to choose the purpose - in this case, mothers, or fertile mothers-to-be - of an entire gender is, in itself, sexist.

    The fertility that was worshiped in Minoan Crete was not directly simply ability or requirement of women to produce offspring, but sort of an abstracted representation of the overall fertility and fecundity of the land and people. I.e., women, in this specific religious context, were viewed as parallels to the health of the earth, its ability to produce healthy crops and livestock, etc., but they were not simply viewed as vessels for this representation; it was merely regarded as an important aspect that was manifested as part of their natures. The bare breasts basically served as reminders of this idea of fertility and desired bountifulness, but it did not reduce them to that and nothing else. If I gave the impression that they were treated simply as destined to be mother figures, that is not accurate and it's my bad for not explaining it properly the first time. It's been a while since I was a proper Classicist, too, so I might not be doing the best job of explaining the details, ha. At any rate, to me the painted nipples were just evocative of Minoan culture, but I hardly expect others to see the same connection or think it matters.



    The Spartans, though far more equal than their neighbours, also ascribed roles and duties dependent on gender and I have read that sexuality in Sparta was not nearly as clear cut as the polyandrous/polygynous, sexually liberal picture claims. Sexual conquest, sexual favours, etc, may well have demonstrated a gender imbalance also. I believe sexual favours in politics, for example, were recorded amongst women more frequently.
    They also enslaved the neighboring tribe of Messenia and routinely committed small genocides against them to keep them in check, so when discussing Sparta, all things must be taken with a grain of salt. But given how long ago it was and the fact that the Spartans had very few prolific writers of note, so that most records regarding them come from other people, it is difficult to determine what is true and what is simply revisionism of previous accounts; even contemporary writers had a vested interest in making them look bad. Aristotle did argue, though, that one of the things that was wrong with Sparta was the fact that women had too much power in society and that there wasn't enough good old dude-on-dude sex One thing can be said about Spartan women for sure, though, I think, and that is that they were expected to enjoy sex in the same fashion as men and were thought of not simply as vessels for men's pleasure as they were in Athens, etc. I haven't read of the political favors you mentioned.

    What “empowerment” are you referring to? The theme of fertility does not make sense with regards to the vampires and the blood is offering. And what does her semi-nudity have to do this “religious deference”?
    As I described above re: her ownership of the sacred blood, which is the source of life/fertility. The nudity is striking of Bronze Age fertility worship, in which religious artifacts commonly depict female symbolic figures with bare and especially large breasts - again, not explicitly referring to women in terms of explicitly bearing children, but as metaphors for overall fecundity in nature. The religious deference is to the intermediary who controls the life-giving blood in this same way.

    Also, “mansplaining”? Odd portmanteau and I haven’t actually said that I am a woman.
    It's been around for some time, actually, but it doesn't assume that the target is a woman
    Last edited by Hashakgik888; 24th Apr 2014 at 09:38.

  11. #61
    Originally Posted by Hashakgik888
    The Vampire Priestess is a human who basically ran a cult of human pro-vampire fanatics in the Human Citadel. She had some magic powers. As for her subservience or lack thereof, her depiction in the statue can be seen as empowering, in my opinion, because she is symbolically controlling the source of the blood on which the young vampires depend. It looks as if she is deliberately holding it up above her rather than simply carrying it - almost out of reach, just low enough for the fledglings to get to it )judging by the height comparison), which conveys that she is showing agency in allowing them to get to it; she is not simply an object to hold the blood for their benefit. This makes her an active medium between them and the sacred source of life, which I would argue is empowering for her in the same way that all religious authority figures are empowered: they are thought of as possessed of a connection to the divine that others cannot have for their own, and this, for better or worse, gives them power within their cultural structures. I would certainly argue that this applies to the Vampire Priestess.
    This is an extremely accurate, extremely elegant way of putting what our aim was for this statue.

  12. #62
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Slovakia
    Posts
    3,075
    Do you mean the second image? Is it from the chapel of the drowned abbey?
    Yes, the block in the Chapel does not have an image of the Priestess on it.

