Not Sexy, but Deadly: The Case of B. Orchid

Lara Croft. Tifa Lockhart. Cammy White. These are just some examples of female video game characters, introduced in the 90’s, and designed in a way to be sexually attractive and, thus, marketable. Yeah, during those days women in games were quite often portrayed in such manner. In general, young males were the target audience for video games, and quite many companies used to think so. There is even an old PlayStation advertisement, in which a man is encouraged to lock his girlfriend away, so that he can enjoy playing uninterrupted.

A Rare kind of Orchid

One of the characters of that period, although a bit lesser known, was Black Orchid from Rare’s game, Killer Instinct.

Image: https://gr.pinterest.com/pin/558587160003839080/

Black Orchid, much like Chun-Li in Street Fighter II, was the only woman in the game (unless you count Riptor, a female dinosaur), and the developers made sure to exploit that feat. Her theme song in the first game included some sexual moans, her winning pose consisted of her slapping her buttocks, and she was also given a finishing move that had to do with her exposing her breasts to the opponent. Seriously.

Killer Instinct went on a long hiatus after its second installment, although Orchid’s finisher remained popular in lists about controversial content in games. That was until 2013; the year that the Killer Instint franchise resurfaced under a darker, more serious tone. Of course, Black Orchid was among the game’s initial roster, however she looked a bit changed…

The makeover

In her new incarnation, Black Orchid has lost all her provocative mannerisms and attire. Now she is an agent of the forces of good, poised to bring down the evil corporation featured in the game. She is determined; in fact so much determined, she is at the brink of insanity. Also, this time, instead of moans, her theme song includes the line “Touch me and I’ll break your face”. Yeah, quite a makeover.

Image: https://www.killerinstinctcentral.com/orchid/

So, the example of Black Orchid shows that maybe video game companies are actually aware of the shift in the video game discourse of today. By making characters the non-sexist way, not only gender representation is more balanced, but fans can also identify with them more. As long as this is a genuine effort, and not a marketing trick, then all is fine. But that is a different story.

Header image: https://ngpatriotacademy.com/orchid-killer-instinct-xbox-one-wallpaper


related articles

Polybius: The Scariest Game that Never Existed (?)

People say that overexposure to video games can be hazardous to your health. But has there ever been a game that was intentionally dangerous? According to the legend, the US government, in 1981, produced some arcade cabinets which were shipped off to various arcade halls. Those cabinets contained the game Polybius, named after the ancient Greek historian. Polybius was supposed to look like your typical space shooter game, but it came with a twist. It was said to be addictive and would cause effects, such as seizures and hallucinations…on purpose. All these happened under the watchful eyes of “men in black” who would frequent those arcade halls and monitor the behaviour of people playing the game. Some versions of the story claim that the game was the product..

Playing: It’s Serious Business

Today we are going to talk about playing. But we will go deep. In fact, we will travel to the 20th century, when an entire new academic field, the field of Game Studies, was being developed. What? You didn’t know games can be studied academically? Well, you are in for a surprise! You see, playing games has always been part of human nature. As the famous Dutch historian Johan Huizinga would put it, we are “Homo Ludens,” which is also the title of a book he published in 1938. Then, Roger Caillois, a French sociologist, elaborated further on that in 1961 in the book Man, Play and Games. Caillois separated play into two types: ludus and paideia. Ludus, a Latin word, concerns the type of play that is..

Rare Action Figures

At the Arcade Hotel, we love figures and retro toys. If you walk around our lobby or stay in one of our rooms, you will have the opportunity to gaze at our wonderful collection of items from series, such as He-Man and Marvel comics. However, there are a few figures out there that is almost impossible to get for the regular collector. We selected three very interesting cases for you, to have a look as to what makes them so special. Vinyl Cape Jawa This one is highly sought in collector circles and always a part of rare figures discussions. Jawas in the Star Wars universe are known to collect scraps, but this rare Jawa figure with a vinyl cape (instead of the regular cloth one) will cost..