Peter Parker and Mary Jane in Sony's 'Spider-Man 2' video game.

Complaints Over ‘Spider-Man 2’ Graphics Are Turning Kind of Sexist

Don't blame her for the game's graphical issues.

Spider-Man 2, the sequel to the hit 2018 PlayStation 4 game, has received mostly positive reviews. Some gamers have critiqued the game for having poorer quality graphics, especially when compared to the previous game, which was on a last-generation console.

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However, some of these critics are also choosing to frame their arguments in a sexist, ageist way. Sexism in gaming? Color me unsurprised.

Graphics Issues in Spider-Man 2

The graphics issues in Spider-Man 2 seem to vary based on a variety of factors. Many professional game reviewers have said the graphics are (mostly) an improvement over the first game and understand that the developers had to sacrifice graphics in favor of improving performance. The game also gives players an even larger world to play around in, which includes Queens and Brooklyn.

Part of the issues with the game potentially stem from having the game downloaded to a secondary drive, though this theory is still unconfirmed.

Of course, no matter the cause of the graphical limitations, gamers do have a right to criticize games, especially triple AAA titles from major game developers like Sony. Spider-Man 2 is $75 for the base game, in addition to being a PS5 exclusive.

However, gamers using sexist and ageist language to make their point is entirely unnecessary.

Sexism and Ageism


MJ is back for Spider-Man 2 & some fans aren’t happy… Maybe it’s just that one picture because she smiles like :)

♬ original sound – cadaea – cadaea

The TikTok above details just some of the large amounts of sexist criticism being hurled at Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker’s long-time girlfriend. The things these gamers have written are degrading to not just Mary Jane, but women in general. One commenter said that she “looks like a substitute teacher” (as though that’s some kind of insult), while another said that she looks more like Aunt May than Mary Jane. The latter one annoys me in particular, as Mary Jane is in her late twenties at this point and should be starting to show some visual signs of age. But of course, these sexist gamers can’t recognize that she’s not a teenager and visible aging is perfectly normal.

A lot of these complaints are also majorly overblown and based on a single image. To be fair, the image in question has poor lighting and does make the character look washed out. However, even if it were an image from the game, direct your frustration at the developer, not the character. 

At the same time, this also highlights a major issue with how comfortable people are with insulting “ugly” or “attractive” characters. Mary Jane’s character and sequences have improved from the original, with her being given survival-horror sequences where she has to run, hide, and stealthily take down Kraven the Hunter’s men, along with other things I won’t spoil. Yet some supposed gamers would rather focus on her graphics than her character, plot, or performance.

It’s an unfortunate recurring problem in gaming circles and one that brings down the whole gaming community, making it hard to have good-faith critiques.

(featured image: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

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Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.