There's a really telling comment thread over on Kotaku about Mirror's Edge. The story is: A fan did an alternate version of Faith, the main character; the original developer offers a snarky remark. But though that's an interesting enough story on its own, for me, the real story unfolds in the comments, where passionate views are exchanged regarding which version of Faith looks better. And the definition of better doesn't appear to be "more in fitting with the character the designers were trying to portray" so much as "I think is hotter."
And this is where I grit my teeth and roll my eyes. Somebody explain to me why Faith has to look good in the first place? I mean, when's the last time you heard somebody complaining that Mario isn't buff enough? That Master Chief is decent, but he needs to show more skin? Is there any fan art out there of Niko Bellic with highlights in his hair and packing a little extra heat in his pants, if you know what I mean?
Found via Wonderland, and thanks for the exercise in digital anthropology.
Updated to add:I should point out that there are strong voices in the thread saying the same kinds of things as me -- I'm not calling out the Kotaku community as a homoegenous bunch of pigs, because they are not. I'm just pointing out that this conversation existed in the first place, where it simply wouldn't even happen had the character been male.