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Reader Comments (151)

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 8:20AM (Unverified) said

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Where was it brushed off? They did answer the question and they did agree that they need to look at it. Now, was it done with a bit of comedic side-action? Yes, it was, but that's how Blizzard's panels have been. It's never been all-serious, all the time sort of deal. Hell, just watch the Lore Q&A panel...they do love their job and they do appreciate their fans' opinions, but that doesn't mean they have to turn up in suits and do spreadsheet answers to every question.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 1:34PM Fakeassname said

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totally unrelated to this post but I think this needs to be stated before we get another douchebag post about how "this is just a bunch of prudes who want to take the boobies away from us", I figure posting this here will ensure that most will at least read this before posting something like that anyway.

-no one who is in favor of less sexualism with mmo's has said a single thing about preventing OTHER players from creating hot chicks and then running around in exhibitionist outfits, the point is being FORCED to play as one due to lack of alternatives.-

personally, I couldn't really care what other people do, but it's obnoxious when there is no other option besides playing as a tramp. isn't the underlying purpose of a mmo self expression in a "virtual" social setting? (otherwise just play regular multiplayer games) so what's the point if mmo developers are going to adamantly restrict avenues of expression?

last time I checked no one is going to get laid off of how sexually appealing their character is in a mmo (that one chick who put out for a flying mount doesn't' count) so why is it so morally apprehensive to have a character with small breasts, big hips, and a chubby face?
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 3:37PM Matix said

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@fake:

I'm going to agree, enhancing your point just a bit:

Yes, I'm in favor of players having a choice to make their characters sexy looking all the way down to the chaste school marm look.

But NOT ONLY am I pressed at female toons FORCED to look a certain way, I ALSO am pressed we can't make our male toons up with the hawtness. Why isn't there this option for the male toons?

OPTIONS = GOOD. Male AND Female MMO toons should be customizable with their looks, ranging from sexy to celebrate.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 8:21PM Fakeassname said

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I can live with that ...
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 8:21AM smg77 said

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Female characters in WoW are fine. Anybody complaining about a little extra skin showing needs a better hobby or something.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 10:16AM fairyfay said

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yeah i agree in wow they are fine for sure, i haven't seen anything odd ever in wow. it seems like most people that complain about it either don't go outside or notice most women around their towns. most young girls all dress that way. its just the way it is. get over it please
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 12:55PM ShivanSwordsman said

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You forget, that young girls aren't charging into battle to fight a dragon, or go toe to toe with flesh rending ghouls. A big thing I hated about WoW was the armor designs for women. I know you have your reasons for why you think they should stay in platemail bikinis, and I also know you have you reasons to mastering playing World of Warcraft with one hand. However, some of us simply don't like it, it breaks the atmosphere.

In fact, a big reason I picked up Guild Wars finally was the designs of the female armor on several of the characters. I also found it to be a very fun game, but what took me in was my female Warrior looking like a knight. Mind you, I started with a guy, and actually bought another slot just to create a female Warrior. Before you question though, I am in fact a man.

I hate and refuse to play a majority of Korean games simply for this fact, where men get the grand awesome looking sets of crazy armor, and the girls are stuck with "Hey big boy look at my tatas aren't they shiiiiiiiny? :D". With me it's all about getting into game world and scenario. You can't do that if your tank is running into the middle of a bunch of hungry dragons wearing only strips of metal covering her chest and crotch.

I'm not by any means conservative, but it'd be nice if women got IMPRESSIVE looking armor sets that were functional, rather than what shows their chest off the best. Perhaps you like that, however, when and if I roll a female toon, I'd like to look awesome, rather than getting chased around by guys willing to pay me to stand still for a few minutes.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 8:21AM Audacious said

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Embarassed more than anything else. I like to show friends and family the games I play sometimes, and I don't care to do that with any one who's mind isn't constantly in the gutter when a game has breasts and booty hanging out every where.

I don't personally care for it either and think it's more lazy than any thing else: full on armor that doesn't look goofy for the guys, a few strips of 'metal' or cloth that hardly cover the female model for the ladies.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 8:22AM Darkdust said

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I didn't care in the past. Now I have a daughter and I'm starting to pay more attention to these issues. Right now, where I am is that it shouldn't be so imbalanced: skimpy clothing should be optional, not the only choice. A false dichotomy between slutty and frumpy is almost as bad.

Or should I teach my little girl that, for her to succeed, she has to become eye candy? Unlikely.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 8:40AM (Unverified) said

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Funny you bring that up. I am more than willing to bet half of the female characters if not more are played by male characters.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 10:17AM (Unverified) said

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I have two daughters and don't rely on video games, movies or music to teach my kids what is and isn't proper. So in essence, if your kids end up being sluts or criminals, that's on you not some media source.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 10:29AM Darkdust said

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Whether or not a majority of female characters have male players behind them is sort of not the point. This isn't a "51% wins the race" situation, but one where many of us would like other viewpoints included. Certainly, the fact that I (as an adult male) might play a female character doesn't really help with how I need to teach my daughter.

