Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Spider-Man 2 Mary Jane Redesign | Is The Internet Overreacting?

Spider-Man 2 Mary Jane
Spider-Man 2 Mary Jane

Spider-Man 2 is about to release on PS5, and Mary Jane is already a topic of discussion. Over the last few years, the portrayal of women in video games has been a major point of discussion. Some believe that women are being over-sexualized, and others think women are being purposefully made ugly. As with all things, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Women playing video games are being sexualized. That, of course, is only one half of the truth. The other half of the truth is the fact that men are being sexualized as well.

It is not video game women, but video game characters portrayed this way. While this is a fact, a larger question needs to be answered. Why are attractive or even suggestive video game characters a bad thing? People keep complaining about the issue, but no one gives proper reasons for it being bad. That does not mean that reasons do not exist; it just means that the reason given is terrible. The argument always centers around video game sexualization seeping into the real world.

Spider-Man 2 Mary Jane Redesign | Is The Internet Overreacting?
Spider-Man 2 Mary Jane Redesign | Is The Internet Overreacting?

Those making these arguments, however, often state that video game violence does not lead to real-world violence. If that is your take, then you are correct. GTA will not make you more violent, and the women in Final Fantasy will not make you do bad things to them in real life. People who play video games and do bad things will do them regardless. This, however, has not stopped the debates from happening online. The latest topic for discussion is Mary Jane in Spider-Man 2.

The Mary Jane Spider-Man 2 Problem

With Spider-Man 2 set to release on 20 October, many fans are excited. However, there is also a smaller group of people who are always cautious against any new video game release. Over the last few years, many developers and publishers have become more socially aware. Some of them take strong political stances and often bend to social pressure. Whenever any change is made to an existing IP, fans are quick to react. Most people are fine with changes, but if changes are due to social or political reasons, fans will resist.

There are a portion of video game fans who believe that there is an active effort to make video game women less attractive. If you study video game women in a first release and then look at them in sequels, it is clear that specific changes are being made to appearances. The question becomes whether these types of changes matter. Once again, the issue is more complicated than you might think. In the case of Mary Jane in Spider-Man 2, personally, I believe that the problem might be a bit overblown. I have seen pictures of her, and I think she looks relatively normal.

The Mary Jane Spider-Man 2 Problem
The Mary Jane Spider-Man 2 Problem

She looks slightly older than usual but still primarily normal. For me personally, I would even go as far as to call her attractive. Even if she was not, I do not believe that it would matter that much. Based on current trends, I am just surprised they did not pull a Disney and re-imagined her even more. I thought by now, Spider-Man would have become Spider-Person. Then again, I do not want to give them any ideas.

Why People Resist Video Game Changes

As stated, making any type of changes to a long-standing video game IP can quickly become a massive issue. While people are open to certain types of changes, it often depends on how far certain developers go. When you completely overhaul characters, people are quick to push back. This rule holds for both video games and movies. People grow fond of certain characters. For many, video games are deeper than just a way of escaping. They find community in certain games and form bonds with characters. If you make major changes to how they know something, they will resist.

If these changes are followed by a pandering message calling you a horrible name for disagreeing, the outrage will grow even stronger. However, sometimes things also go too far. I have seen perfectly normal-looking characters in the past being called ugly for no reason. They wear regular clothes and look like normal people. Not every character needs to wear a mini skirt and look like a model. However, other times it is clear that developers are going out of their way to make someone look as terrible as possible to get a reaction.

Why People Resist Video Game Changes
Why People Resist Video Game Changes

They take an existing video game character who was previously attractive and purposefully change their appearance in order to bait a reaction. When people react, they call them horrible names. This is the reason why things can get so complicated. There are overreactions on both sides of the argument. However, I will get off the fence and give you my opinion. I enjoy playing games with attractive women. If I see a pretty girl on a cover, you have my attention. With male characters, it is the same. The cooler you look, the more interested I am in the game.

Does Video Game Characters Need To Be Attractive

I am a visual person, and thus, the look of who I play with is important to me. While we might pretend that this is not the case, the way other people look factors into our opinions about entertainment. I do not exclusively play games only because of how good-looking my character is. In fact, it is very low on the list of criteria for making a decision on what to play or watch. However, if there is an attractive girl, you do get my interest more. When watching movies or playing video games, people either imagine themselves with the character or being the character.

