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Reader Comments (151)

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 1:14PM (Unverified) said

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@fakeassname

Easy: Aion. If you ever played with the character generator in that game, you can make some truly hideous looking women. The "best of the worst" was almost always created by the Something Awful legion, Topgoon.

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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 2:12PM The Other Chris said

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@fakeassname

"yes, but the the ones who are "ugly" and "moderately dressed" are not going to be options for female characters."

Then you apparently have not played any of those games. There is only one 'pretty' female Orc face in WoW, much to the playerbase's disappointment. Female Trolls are in the minority specifically because they aren't 'pretty'.

City of Heroes has a number of female faces that are not even close to pretty, some with massive scars. You can make a female werewolf and werebat, neither or which fit into the 'pretty' group. You can even use a weird face-less alien or have a reptilian face, again, neither of which is 'pretty'.

From what I have played of LotRO and DDO 'sexy' outfits don't even exist in the game. You are Always moderately dressed. Are there 'ugly' faces? Not for the LotRO player characters, then again, that goes along with the lore of the books.

Age of Conan allows you to create some truly hideous character faces, with broken noses, misplaced eyes, as well as scars, and the body scales can go from thin to thick, and everything in between, and can also have scars.

STO allows you to create truly alien characters, with some very impressive sliders. Heck you could make a female alien that, from the face, you couldn't tell which sex it was.

Maybe you should stop playing Alliance and realize that there are a number of other games with an improvement in character creation that puts your precious WoW to shame.

"name one mmo where you can give a female toon a beer belly? name one mmo where a female toon has got a head option with acne scars? name one mmo where you can make a female warrior ripped like her male counterpart? please ... name one mmo with options for female character customization that do not adhere to the MTV definition of beauty."

Name one MMO where you can give a male toon a beer belly. Name one MMO where a male toon has got a head option with acne scars. It works both ways.

As for making a ripped female warrior, Age of Conan's sliders can get pretty close to this, though the textures on the body to lack the definition of the abs. Then again, the male models do not have the airbrushed abs from 300 either.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 9:05AM lizardbones said

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I'm sure you can find skimpy armor options in WoW, but most of the armors totally obscure the character. You can tell the general shape and outline of the model, but there's very little actual skin showing. This is the same for both male and female characters.

It certainly is an issue in gaming that could be looked at closer (ahem, Tera, most Korean grinders), but I'm not sure it's an issue with WoW, which might be why they didn't address it directly.

They should have known to treat the question seriously, whether they thought it was an issue in WoW or not. I haven't seen the video, so I don't have an opinion on whether they treated it seriously or not.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 8:57AM Wisdomandlore said

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As a male, I admit I like to look at sexy women. I also happen to think it's ridiculous for a woman to go into battle in a chainmail bikini. And I also know plenty of women gamers who only play male characters because of this. Let's be honest: the only reason women look like they do in these games is because the male designers thought it was hot. The only reason most players (men, at least) play those characters is because they think the avatar is hot. What kind of message do young, girl gamers internalize when they see this kind of behavior? Anyone who doesn't think it's a big deal needs to reexamine how profound an effect media can have on people, especially children and teens.

That being said, there are plenty of games out there that offer female avatars that still look like women (i.e. they have curves), that aren't ridiculously busty, have regular armor for female characters, but still offer some "sexier" clothing options. LOTRO and DDO, both Turbine games, spring to mind.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 9:09AM Darkdust said

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What I wanted to say, but you did so far more eloquently.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 9:31AM Tom L said

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Yup. Lotr:O and DDO handle the 'problem' (if you want to define it that way) well. The women are pretty much perfectly formed but completely clothed. The hobbit women are round and dumpy, like hobbit women are supposed to be. If the hobbit lasses had a perfect 0.7 hip:waist ratio, then there should be an outcry as it's a blatant slap at the lore of Middle-Earth. But, elf and human chicks make up for that.

I remember leveling a Blood Elf Pallie in WoW and the armor models were gratuitously skimpy. It was embarrassing.

I don't have an axe to grind either way. If you don't like it don't play it. But a little discretion is what I've come to prefer.

Ta,
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 10:09AM Its Utakata stupid said

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To be fair Tom Luongo...you could of rolled a female Tauren, Forsaken, Orc, Human, Dwarf or Gnome. None of which have ideal body proportions. Nor will Worgen and Goblin females have come Cataclysm. If your arguement was a choice between only Night Elves and Blood Elves...I see your point. But not when you have a variety other female races to play from....many of which will never make cover page of Maxim.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 11:05AM Tom L said

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What is your point? I was embarrassed by the armor models on my BE Pallie as time wore on. I normally gender-bend, being of the attitude that if I have to look at a toon for days on end it should please me. But, the BE plate armor models were my personal limit. That is all.

BTW, Troll females, minus the tusks, green skin and big feet, are pretty well-proportioned. I don't care if the game uses idealized forms. I think it's a non-issue, or, at best, a personal one. For those that think it's an issue games like DDO and Lotr:O handle it well. The bodies of the females are idealized but the armor models are more functional/discrete.

That was my point. I was not making an argument in favor of prudishness.

