I find it interesting when a piece of media garners controversy or negative attention. Now yes, there are certain cases in which art is made in a hateful way. That’s unfortunately a factor in this discussion. But, when it comes to art made with passion and no harmful intention, I believe most controversy and negative feedback should be given with a grain of salt. While criticism is warranted, freedom of expression in art is vital to ensure stories are unique, compelling and boundary-pushing.

An example of said criticism I would like to discuss is the response to video game “Stellar Blade.” This game is releasing in April of this year, and it is a Korean action game with a female main character. Seems pretty harmless right? This game has garnered a massive amount of fans, and with that, a ton of controversy. Why is that however? It all has to do with the main character, Eve’s, design.

Eve’s design is based on real-life Korean model Shin Jae-eun. The director specifically chose this actress because he wanted the main protagonist to look as beautiful as possible. Is there anything wrong with this first off? I don’t believe so. Art is an expression of vision, and having an attractive main character is not an issue. Then why did this cause such a stir? Many people have come to the conclusion that it is in ill-taste to have such an unrealistic image for a video game character. Artists can make their art look however they want, if you ask me.

This isn’t the first time this happened. There have been video games starring sexy ladies for years. These similar games have had controversies as well, but the modern dialogue around hot topics will always shift. I’ve seen many people decry this game, saying that this encourages unrealistic body standards. On one hand, I agree and see where they’re coming from. But also, this character is based on a real model. Yes, she is a supermodel — she is in the 0.01 percent — but she is a real person.

It would be way worse if Eve’s design was completely fabricated and not based off of a real woman, and she has a perfect, hourglass shape — I could see how that could be hurtful. Even if that were true, I’d argue against that, but what matters here is, the main character being beautiful is not an issue because it shouldn’t be. There’s nothing wrong with being attractive, and art should be beautiful if you ask me. The actual game doesn’t treat Eve as an object. She’s the main character. She’s not showing skin and while her outfit is very form-fitting, it is not revealing. There is no objectification going on, so I believe it’s a non-issue.

Going back to art in a greater sense, when controversy overtakes art, art fails. Think of some of history’s greatest artists. Many of them will face hate or intense criticism in their time. My mind immediately goes to Nirvana, the iconic band from the 80s. They’ve made some of the most iconic, popular and genre-shifting music to ever come out. How many people have had their eyes on them? Nirvana is known for being a stick-it-to-the-man kind of band, with both their music style and their aesthetic being very rebellious. What if they listened to their detractors? What if they let all that creative ambition go just for the sake of not ruffling feathers? Criticism is necessary, but sometimes, it just becomes unneeded when the criticism starts to negatively affect the artist’s reputation, like it did with certain audiences with Nirvana.

The genre of music would be different as we know it. Who’s to say that wouldn’t be the same for any other genre? Criticism is fine. It’s necessary so artists can improve upon their work. Critiques that calls for artists to stop making art is not constructive, however. Again, there’s a huge “if” here that I shouldn’t have to even mention, but again, if art is made to be hateful, I’d argue it isn’t art to begin with. But, to make a person with a creative vision stop what they’re doing because you don’t personally agree with them — well that’s a one-way track to the death of art.

Nicolas Scagnelli is a senior majoring in English.

Views expressed in the opinions pages represent the opinions of the columnists. The only piece that represents the views of the Pipe Dream Editorial Board is the Staff Editorial.