Players Decry Sexist Portrayal of Women in ‘Harry Potter’ Game

Developers at NetEase Games attributed the sexually suggestive expressions to “3D modeling bugs.”

Thousands of players have accused NetEase Games of sexism over sexually suggestive faces of female characters in the popular mobile game “Harry Potter: Magic Awakened,” once again reigniting discussions on gender stereotypes and objectification of women in online games.

Players took their grievances to social media platforms such as Weibo and Douban over the weekend, saying they were offended by being the subject of the male gaze and prepared to quit the game altogether. In screenshots circulating online, some female characters are seen sticking out their tongues, and sometimes squinting, when assaulted by magic spells during combat in contrast to their male counterparts with no such facial expressions.

“If the expressions were intentionally made, they would rather be subtler and finer,” Annie, a 30-year-old who designs gaming systems, told Sixth Tone using a pseudonym for privacy reasons.

On Tuesday, the game’s developer apologized on Weibo, saying there were no intentions to “deliberately make negative content,” while providing details on the bug that caused the issue.

The previous day, NetEase Games had refuted the accusations, attributing the facial expressions to “3D modeling bugs” that left tongues “mistakenly” hanging out through chins. The company said developers had fixed the issue, and all players compensated with virtual lottery tickets. Continue to read the full article here

– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.