  13. #63
    Originally Posted by ParadoxicalOmen
    This is new to me...do you have pics of this?
    If so...could you say it is anything similar to what Jake Pawloski is doing in LoK - Prodigal Sons?

    (click image to enlarge)

    [Edited by Moderator]
    THIS! After I saw it, I tried looking it up. I found the facebook page, but the website to it is frozen. WHERE do I find more info people?
    Last edited by RainaAudron; 24th Apr 2014 at 17:25. Reason: Image too large

  14. #64
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Slovakia
    Posts
    3,075
    Vallass: Sent you PM with info regarding that.

  15. #65
    Originally Posted by Psyonix_Eric
    This is an extremely accurate, extremely elegant way of putting what our aim was for this statue.

  16. #66
    ...Is there seriously a discussion on sexism going on in here?

    It's a naked statue. That's all it is. God, when did people become so thin-skinned...

  17. #67
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    7,649
    The discussion was serious, and not at all over-the-top as your post is suggesting. I wish people would stop knee-jerking that just because a question about something was asked, and a comment or two made, that suddenly it's the end of the world.

  18. #68
    Originally Posted by Hashakgik888
    Out of curiosity, how would you advocate modifying the clothing on the statue of Raziel to be more egalitarian? His pectoral region is fully exposed, no less than the Priestess's. His shoulders are not bare, but does that make that much of a difference? He is wearing armor because he is a warrior; that is absolutely 100% his role. Also, as I said, I would be very happy to see more fully unclothed depictions of him with only token coverage of clothing in order to more strongly evoke the Greek traditions. Even a fully naked one - think David or the Discobolus - could work. This game is rated M, after all, so no one who's playing it should complain about seeing a statue's aesthetically presented junk.
    I don’t actually advocate any changes to Raziel’s statue relating to the blood fountain. His statue portrays exactly what it is intended to; and it does it well. Any balance necessary could be met with other statues or images. I only compared the two because they are the only images of their sort shown for this area. In fact, if there had been an equivalent male statue (e.g. another blood basin) with a similar state of undress and a similar posture I do not think I would have inferred sexualisation at all.

    To avoid ignoring your other question though, with regards to the comparison, Raziel’s pectoral region is far from fully exposed. The centre of his chest, nipples some other areas are largely covered. I’d guess around 40-50% is actually covered and I do think this makes a difference. Nipples on both men and women are often seen as an important detail for sexual imagery; Take a look at images with them edited out and there’s a definite difference. Shoulders are also very important. There is a vast array of sexual images out there based entirely on the exposure of the shoulders, or even just a shoulder. Sexual psychology makes many references to the swing and shape of the hips and shoulders of both men and women as being important to sexual body language and imagery. Other regions of the statues that bear (almost wrote bare – Freudian slip) comparison are the exposed waist and thighs/legs.

    I should, at this juncture, point out that I do fully acknowledge that sexualisation was the not the artist’s (artists’?) intent. I’m talking now solely about inference, not implication.

    Originally Posted by Hashakgik888
    The Vampire Priestess is a human who basically ran a cult of human pro-vampire fanatics in the Human Citadel. She had some magic powers. As for her subservience or lack thereof, her depiction in the statue can be seen as empowering, in my opinion, because she is symbolically controlling the source of the blood on which the young vampires depend. It looks as if she is deliberately holding it up above her rather than simply carrying it - almost out of reach, just low enough for the fledglings to get to it (judging by the height comparison), which conveys that she is showing agency in allowing them to get to it; she is not simply an object to hold the blood for their benefit. This makes her an active medium between them and the sacred source of life, which I would argue is empowering for her in the same way that all religious authority figures are empowered: they are thought of as possessed of a connection to the divine that others cannot have for their own, and this, for better or worse, gives them power within their cultural structures. I would certainly argue that this applies to the Vampire Priestess.
    Originally Posted by Psyonix_Eric
    This is an extremely accurate, extremely elegant way of putting what our aim was for this statue.
    Okay. It doesn’t fit with my original idea of how the vampire civilisation functioned (more of a “take what we please” idea), but I can see that the religion concept works very well. I would still say that it was empowerment through serving a higher authority though.

