[DCIM] Pink Beard Option Please

Fanart, what a wonderful time to be alive when Fanart is alive and well and plenty. It’s beautiful to be part of a fandom, whether it be book, movie, television show, artist or other, and find a plethora of Fanart online. Sites like Tumblr and DeviantArt make it easy for fans to gain access to FanArt and share FanArt as well. It was on Tumblr I found artists like Burdge & Viria, both Tumblr famous for their contributions to fandoms such as Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and a variety of animes (bless their souls) that inspired me to jump in with my own contribution. They (and many others) make drawings that follow canon and/or are part of AUs (alternate universes). They also make scenes that take place in the canon universe but fill in plots that were never explored or expanded on.

Fanart is more about taking characters that already exist and creating art with them. It’s not necessarily about creating yourself in the universe of that character, like this week’s assignment post. That’s more along the line of creating an OC (original character) that will then take part of that universe. But at the same time, maybe OC-art is still Fanart, considering OC-driven stories taking place in existing universes still falls under fanfiction.

Either ways, here are my “contributions” to The Peanut Movie and the remake of Powerpuff Girls (and thank heavens in the original art style) using their official Peanutize & Powerpuff Yourself games.

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As you can see, both games have very different art styles, one more CGI and the other tradition 2-D. They offer a handful of options for each of their customizable settings (eyes, hair, clothes, items, backgrounds), appealing to a somewhat wide range of audiences from men and women, kids and adults. Both are fun, but I did have some issues with the Peanut Movie game.

What really stuck out to me in the Powerpuff Yourself game was that the options were very gender neutral in terms of clothing and hairstyle (I could make an ideal me with a pink beard!). Options for both genders (if it wasn’t gender neutral) were just put together in the same place (aside from beards, which really is just a category of hair in itself). Whereas with the Peanutize game, there was a clear distinction between the option of being a girl and a boy (that’s one of the first questions they ask you if you choose to Peanutize a human). I checked out both after I’d done mine and there are differences in clothing and hairstyle both–options that are more geared toward genderized roles (girls had plenty of dresses and tights options whereas boys had more tops and pants options). Even their darn glasses seem gendered! The glasses I put for the Peanut game are your typical library glasses with the wing frame, whereas these similar frames for the boy is more rounded.

Another thing I noticed was when I tried the Snoopy version, there wasn’t the same boy/girl thing going on, rather “small, medium, and large” options for Snoopy in terms of size (large Snoopy is cute btw). Their options are limited because Snoopy is a dog and there’s only so much a dog can do in their canon universe. They surely have to be aware not all kids are the same size either.

Both games just have me thinking about what messages kids get when they play these games. Even though they may not think about it on the level I did (a level I wouldn’t have considered if I weren’t so concerned with diversity because I’m a diverse writer), and I know I’ve suddenly made this whole assignment political by bringing gender into the mix, but it’s never too early to discuss these matters. They’ve sorta hit cultural diversity by including many options for skin colors, but the gender thing came off as the usual binary.

And I get there is only so much the designers could do to make the game simple and easy that even a toddler can figure it out. Having too many options complicates things for both the creators and the users, as it’ll be harder to finish with a few steps. But there are ways to subtly and casually break the binary such as allowing “female” characters to have beards or allowing “male” characters to wear tutus. The Peanut Movie blends both options in their version for Snoopy, but for humans…girls go here, boys go there. And even though Powerpuff Girls seem to be more geared toward little girls, they still included the male options just in case they do happen to have little boy fans.

Those are just my thoughts. Too much musing maybe, and maybe not enough. Fun games nonetheless, but just something to think about when you give it a go.

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Now if only I can grow a beard, then would my life be complete.

Sorry not sorry. Avandeash!

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Johene Pauline

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3 thoughts on “[DCIM] Pink Beard Option Please

  1. I love how your characters came out! I really like the choice of glasses you chose. You brought up great points that I didn’t even realize!

    Like

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