To say women have gotten the "short end of the stick" in diversity of game characters is an egregious shortchange—women have been given a replica of a tree, built of all the inadequate ends of sticks.
Imagination and aspiration are indelibly linked. When the only woman in your fighting game is a sexualized cultural stereotype or simply palette-swapped to create two women (to save on the cost of designing and animating a new character, of course), you are sending a message, if inadvertently:
Women have a "proper place," even in fantastic far away universes of the ultra-violent. When women in fighting games kick ass, it's done as a facet of their sex appeal. Avenging your father's deaths at the hands of the tournament's mastermind is no excuse, young lady. You get right back up to your room and change into something I can jerk off to.
Women and girls deserve a visible spectrum of agency, motivation, and ownership of personal aesthetic (i.e. women characters who looked like they actually might have dressed themselves). We buy the games and paint our toes while watching the film adaptations. We deserve to aspire—and FIGHT! Round 1—gives us so much to dream of.
Curated by Jenn Woodall, the zine is 44, full-color pages of original fighting game characters. The result is a vibrant tome of colliding universes—each artist was assigned a direction (left or right), allowing for dream fights between queens of rival yet-untapped universes.
More good news: the project's already been funded on Kickstarter! The even better news: there's still 25 days to contribute! And if you do? Such sundry earthly delights as limited edition screenprints and sticker sets could be yours.
The bad news? My list of "dream girlfriends I can never date because they're not real" has swelled up a seriously sad, few dozen more.
I asked Jenn to send me some characters my way to help ya'll get acquainted and wisen you up to all the ways this zine will improve your life. As you can see, she knows a measure of mercy far lost to the dire darlings of destruction found within her zine.
Two follow up volumes, Round 2 and Final Round, are anticipated. The beatings will continue and for once, morale will improve.