Channel 4 is using games to expose teen body image issues driven by fashion magazines and beauty adverts that display impossibly perfect faces and figures.
The broadcaster has commissioned development of Cover Girl, a new IP that puts players in the role of a desk artist at a publishing house.
The game will expose a slew of Photoshop techniques that enhance the beauty of models in billboard adverts and magazine covers, and as such, Channel 4 hopes that this will give players perspective on how Western standards of beauty are increased by unnatural methods.
The game – which is being developed by Sheffield-based indie studio Tuna – is set for release 2010.
“Beauty is a terrible thing,” says Channel 4 commissioning editor Alice Taylor, who back in September revealed to Develop that the broadcaster is investing £4.5 million in UK indies to create Xbox 360 and PC games.
“Beauty is an enormous industry, a fleeting thing to have – if we have it at all – and nowadays, mostly an unnatural product of digital manipulation,” she added.
“The daily visual barrage of sculpted abs, cow-length eyelashes, unnaturally long thighbones, skin without follicles: what is it doing to the nation’s self image, we ask ourselves?”
Tuna creative director Andrew Crawshaw went on to praise Channel 4’s outlook on creating fresh ideas and IP.
"There is a wealth of opportunities out there for independent game developers to flex their creative muscles without working for traditional publishers,” he said.
“Working with Channel 4 gives us an excellent opportunity to innovate and create something daring like Cover Girl.”
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