This is the truth for most people. Some stunning and brave people might lie and say that it is not the case, but they are likely being dishonest. With that said, this does not mean that every girl needs to be good-looking. There does not have to be a sexual component to every game, and sometimes, you can create something that goes deeper than looks. Other times, it is possible to do both. No matter what, people will always use visuals to sell a product. In most cases, those visuals will include the appearance of a person. Doing this within video games has sparked a large internet debate.

Does Video Game Characters Need To Be Attractive
Does Video Game Characters Need To Be Attractive

An entire saga called Gamergate revolved around this issue in particular. In the end, it is important to remember that these are only video game characters. They are not real. While certain imagery can be distasteful, mostly it is harmless. Both men and women like attractive people in their video games.


For Spider-Man 2, I think they are on the right track. The appearance of Mary Jane should not be an issue for this game. She looks like a normal woman and most of the focus will be on Peter Parker.


Who is Mary Jane Watson?Mary Jane Watson is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is best known as the primary romantic interest of the superhero Spider-Man.
When was Mary Jane Watson first introduced?Mary Jane Watson first appeared in “The Amazing Spider-Man” #25 in June 1965. Her full face was initially concealed, adding an element of mystery to her character.
What is Mary Jane’s relationship with Spider-Man?Mary Jane is one of Spider-Man’s most iconic love interests. Their relationship is a central element of Spider-Man’s storyline, and they eventually marry in the comics.
What are Mary Jane’s personality traits?Mary Jane is often portrayed as confident, outgoing, and independent. She has a career as a model and actress and is known for her charisma and supportive nature.
Has Mary Jane appeared in media other than comics?Yes, Mary Jane has appeared in various Spider-Man adaptations, including animated series, video games, and the live-action films. Actresses such as Kirsten Dunst and Zendaya have portrayed her in movies.
What is Mary Jane’s profession?Mary Jane is a successful model and actress. Her career in the entertainment industry is a significant aspect of her character.
Did Mary Jane discover Spider-Man’s true identity?Yes, in the comics, Mary Jane eventually discovers that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. This revelation adds complexity to their relationship and impacts future storylines.
Frequently Asked Questions

Table Of Information

Who is Gwen Stacy?Gwen Stacy is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is best known for her association with Spider-Man and is one of Peter Parker’s most significant love interests.
First AppearanceGwen Stacy first appeared in “The Amazing Spider-Man” #31 in December 1965.
Relationship with Spider-ManGwen Stacy is a pivotal character in Spider-Man’s storyline. She was Peter Parker’s first love interest, and her tragic fate had a profound impact on Spider-Man’s character development.
Personality TraitsGwen is often depicted as intelligent, kind, and independent. In contrast to Mary Jane Watson, another significant love interest of Spider-Man, Gwen is sometimes portrayed as a more serious and studious character.
Tragic FateGwen Stacy’s character is known for the tragic storyline in “The Night Gwen Stacy Died” (The Amazing Spider-Man #121-122), where she meets her demise. Her death is a memorable and impactful moment in comic book history, marking a turning point in Spider-Man’s life and introducing a darker tone to superhero narratives.
Alternate VersionsLike many Marvel characters, Gwen Stacy has appeared in various alternate universes and alternate storylines. Notably, there is an alternate version known as Spider-Gwen (Gwen Stacy with spider-powers), popularized in comics and other media.
Adaptations in Other MediaGwen Stacy has been adapted into various forms of media, including animated series, live-action films, and video games. Actresses such as Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard have portrayed Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man movies.
ProfessionDepending on the storyline, Gwen Stacy has been depicted with various professions, including student, model, and biochemist.
Gwen Stacy

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14 thoughts on “Spider-Man 2 Mary Jane Redesign | Is The Internet Overreacting?”
  1. […] The new Spider-Man 2 by Insomniac Games has been the topic of much internet debate. With the success of the first game, the sequel was going to face an uphill battle. While the game is still highly praised by many, there are certain decisions that fans disagree with. Reviews from both Critics and fans alike are extremely high. While you will never be able to please everyone, the majority of players are enjoying their time with Spider-Man 2. Certain outlets such as Gamesradar, IGN, and Screen Rant all gave the gave a perfect 100. While I hardly believe that to be the case, they might at least be close to 80 or 90 percent. […]

  2. […] Most recently Spider-Man 2 also came under fire for what people labeled an uglier Mary Jane. In that case, I also believe that the internet might have overreacted. The sentiment online is, however, that if you allow for even the smallest change, studios will run with it until the entire design is overhauled. It will be Microtransactions all over again. You allow for a few in-game purchases, and before you know it, gaming is changed forever. […]

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