The sexy new version of the rAge Expo mascot, Roxy, caused “a bit of a stir” according to NAG and really pissed off some people according to the Internet.
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The rAge Expo is South Africa’s biggest gaming, technology and pop-culture expo run by NAG which takes place annually at the Dome in Johannesburg. The expo has been running for a few years and the rAge Expo mascot, Roxy originally looked like this back in 2012:
Now, the updated version of Roxy has sparked a debate surrounding female characters in gaming as well as gender stereotyping in general.
The new version saw “Roxy with a classic retro space pin-up feel” as described by the artist, Caroline Vos. However, many people felt that the new Roxy was inappropriate and promoted sexism and gender stereotyping within the gaming community. Many female gamers and industry leaders felt that the new rAge Expo mascot embodied how females have been misrepresented in the gaming industry, which was previously dominated by males. Some felt that the new, sexier Roxy was a step back in the evolution of the female gaming industry and for feminism in general. Also, the rAge Expo is, as NAG admitted, “a family friendly show and in hindsight the image of Roxy didn’t fit into this dynamic“. Ultimately, NAG decided to cover Roxy up with some more clothes, but keeping her general look the same. The general look NAG was going for was for the new rAge Expo mascot to be portrayed in a space environment, dressed futuristically in a pin-up girl pose resembling something you’d find on a B52 bomber.
Kudos to NAG for apologising and for admitting that they “should have taken into consideration all the current thinking on female characters in video games“.
Which version of Roxy do you prefer or do you think she should be done away with and completely redesigned? Drop us a comment!