2020, laden with reports of a nasty, deadly virus, happens to also be the year of the Resident Evil 3 Remake – a new take on the Resident Evil 3: Nemesis game that originally came out in 1999. The new game was just released on April 3 – and there's already controversy.
On the face of it, this has to do with the character of Jill Valentine and her outfit. Not everybody is loving Jill's Classic preorder outfit switching from a miniskirt – especially when Jill's standard outfit has already been changed since the original game.
Jill's Resident Evil 3 Pre-Order Costume IS NOT her original outfit. They changed her skirt to a skort. I guess the Ethics Department wins again… ?♀️ #ResidentEvil3 pic.twitter.com/24dbdYnyrA
“There were a lot of discussions internally about that direction,” Resident Evil 3's Art Director Yonghee Cho said. “The original design of Jill Valentine was clearly going for sex appeal, but that was not the right direction. This is a very strong character, and it is a character that's going through a lot of adversity, so we wanted to home in on that and make sure that there's a certain level of believability in what she's wearing, a certain level of practicality.”
What's interesting here is that Steam, owned by Valve, allowed its forum moderators to go out of their way and censor people criticizing the change.
And a Steam moderator “SoupSipper,” apparently endorsed by Valve, certainly had no business shutting down a thread with 303 messages for “not being constructive” as they criticized the clothing change Jill underwent here.
But seriously – excuse us? What's not constructive about a gaming community having some fun discussing an iconic game's character and their fashion choices?
Gaming used to be an escapism outlet like no other – but now, it seems to be a mission. Not one to further promote that good thing, either – instead, it seems to want to somehow project prudish values onto games and, by extension, onto gamers.
Reality check: despite all the billions at play in the industry itself these days, that's not actually what gaming's about.