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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Iran bans female LoL champions?

Honestly I thought it was The Onion I was reading when I came across an amusing article today, which explained that apparently as part of an agreement to hold a League of Legends tournament in Iran, the WGC would have to ban virtually all of the female champions. The only ones to escape are Anivia (being non-human) and Annie (presumably because she is a child). The full list after the break.

So if you are a fan of...

Ahri, Akali, Ashe, Caitlyn, Cassiopia, Diana, Elise, Evelyn, Fiora, Irelia, Janna, Karma, Katarina, Kayle, Leblanc, Leona, Lissandra, Lulu, Lux, Miss Fortune, Morgana, Nami, Nidalee, Oriana, Quinn, Riven, Sejuani, Shyvana, Sivir, Sona, Soraka, Syndra, Tristana, Vayne, Vi, and Zyra

Then you are out of luck because everyone on that list is banned. Ironically, it contains a large number of supports, something I have poked fun at LoL about before, but it does mean that teams will have to make some tough decisions regarding team composition with popular supports being flat out banned.

Makes me glad I am not a LoL player in Iran because that would cut off a large number of the characters I enjoy playing.

I am trying not to openly mock, as I believe in being respectful to other cultures, even those I do not understand, but cultures that are essentially openly hostile to the female body or women participating in activities do frustrate me. I find it really hard to show respect to people who won't respect half their population.

It is unclear whether it is due to modesty issues or flat out not wanting female characters, though some of them, such as Sejuani, are basically covered (aside from her face I suppose?). Kayle and Leona are fully armored in most of their skins. As I understand from the article, even covering skins are banned, so there is no way to get around the restriction by choosing to play the character in a more conservative skin (not that many of those exist). Though another translation I found says that certain characters (Sejuani, Fiora, Lissandra) are being considered, so it might just be the clothing issue.

In another vein, it does show the cultural bias of Riot and how the American/Asian "gaming" culture tends to assume that its perspectives are welcome everywhere, but that is another topic entirely.

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