This image of, "The King," was what first brought my attention to this project. I had been reading an article on a war-gaming website when this unique collection of pixels grabbed my attention in the ad sidebar. The style and uniqueness of the monstrosity instantly enthralled me and from day one. I'm a big fan of the horror and macabre genres in general so this was right up my alley. As time passed more and more art was released from the disturbing (NSFW) Forge God to the beautiful (NSFW) White Speaker - Nico.
They kept revealing more and more pieces of art and pictures of molded game pieces were also released as the game's actual ship-date kept getting pushed back. While this is not anything new to gaming projects (especially on Kickstarter), it does make one wonder and wound up losing my attention because of it.
Everything is "art display case" quality and a pleasure to look at. In a round about way, this is also what has drawn some controversy and an ongoing debate to its doorstep.
With one glance of the image to the right, its easy to see that the Preacher Pinup character has ample breasts, hips and has plenty of skin showing. The feminist media group, Bitch Magazine, chose to write an article about it, saying how the miniatures are sexist, demeaing and only being used as a selling tactic. *Note: They also commented on the disturbing monsters - its a horror/nightmare game so I'm not sure what else they expected. While it is easy to think this way due to the history of gaming in general having many women that are "easy on the eyes," there are a few things to consider.
From a business standpoint, this market is mostly dominated by males and therefore its smart business to more or less cater to your crowd. I'm not saying that I support this one way or the other, but its smart business for the bottom line. This can result in the classic "chainmail bikini" style of armor that is quite often found in games.
At the same time I wouldn't be surprised if a good number of male gamers are drawn towards these buff male figures in order to embody something that they are not in real life. Escapism is a huge reason as to why we all game (that's an article for another day).
The human figure is an odd thing. Its something that we see everyday and yet its something that a lot of people are uncomfortable with. There is one area where the human figure has been a mainstay for practically all of modern time though - ART!
At the end of the day, I am reasonable and can see where some of the models skirt the line a bit (no pun intended), but overall the pinups aren't really in any straight up sexual/suggestive poses. Another thing to consider is that all of these women are not weak and frail. They are all armed, here to kick ass and take some names! And as far as their ample proportions go, I have actually read some comments from women saying how they were glad that the women were actually "thick" for once and not tiny little twigs.
I know that I will continue to support Kingdom Death and await more news as to when the game may actually come out (Q3/Q4 of 2014 right now I believe). As always, the best way to make your voice heard on a product is with your wallet: buy it if you like it, if not, walk away and don't spoil it for the rest of us.
"Art isn't safe." - Rob Zombie