What's "wrong" with Irelia ? Representation and general League of Legends universe coherence.

I initially posted this on another topic, but I'd like to know what are the justifications made behind the decisions taken by Riot. So, it would be interesting to know what are the thoughts of people (and maybe the guys in charge of those changes) apart from "she's way better now" or "She's not asian", and I'll show you why. Beginning with some things to keep in mind through the reading. Here, I'll try to handle issues inherent to the LoL universe about diversity. It might sound like real life issues that you'll quickly identify, but the point here is all about the universe cohesiveness. So guys, let's review all this stuff calmly ok. {{summoner:13}} Ionia has a heavy cultural background linked to Asian culture. I mean, there's this stuff about Greece, but it's nowhere to be found on any character or structure from Ionia, like, not at all. In fact, it was stated that the name was taken from Ancient Greek and the location of Ionia and its islands are kind of similar to Greece/Turkey. Everything around is Asian looking, from names to culture. (martial arts, setting, clothes, people, etc etc…) If there's cultural background linked to Greece in the LoL universe it's on Mt. Targon. Let’s set some things clear, beginning with the quality of art before any of you has the urge to tell me it's ten times better etc. Let it be real clear. It's simply beautiful and that's totally not the point here. But I’ll come back to it later. The most important thing here is ethnicity. Irelia is a great warrior and a proud Guard Captain. Ionia is written all over her body and personality . And there, she's not so Asian looking. What does it mean ? Be careful, I didn't say she's ugly. She's a beautiful woman. Why saying this ? If we bring smt about appearance, and here about ethnicity, ppl tend to think that because we think it's inappropriate it means she's ugly. See what I mean ? So, the point is that she is supposed to look Asian, and she doesn't. WHY is she supposed to be "Asian"? Is this supposed to be a real problem ? Non-Asian ppl cannot be part of Ionia ? Why "Asia" while it doesn't exist in the LoL universe ? So many questions, right. It does, in fact, matter. It's about ethnicity and representation. It has to be consistent. How many girls in there are actually "asian" ? From Ionia, we have : Akali, Irelia, Sona (before being adopted), Karma, Syndra. To this, we can add Ahri and Xayah, but they are Vastayan. (Ahri has a lot of asian features due to what she represents.) There's also Soraka, but it's a special case. So, among them, how many are asian looking ? Well... It's kind of inconsistent in fact, even worse if we add skins to the list. Akali is the only one to be spared by that... hmmm actually, Nurse Akali is borderline not so asian. She's next on the VGU list, we'll see. Something tells me that it won't be so different from what is happening there... Characters with their skins is the best way to see who they are and we should be able to recognize them by their facial features. A lot of things have to be taken into account. The artist, the theme, the character etc. Old splashart, new splashart, old skins, new skins. It's hard to keep in line how it should be done, and VGU with splasharts update is the opportunity to set things. For instance, Sona. On some, you could tell she's kinda asian looking and on some others not. This is due to the things listed up there. So, for Irelia, as she got her VGU, why would you change her into a non-asian character while there's a few of them ? We have 49 female characters and nearly half of them are white looking girls. The other half is monsters, creatures and a few girls from here and there that are non-white. And now we got this. An opportunity to affirm looks and diversity but instead we get Megan Fox. Just before Irelia VGU, we got Kai'sa. A shuriman girl. But guess what, she looks like Scarlett Johansson. What are the other girls from there ? Taliyah, Sivir and maybe Nidalee, since she's from the Kumungu jungle just below the Shurima desert. All three of them are actually Middle East looking, even if Sivir has some skins compromising that. Why is Kai'Sa like this then ? Her skin is white because of Void light, but it doesn't explain why she has no Shuriman (Middle East) features. What were the choices behind her design ? Is it a mere omission or was it done on purpose ? Why ? All tribes from the Shuriman desert aren't supposed to look like Middle East people... ? That's the problem here. For diversity you need to take care about those features that define people. You can't claim that Irelia is now different and it helps """diversity"""... Guys... Just look. Here we have Irelia Frostblade prior to the VGU. She has apparent asian features. https://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2018/12/7/1521997041-frostblade-irelia.jpg And here, the new Frostblade. THIS is more unique or just like "Irelia" ? https://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2018/12/7/1521997192-irelia-frost.jpg Aviator is cute, but... here. It's not even like Irelia. It could be a Lux skin with this look, she's just "like" her. https://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2018/12/7/1521997430-splashlux.jpg Infiltrator and Nightblade are the only skins where she has some asian features. Different artist ? Omission ? Why not affirm those features on the whole set of skins ? Ingame model is kinda "Asian" looking tho, it's ok here. So what ? You can't deny that there are issues on the subject. I took time to idenitfy each of them. She was more "Asian" before and now she is just victim from "Same Face". Quality of art is undeniably better, but it seems that the artist is only able to draw beautiful Holywood white women or was asked to draw her like this. Some people are satisfied with this, because, well, those characters are gorgeous and nothing else matter. But since Riot is determined to provide us with a high quality universe, they should be careful about that kind of stuff. Asia doesn't exist in the LoL universe ofc but Ionia is clearly an equivalent representation of it. Same for the Freljord and its heavy Scandinavian cultural background. Piltover and Zaun are an equivalence of the Industrial Revolution cultural influence. Shurima and its heavy Egyptian aspect. So on and so forth... Ionia is "Asian". Xin Zhao, Master Yi, Jhin, Lee Sin, Yasuo, Shen etc etc. You just can't say it's a coincidence at this point... I love this VGU and Irelia is one of the best champion with an awesome background. Representation and the overall consistency of the LoL universe deserve to be respected. Irelia should look asian. I'd like to see Riot being more careful about this because they are doing an excellent job lately on the LoL universe and things shouldn't be made mindlessly on this side. I'd like to know what are the elements that led to this. I hope you'll understand and share your thoughts on the subject. Opinions are relevant to a certain extent, like I could say that she has a fantastic booty, but don't tell me "I don't like her being asian and she's never been asian". We have to know "why" she's not asian and how. Here we need to discuss about "facts" and consistency, because it's not an issue exclusively attached to Irelia like I said earlier. So, let's begin, tell me what you think. {{summoner:13}}
Share
Report as:
Offensive Spam Harassment Incorrect Board
Cancel