Friday, 13 January 2017

The Purgatory BLOG is back, but how to deal with Jesus?

Welcome back to the Purgatory BLOG!

How are you all? Good we hope, recharged, refreshed and ready for the challenges of 2017! We certainly are and today we start the year on two very challenging topics that we have faced whilst making Purgatory. But before we get on to those, lets refresh you as to what has happened recently:

  • Katz, Faith, Bobo, Le Vulture, Godmother, Shaquanda and Death's base have been completed
  • Small Daniels, Stevie, Marilyn and Ebony are in progress
  • The GOTG cards are almost complete, with 80% done
  • The rules have been attacked again, they are now reduced by a massive 30 pages since the start, simplifying the rules and reducing alot of the unnecessary text
We are really pushing on with the game but the world itself is also getting a lacquer of paint as well as we turn up the dial on the background story and some of the characters that exist in the world. Keep watching this space, that will again become more regular over the coming months. 

We experienced many challenges along the way and we can't talk about all of them but two spring to mind that we have taken the decision to talk about today. 

One of them is fluffy. Just what do you do with Jesus Christ?!?!

With a strong biblical underpinning it is very difficult to ignore the 'elephant in the room', Jesus Christ himself. You don't have to go to church or even have a religious background to know who this guy is as he is quite simply one of the most iconic, revered and well known people on the planet. With that comes the added pressure that this individual is so important to so many people. That a person, that lived over 2000 years ago can still touch the lives of our generation stimulates a profound degree of awe. Jesus may have left this life but he also left a lasting mark. 

There are many that seek to disprove his existence, more commonly people refuse to accept his standing as the true Son of God. It's an argument that has started wars, caused political outrage and led historians and scholars to pour over the Bible countless times to try and discern new thoughts, translating texts over and over to see if there is an underlying meaning to the words that so many of us have heard at some point in our lives. 

With this comes the secrecy that is a bi-product of the suspicion that Mary Magdalene survived persecution somehow and that the blood line of Christ exists in us today still. Scholars and individuals of renown such as Da Vinci and Raphael have pledged their lives and committed their finest works to illustrating the possibilities and unwritten stories, chief amongst these The Last Supper. 

Jesus Christ IS history itself and with that as designers of a world steeped in existing lore have a very challenging issue to overcome, especially as we have an 'edge' to our game that has a more adult, humorous feel to it. The biggest problem however is not getting him right, it's getting him wrong. He means so very much to so many, if only indirectly as an individual and as we say earlier, has touched the lives of so many people that there is a very real chance to cause unintended offence, which is something we really just do not want to do. 

Even by making him an Angel, the most notable characters in the game, we run the risk of criticism because Jesus was a healer, an orator, inspirational to all around him. Which means that having him perform a Meteoric Strike on poor Noah, killing him dead, may well be a step too far. No matter how well the design was intended, its a war game which in our final opinion, has no place for Jesus Christ. 

That left us one option. To write him out. Which is not easily done when the premise of your world is that anybody, no matter the timeline, can come back in the world of Purgatory. So this left as a real problem and one that has been floating around in our minds for a very long time. But now, we know we have the answer.

In the backstory, we suggest that there is such a thing called the 'Celestial Games' a place, where the very best of the best are taken, they represent the realms from which they hail, performing in front of the Gods themselves as a means to earn glory and favour for any given realm. This is all part of the Great Wager and you will be able to read a great deal more about this in the background section of the Rulebook. 

This seemed a sensible route for Jesus Christ. Recognised as a special and unique individual and taken away to 'return' to the Gods so that he simply didn't feature in the world of Purgatory and was completely exempt. That said, we have applied a small measure of 'spin' on the story which has been finished now, so look out for a little page filler that will recount just what happened to Jesus Christ!

Now, to seamlessly link Jesus Christ to the next topic is quite hard, my poor attempt is quite literally that it makes me say "Jesus Christ, really?!!??!" whenever I encounter it. That topic? What girl miniatures wear...

The best way to start this off is with some facts:

  • Erishkigal, Siren and Jess are the fastest selling models in the Purgatory range, in that order. 
  • Erishkigal has sold over 130 models
  • The women from Purgatory are predominately purchased by women, 58% in fact are by female buyers
  • Godmother and Faith were the most sought after models in the design phase
  • Erishkigal, Jess, Siren and Hannibal were the only models that featured in the survey for "there can be only one"
We can only really talk about our range, because we have the data to back it up but we have encountered along the way a not insubstantial amount of criticism regarding what our female characters wear. Its very challenging to respond across a broad spectrum as everybody, quite rightly has a view and the male/female equality thing swiftly becomes a hot topic and draws alot of attention because everybody has a position on the subject.

So why am I talking about it now?

It is easy to be defensive and stand by your creation, something you would understandably be very proud of. What is intended as solid responses and thought out counter argument can degenerate as more comments come in and people get frustrated and misunderstand. This BLOG entry perhaps instead gives us an opportunity to explain why we do what we do.

Firstly, why aren't our women overdressed, military style or encased in armour? It's just not Purgatory, we don't want Sisters of Battle, we certainly are not Infinity, though equally we are not Kingdom Death which is very much on the opposite end of the spectrum. All of these have their qualities, in some cases exceptional ones as demonstrated by recent sales and popularity. 

All of our women are under dressed. It's a common misconception but no they aren't. Death certainly isn't. The common response here is that why make them completely overdressed or ugly when not a pin up? The truth here is that they are a direct reflection of their intended personality. Death IS an old granny, Siren is the temptress of the sea and Godmother was a prostitute. Simple enough perhaps. But there is more to it. 

Modern day women wear very little. Fashion goes through phases, things come and go in cycles as designers plot and scheme to get us to part with money for this years next best thing. The common denominator at the moment is that women's clothes are becoming more transparent and are made from a considerably reduced amount of fabric. 

We live in the age of celebrity magazines, coffee shops and healthy eating. The natural bi-product of these things is that people aspire to look like the people in magazines and when they achieve it they (quite rightly) want to flaunt it. On top of that, Sex Sells! It always has done and always will, the only difference here is that men can be sexy too. However, I am yet to see someone play a game with a catwalk male model in some boat shoes, tight top and torn jeans. ;)

The strange thing that most probably led me to pen this aspect of the BLOG, without having exact numbers to hand, was that in most cases (were I a betting man, i'd say 9/10) the criticism is from men, not from women. This surprised me quite considerably and in some ways it's quite pleasing to see there are these men that have this chivalrous streak within them that provokes them to defend the integrity and modesty of women. I think however a point has been missed and I would draw this entry to a close on one final thing, don't worry. As nice as it is for men to proactively seek to level the playing field and achieve equality in all things, something we are firm advocates of. Remember that women too have voices, they know how to use them, they just aren't choosing to. This can mean many things, one of which may very well be because they like the model and have no issue with it and in fact have bought it themselves. It's worth considering this before you launch into a defensive rant about the state of miniatures in the market place. 

Thanks for reading this BLOG. We hope that you enjoyed it. We are going to be publishing a newsletter in the coming days which will feature more artwork and some interesting updates on the game and background itself so please look out for this in the coming days. 

Until then, thank you again and all the very best.

Team Purgatory