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The Proper Use of Nudity in FRPG Art


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Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
You are on the end of not understanding the right of free speech, at least.

I mentionned free speech (ie: "artists, do whatever you want according to your creative impulse, not caring for how it is received and potentially containing offensive elements like nudity (among others), if it fits your own creative vision" so that more products are created, resulting hopefully in everyone finding art they like, possibly in different products), not right of free speech (which would imply a state is regulating what they can or can't publish, which I never claimed). The latter isn't really the topic of this discussion.
 
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MGibster

Legend
If artists ought not to care how their creations are received, they also ought not complain about how their creations are received.
I think any person brave enough to put their work out there for the world to see has got to have a thick skin when it comes to criticisms both legitimate and unfounded. (This is not to imply that any artists should be subject to abuse. There's a difference between being critical and being abusive.) But I don't know of many artists who literally don't care how their creations are received. I think I heard Iggy Pop once say about criticisms of sellouts, "I don't know anybody who gets up on stage in the hopes that nobody listens to them."

If you’re offended by art, it probably IS attacking you.
Eh, the Avalanche Press cover art certainly offended me, but I'm not sure I was the one who was attacked. Though if we want to get all deep into it, I suppose they attacked my sensibilities.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
If artists ought not to care how their creations are received, they also ought not complain about how their creations are received.

And now we get to the "What is art, and what is it for?" portion of our discussion.

This is simplified in this case, as we are talking about art for commercial reproduction and distribution. If you are trying to make money at art, and do not care how it is received, you are not going to be making much money. This is art as communication, and proper communication requires consideration of the audience as much as the speaker.

If artists and publishers really don't care what people think of the art, why isn't it in crayon scribbles by a 5-year-old?

(FWIW, that’s my personal approach. Someone liking or disliking my stuff is on them, not me, and their opinions generally don’t affect my future output.)

Yeah, I mean, I don't care about what people think of my singing, when I do it in my kitchen while cooking supper - other than my wife, that is, as she has to put up with hearing it, but she's a forgiving audience.
 

S'mon

Legend
If you’re offended by art, it probably IS attacking you.

Er? How does that follow at all? People take offense at all kinds of things, whether or not that thing was intended to target them.

"The real questions are, is that attack justified? Is it intentional?"

No, not at all. And on the latter point, what even is an "unintentional attack"?

Sometimes I really do think people are inhabiting two different thought-worlds now.
 



Crusadius

Explorer
I would agree, except you make it sound like every non-PG movie is targeting a "niche market", which to me is absurd - in that if it is true, then I cry for America; you guys are losing out on So. Many. Things.

Luckily you have the Internet. I don't mean soulless plastic porn. I believe the drive towards a near-complete separation of love, sex, and nudity from other content (like action, romance, scifi or fantasy) so you can only choose between sexless "mainstream" content on one hand and hardcore pornography on the other is deeply problematic and bad for you. Take Game of Thrones for example. Luckily it was broadcasted before anyone could seriously consider removing it from the air because it contained elements that clearly and unequivocally offended or excluded women. Yes, Game of Thrones did objectify women, but I remain convinced the pros far outweighed the cons of keeping it on the air.

In the meanwhile let me recommend outlets like Netflix where you can view content created without restrictive "American sensibilities" from countries like Japan, the Philippines, or France. :)
I am not an American, but perhaps "niche market" is not exactly accurate for movies. "Smaller market" may be better since an R-rated movie has excluded children under 13 (and their parents who are looking for a movie to take their children to) from its audience.

This isn't to say that targeting a smaller/niche market isn't a bad idea for role playing games. A publisher may get a better reception for their product when catering to a smaller audience than having it ignored as just another "generic fantasy" product in a market awash with them.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Scrap Princess seems to do pretty well. :D

I don't get the reference, but I can do a google search. There seems to be some confusion over whether it is "Scrap" or "Scrapped"...

The funny bit being that this seems an exception that proves the rule - it wouldn't be interesting art if the rest of the art world looked that way. It works only in contrast, and would fall on its own.
 




To make it fair and equal: both Fantasy RPG guys and gals gotta all wear cheesecake armor now. Yes. Yes that also includes. the Half-Orc Barbarian wearing the two-piece string bikini.
 

And, of course, Bards. Nothing but DM Fiat stopping them from making a form of Exotic Dance their performing art of choice.
And daily reminder: WoTC themeselves made this canon by turning the Brothel into a Music Hall/Venue, which means all the lovely ladies in there have levels in Bard that they can perform with.

Now that would be an art picture in a new gen Book of Erotic Fantasy. Now that was terrible art in that book.
 
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Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
And now we get to the "What is art, and what is it for?" portion of our discussion.

This is simplified in this case, as we are talking about art for commercial reproduction and distribution. If you are trying to make money at art, and do not care how it is received, you are not going to be making much money. This is art as communication, and proper communication requires consideration of the audience as much as the speaker.

Making money shouldn't be seen as the only drive to produce things. The huge amount of "PWYW" (for which people are paying 0) and free products shows that some people are creating without the intent to make money (they might have a Patreon, but I never really considered that as a payment, just a way for people who appreciate something to "tip", without requirement that anything more will be given in return). Plus, there isn't necessarily a single audience. Films are made both for "all audiences" and very niche market. Look at Starship Troopers. It is offending many people while others are finding it a very good film (I am in the latter camp but that shouldn't matter since I only use it as an example). I am pretty sure, at all levels, people involved wanted to make money out of it since it's an industry. Yet it is obvious that they didn't try to be catering to everyone, most notably families (since it's rated R) or fans of the original story (because it's not an adaptation of the novel) and others. And from the audio commentary, Verhoeven was absolutely conscious of catering to a specific subset of the audience and wasn't trying (and failing) to properly communicate with everyone.


If artists and publishers really don't care what people think of the art, why isn't it in crayon scribbles by a 5-year-old?

I'd differentiate artists and publishers. For publishers, I was very serious when I wondered that in this day of printing RPG products on your own crummy printer at home, it could be better to put out content without illustration (maybe just a cover) at all if it ended being cheaper to market. Sure I like art to which I connect and that I find pretty, but "average" art doesn't improve the feel of a product, so if there was a choice between an art-free product for cheaper and one including art, I'd go for the former (unless the price difference was minimal). It has been attempted by novel authors for centuries, to evoke a world with words only, and we still buy novels so the formula can't be that bad.
 
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UngainlyTitan

Hero
Supporter
To make it fair and equal: both Fantasy RPG guys and gals gotta all wear cheesecake armor now. Yes. Yes that also includes. the Half-Orc Barbarian wearing the two-piece string bikini.
I had a player that played a path of the Berserker Barbarian that wore a lemon yellow mankini, does that count.
 


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