Note, I don't think the "sexy" options in games should be removed. I'm more concerned with (a) variety of choice, and (b) NPCs.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 8:25AM Azimn said

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As a gamer and someone who works with the game development field I think this is an important question to ask. I can say I do think that their is a definite issue with the way women are often represented in most games. I do think that many game developers are no longer afraid of using strong female characters but there are some serious questions as far as female clothing options. Many MMO's have ridiculous female armor options, which tend to look more like a Boris Vallejo painting than anything practical.

I do also want add that just last night my wife and I were playing with the Fable 3 villager maker and she commented on how none of the options "show any skin". So I know that some female players DO want to have sexy clothing options, but I have also heard her complain when their are no NON sexy variations as well. I think game developers have to try and please their audience which is often a male one, but they should also include plenty of non sexy yet still stylish options as well. I think that Blizzard especially needs to be careful they are the largest MMO by far and they need to understand that their decisions will effect the genre as a whole. Also as such a popular MMO many of their players are women and they could seriously offend them taking this issue so flippantly.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 11:14AM (Unverified) said

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"Many MMO's have ridiculous female armor options, which tend to look more like a Boris Vallejo painting than anything practical. "

Interesting point.
And which is more "fantasy" of the two?
A Boris Vallejo painting, or a practical medieval armor?

It's just the way female armor is in this genre. The fantasy game.
Just as the male shoulders are often ridiculously proportioned (as are the muscles on the models).
Hell, the presence of trolls and taurens should be enough of a hint.

What's next? Will the dwarves be renamed to "little people"?

Sheesh.
Leave my fantasy alone. YOU go find another one.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 11:18AM (Unverified) said

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Just for clarification:
I'm pro-choice.
If the developers add both types, fantasy as well as practical, great.

If you find practical armor in the game, wear it.
Just don't complain if it happens to have a negative agility bonus... Especially if you played the ("but it's just not REALISTIC with a bare midriff in a chest armor"-card)
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 4:08PM J Brad Hicks said

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It's funny you should mention Boris Vallejo's artwork as an example of "unrealistic" women. Google for photos of Boris Vallejo working, and you'll find out that Vallejo and his wife were both competitive body-builders, that many of his male figures are self-portraits and she's the model for most of his female character portraits. To say that Boris Vallejo's paintings are "unrealistic" portrayals of women is to deny the existence of some actual women.

It's also funny, to me, that for the image above this article they picked a miniboss from the Carnival of Shadows in City of Heroes, as if that were representative, when they could just as easily have picked any of the characters from the Knives of Artemis, who dress in form-fitting but full-coverage commando gear and just as truthfully said that /that/ was how City of Heroes "portrays women."

What the two examples have in common is that if you pick and choose only the examples that prove your thesis and ignore counter-examples, you can prove anything.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 8:26AM Audacious said

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A link to a video of this HEINOUS act of their allegedly brushing off this question would be appreciated, though even if they claim they were going to look into it like the above poster said they said, I'd take that with a huge grain of salt: if one thing's been truer than anything else in WoW, it's that their artists can't be bothered in the slightest to update old art assests. If chainmail thong bikinis are there now, they'll be there 'til the game shuts down along with the rest of the world in 2012.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 8:31AM archipelagos said

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There needs to be a much greater variety in how women are represented in gaming, nevermind just MMO's, period.

Before I'm accused of being too PC - I love Russ Meyer flicks by the way - I am not saying that there is no place for the ultra-sexualised representation of the female or male form, of course there is, I am just saying that there needs to be far more representations of women not as sex objects but as characters; as actual personalities.

Too often, let's be honest and say most of the time, the design of women is only about selling sex and nothing beyond that. You cannot blame the studios only for this attitude, just look at the debacle in Fallen Earth over the change in their female models after release because of community complaints. There is a large playerbase that expects perfect, highly sexualised female forms and nothing else.

It's just very disappointing to see an industry capable of so much variety, so much creativity, generally catering to the broadest tastes only. Business is business, I guess.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 8:34AM Titula said

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With all the naughty sites on the Web you can wonder why we need sexualized female characters in mmorpgs too (even non-human females are sexualized), and how ridiculous and whory they look in their bikinis, and how these "armours" are unrealistically supposed to have normal stats.

Or we have the other annoying option of everyone looking like top models (Guild War, Asian androgynous models)

These complex games should focus on quality and imagination, not on exciting nerd reptilian brains that didn't evolve for 2 billion years or look like the typical movie and TV ads where actors are often taken for their cute appearance.

I was actually relieved and grateful to see how LOTRO was one of the few mmorpgs to present female characters in a normal decent way... Yes, you do need cloth and armour to fight and travel in deserts/mountains/forests and you can attract people by your valor and wit in a mmorpg if you want to be popular, not by showing your pixellated bottom.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 8:48AM (Unverified) said

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It's funny... I was just looking at the character models of DCUO and I thought, thank god these women have superpowers, or else they might fall over.
Sometimes the developers just get a little too overexcited, I guess. I used to think it was pretty harmless and when you can create someone, why not make them attractive? It's not like the guys in video games are your Average Joe, either.

But it's starting to get ridiculous, even embarassing. I don't have anything against a little skin, but have you seen the female models of TERA, for example? It borders on soft porn.
Doesn't really help the image of gamers.

There's another side to this, though, apart from the looks:
In most games, female characters have the same skills and strenghts that male characters have. For example, nobody frons upon a female warrior, but look how many jobs are still out there that are typically male or female, like technicians or nurses.

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