    Originally Posted by Hashakgik888
    I think a great many people were disappointed with that, as well. It was certainly not the story's strong suit.
    Thankfully, there is still time.

    Originally Posted by Hashakgik888
    The fertility that was worshiped in Minoan Crete was not directly simply ability or requirement of women to produce offspring, but sort of an abstracted representation of the overall fertility and fecundity of the land and people. I.e., women, in this specific religious context, were viewed as parallels to the health of the earth, its ability to produce healthy crops and livestock, etc., but they were not simply viewed as vessels for this representation; it was merely regarded as an important aspect that was manifested as part of their natures. The bare breasts basically served as reminders of this idea of fertility and desired bountifulness, but it did not reduce them to that and nothing else. If I gave the impression that they were treated simply as destined to be mother figures, that is not accurate and it's my bad for not explaining it properly the first time. It's been a while since I was a proper Classicist, too, so I might not be doing the best job of explaining the details, ha. At any rate, to me the painted nipples were just evocative of Minoan culture, but I hardly expect others to see the same connection or think it matters.
    The inclusion of the fertility/fecundity metaphor with regards to women and/or their role (and even worship/apotheosis of such) doesn’t mean that it was not sexist. Like art and aesthetics, the concept of divinity is not exclusive of sexism. I take your point about women not being “treated simply as destined to be mother figures” and that they were not reduced to just this idea of fertility and desired bountifulness, but they were ascribed these ideas and on an individual basis that would be, nowadays, a violation of a woman’s right to choose her purpose.

    Not at all; glad someone can enjoy the connection.

    Originally Posted by Hashakgik888
    They also enslaved the neighboring tribe of Messenia and routinely committed small genocides against them to keep them in check, so when discussing Sparta, all things must be taken with a grain of salt. But given how long ago it was and the fact that the Spartans had very few prolific writers of note, so that most records regarding them come from other people, it is difficult to determine what is true and what is simply revisionism of previous accounts; even contemporary writers had a vested interest in making them look bad. Aristotle did argue, though, that one of the things that was wrong with Sparta was the fact that women had too much power in society and that there wasn't enough good old dude-on-dude sex One thing can be said about Spartan women for sure, though, I think, and that is that they were expected to enjoy sex in the same fashion as men and were thought of not simply as vessels for men's pleasure as they were in Athens, etc. I haven't read of the political favors you mentioned.
    Good old Aristotle. Isn’t he sometimes known as the “father of modern logic”? Some very ‘logical’ thinking there... Typical Athenian; so progressive in some ways and biased in others. Even Socrates had slaves… or at least a slave.

    Regarding Spartan women and sex, perhaps you’re right, but I’m going to take your prior advice and take the idea with a grain of salt. Some ideas about women and sexuality seem to be so ubiquitous that I have doubts.

    I did try to find you something about the sexual favours I mentioned, but searches only turn up material regarding homosexuality in Sparta, which seem to exclude women and therefore aren’t relevant.

    Originally Posted by Hashakgik888
    As I described above re: her ownership of the sacred blood, which is the source of life/fertility. The nudity is striking of Bronze Age fertility worship, in which religious artifacts commonly depict female symbolic figures with bare and especially large breasts - again, not explicitly referring to women in terms of explicitly bearing children, but as metaphors for overall fecundity in nature. The religious deference is to the intermediary who controls the life-giving blood in this same way.
    Okay, this works for me. The last line in particular.

    Originally Posted by Hashakgik888
    It's been around for some time, actually, but it doesn't assume that the target is a woman
    I had to look it up and I’m afraid the definitions disagree with you. All of them essentially amounted to - A man explaining something in a patronising fashion to a woman because of assumed inferior knowledge based on gender. Don’t worry though; that’s not how it came across. I’m curious… are you inclined to think that I am a woman?


