Street Fighter is probably one of the more classic arcade fighting games out there at the moment, and anyone who’s ever owned a console or stepped into an arcade has probably played some iteration of the game at some point in time. That being said, the game, much like games in the past, had its fair share of stereotypes.
In a recent post by Polygon, they dive into the fascinating and detailed history of the creation of one of the more iconic titles from the Street Fighter franchise, Street Fighter II, in which they bring to light some of the stereotypes that existed within the game. However there was an interesting portion in their report about Chun-Li that would definitely not have sat well in today’s society.
According to the game’s designer, Yoshiki Okamoto, he had originally thought to give Chun-Li, the lone female character at that time, a lower life bar simply because she was a woman and that women weren’t as strong as men, at least that’s what he thought at that time.
“You know how each character has a life bar? At one point, I wanted to make the power gauge for Chun-Li shorter than for the other characters because women are not as strong. But [another designer] didn’t want to do that. We both had legitimate reasons, but then we came to an agreement to not make it shorter.”
Thankfully that did not make it into the game because there are probably many out there who might have protested the designer’s admittedly sexist stereotype. Of course Street Fighter II was not alone in perpetuating the stereotype as many games back in the day were pretty unapologetic about doing it, but what do you guys think? Would many of you have taken issue had Chun-Li’s life bar been made shorter simply because she was a woman?