  19. #69
    Originally Posted by The_Hylden
    The discussion was serious, and not at all over-the-top as your post is suggesting. I wish people would stop knee-jerking that just because a question about something was asked, and a comment or two made, that suddenly it's the end of the world.
    With all due respect, I'd say the fact that the very presence of nudity seems to have invited a whole rabble about sexism, over-sexualization and objectification is the very essence of "over-the-top"...

    Seriously, it's a couple of bare breasts and someone's immediately off talking about "highly sexualized imagery". Now, that's not the end of the world by any means but it's still pretty ridiculous. I wish people would stop going off on sexism/objectification tangents every time a female nipple appears anywhere in modern media.

    Far as I can tell, there are two ways to look at it:

    - The earlier post on how she's 'controlling' the blood source, ergo empowering herself as much as she can despite forced servitude.

    - She's being objectified but only as much as any other human in this lore. Does she need to be nude? Not really. Would you bother to dress a cow? Not really. Humans are cattle to their masters in Nosgoth. It's not a matter of sexualization, it's a matter of vampires being douches. xD


    (And just a stray observation: If one looks at a kneeling woman, topless or otherwise, and immediately thinks of sex...Well, I'd say that's a personal issue. Just because your own viewpoint immediately jumps to "Gee, that subservient woman sure turns me on!" doesn't mean the artists or other developers had sexist or sexualizing intent.)
    Last edited by Ygdrasel; 24th Apr 2014 at 23:22.

  20. #70
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    980
    I think Ruevergne should feel welcome to present his/her concerns on this topic, without fear of mockery or dismissal. We may disagree, but I don't think it's inherently ridiculous or prudish to raise the subject. It's fair game to bring it up simply by virtue of the fact that Legacy of Kain never really has presented explicit nudity of this kind (except in Defiance, arguably).

    I have zero qualms about swearing, as an individual, but I was quick to argue against the f-bombs in Nosgoth because they just don't apply to my personal vision of that world. The context of the discussion is more important than any tropism you may feel it evokes.
    "A return to Nosgoth is not necessarily always welcome: only the attainment of that final gnosis will satisfy us." – Sam Zucchi

  21. #71
    Please do keep comments to each other polite. For the most part this topic has stayed very respectful, I just want to make sure that it stays that way because topics like sexism can be a hot button that people can be passionate about. I don't look to steal anyone's passion, just so long as you're nice about how you present it.

  22. #72
    Originally Posted by Ruevergne
    I don’t actually advocate any changes to Raziel’s statue relating to the blood fountain. His statue portrays exactly what it is intended to; and it does it well. Any balance necessary could be met with other statues or images.
    .

    OK, fair enough. I did say earlier that I'd like to see more mostly nude statues of Raziel in the classical Greek fashion (mostly due to my own artistic preference, ha). That should take care of any potential balance problems, in my view.

    Okay. It doesn’t fit with my original idea of how the vampire civilisation functioned (more of a “take what we please” idea), but I can see that the religion concept works very well. I would still say that it was empowerment through serving a higher authority though.
    I think that that's a problematic way of looking at it, though, since if we follow that train of thought to its logical conclusion the only one in Nosgoth who is not empowered through serving a higher authority is Kain, and even he is subject to the Wheel and fate in general. These characters should be regarded as more than simply their subservience. Serving a higher authority is not necessarily a bad thing if done with consent, as it appears that she has done. Indeed, the vampire civilization for the most part followed "might makes right" ideals, particularly in regard to humans, and from a social science perspective this should be much more problematic than the Priestess. However, while it can be fun and interesting to discuss these implications philosophically, I do not think that these implications mean that the games should have to be changed to be more accommodating.

    Good old Aristotle. Isn’t he sometimes known as the “father of modern logic”? Some very ‘logical’ thinking there... Typical Athenian; so progressive in some ways and biased in others. Even Socrates had slaves… or at least a slave.
    Yes, well, one thing that I think is important to remember is that ideological purity is neither practical nor feasible for reasons like this. Adhering to his view of logic and following it to its conclusion, combined with some rather odd assumptions in the beginning, led to weird conclusions like this, such as how whether men were tops or bottoms was determined by how the semen lay in their bodies. Very bizarre stuff. Plato is also a good example of how crazy ideological purity can get: no actors allowed in the City because actors are liars. So, in short, you have to take the good and sift out the bizarre.

    Okay, this works for me. The last line in particular.
    Cool I'm glad we were able to reach a common understanding.

    I had to look it up and I’m afraid the definitions disagree with you. All of them essentially amounted to - A man explaining something in a patronising fashion to a woman because of assumed inferior knowledge based on gender. Don’t worry though; that’s not how it came across. I’m curious… are you inclined to think that I am a woman?
    I can assure you that I've seen men do it to other men. The term was originally coined to describe addressing women, but it can easily apply to anyone. In my experience, people who think that they know everything usually assume that nobody else does, regardless of the latter's gender

    It's much more important and relevant that you are a passionate LoK fan who wants to see this game be as good as it possibly can be than what your gender is. But this is the internet, so I have no guarantee that you're even human! I could be a dog, for all you know

    Originally Posted by Ygdrasel

    - The earlier post on how she's 'controlling' the blood source, ergo empowering herself as much as she can despite forced servitude.
    To be clear, as far as I'm aware, there's nothing to suggest forced servitude in the case of the Priestess or the cult in general. The Wiki says that the members of the cult "worshiped the vampires of Kain's empire as if they were gods." Even the humans in the Citadel who weren't part of the cult still knelt before Raziel; there was nothing forced about it.

    - She's being objectified but only as much as any other human in this lore. Does she need to be nude? Not really. Would you bother to dress a cow? Not really. Humans are cattle to their masters in Nosgoth. It's not a matter of sexualization, it's a matter of vampires being douches. xD
    There are two things I'd like to say to this. The first is that the cow metaphor is not terribly apt here because she's not being portrayed in the context of humans' existing as a resource for vampires to exploit; that is not her role. Humanity writ large may be (and is) equated to "cattle" by the vampires, but the Priestess is afforded a special status by her cult.


    The second thing that I'd like to say is that being objectified as a resource is in no way identical to being objectified sexually. In fact, one thing that I've always liked about LoK is its steadfast refusal to engage in sexualization of any kind in the vampire/human relationship; this particular aspect is something I find extremely distasteful in its appearance in nearly all other vampire-related stories. To a vampire, a human is prey - a resource to be seized and exploited, not coveted sexually. A lion is not sexually attracted to a gazelle; it simply views it as a resource to be taken. Vampires view humans the same way. Sexual objectification has no place in how the vampires in Nosgoth view humans.
    Last edited by The_Hylden; 25th Apr 2014 at 15:22. Reason: Merged double posts

  23. #73
    I think the statue looks great. I have no problem with it because, well, it's a statue. A lot of statues we have from ancient times are like that, so it only fits the older world of Nosgoth.

    In no way is it objectification in my opinion.
    Now the females in BO2.... yeah... those were pretty bad.
    It's amazing how a statue can be more classy then this: http://i.imgur.com/7vVBB.jpg

  24. #74
    Originally Posted by Lirka_
    I think the statue looks great. I have no problem with it because, well, it's a statue. A lot of statues we have from ancient times are like that, so it only fits the older world of Nosgoth.

    In no way is it objectification in my opinion.
    Agree.

    Now the females in BO2.... yeah... those were pretty bad.
    It's amazing how a statue can be more classy then this: http://i.imgur.com/7vVBB.jpg
    Wow, yea that is pretty bad.

  25. #75
    I know it's freedom of speech and everything, but i find offensive accusing the art here of being sexist and objectifying of women.
    That type of thing is serious, and i feel like this has become a trend...Everything is becoming sexist now.

    And worst of all, this makes the team here waste their time explaining how it isn't sexist and how it's based on greek and roman statues. Which is quite obvious, on my opinion, and shouldn't have to be explained.
    Also, i believe that this might affect the artist and hinder their creative process, as he might get afraid of being accused of such things again.

Page 3 of 4 First First 1234 Last

Tags for this Thread