Ta,
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 11:16AM Its Utakata stupid said

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You know what my point was Tom, I don't need to answer that. /shrug
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 12:10PM Tom L said

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Wow. You brought up a completely irrelevant point and then won't clarify it when asked about it?

Of course I could have (and did) roll many a non-human toon. In WoW if I wanted to play a Pallie it was Blood Elf or nothing. (For the Horde!) Not knowing the depths of Blizzard's art department I hit a point where the armor I was getting was embarrassing to me. You let me know when I can make a Tauren Paladin, btw and I still won't come back to WoW.

Your point was that I could have rolled something else. Yes. True and irrelevant to the fact that the Blood Elf plate armor was beyond my taste. My opinion on this only matters if it keeps me from paying my sub fees.... which I'm not, but not b/c of the stupid armor models. I didn't like them. It didn't keep me from playing.

As I said, this is the biggest non-issue in MMO's. But, it makes for good comment fodder.

Ta,
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 9:05AM Alchematrix said

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While I roll my eyes at female armor in many cases, it wouldn't bother me so much if there weren't such an extreme dichotomy between male and female in so many games, especially in armor. My plate-wearing paladin does not want to show her midriff; she is not asking Arthas to rub her belly. My Outlands-travelling caster does not want to run around in panties and thigh-highs because that's the best armor she has available for her level. But, I can deal with them...

...Except the fact that these exact same armor pieces are full-coverage for male models. Seriously. There've been various cartoons drawn making light of this fact, but it's incredibly annoying when it's shoved in your face time and time again. If you want scantily-clad female toons, then fine; but make it equal-opportunity, make the men just as scantily-clad. There ARE mostly-naked men in fantasy settings, after all. Put some more of those in games, if you don't want to get rid of skin-baring ladies.

So while I wouldn't say I'm "upset" with how MMOs handle women, because there are indeed strong female characters in some (though I wish they'd do more with some of 'em in WoW...where's my Maiev, damnit?), I do get pretty sick and tired of seeing these same strong women also have the requirement of being eye candy, and these days there's no better way to keep me from trying out a new game than blatantly one-sided objectification.

At least I have some hope, thanks to Moira Bronzebeard Thaurissan making a reappearance in Cataclysm. Hopefully they don't fritter away her potential.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 9:14AM Transientmind said

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Just leave the character models out of it.

Let's look to WoW, the cited offenders, here. Looking at most of the male characters in WoW, for example, which words seem appropriate?

Buff? Tanked? Ripped? Huge? Impressive? Heroic?
...Exploited?

Reality check: there's a double-standard there. 'Hot' females are exploitative. 'Hot' males are admirable? This is why we need to turn to clothing. The 'chainmail bikini' versus the male's more adequately protective options. (Although, have you seen Garrosh's tragic new leather-daddy duds?) Clear inequality. THAT is where this discourse belongs, and it's all about the wardrobe. Textures. More easily modded.

Now, one could argue the point of perceptions of sexualization as relates to clothing, and the impact or importance of exposed skin to whichever relevant orientation... That revealing skin is a greater component to female sexuality than it is to male? There's a few CK ads out there that suggest this argument won't hold up.

But leave the character models alone. This is fantasy, wild and outrageous, and depending heavily on its cartoonish exaggeration, tapping in to recognized symbols established in the target cultural psyche by decades of comic books and movies of the heroic ideal. Symbols aren't about realistic depictions, they're about taking a shape that's been dug into the brain, and yanking on it to evoke all the paraphernalia attached to it. Put two dozen various real life humans on a ridge and look at their silhouettes and you'll see.... basically the same thing. This can't be said of a line-up of all the WoW races, and this is a good thing.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 9:33AM Fakeassname said

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I will agree that there is not much option for generating a fat guy with beer belly, but you would generally expect people to be in hella good shape for all the running around and fighting constantly, however compare hyper athletic females in reality with hyper athletic females in you mmo of choice ...
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 1:02PM Somnicide said

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@fakeassname:
Hyper Athletic Olympian....
http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq25/amanwadhwa1986/1-1.jpg

Hmm. Yup. Looks about right to me. What was your point again?
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 9:14AM Haldurson said

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The way I see it, games are usually marketed towards teen and young adult males. It's no surprise that females are depicted in many games as they are because of this.

Game devs ought to smarten up because by doing this, they are also losing a large portion of their potential audience. As an older male, I find a lot of the female depictions to be way over the top. But lets face it, some of the male characters are not much better.

I don't mind that there are shapely, half-naked women (or men) in some of the games I've played, but I would like to see a more diverse mix of body-shapes, and clothing. On the same note, as an older person, there's also something to be said for having a more age-diverse mix of character models than some games have. But maybe that's just me.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 9:23AM Tom in VA said

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At least some games offer "workarounds" to this problem. I never used the Hero Jora in Guild Wars because she was basically dressed as a Playboy bunny (Miss January!) rather than a warrior, but at least I wasn't required to bring her along (for most of the game, anyway); many of the elementalist females in GW looked like they belonged in some harem or brothel.

I generally avoid games -- like TERA -- that look like they were designed for 12-year-old boys with raging hormone issues. LotRO has been mentioned as a game with sensible and realistic female armors. I wish more MMOs would do likewise. I wonder if that's part of the reason the LotRO player population seems so much more mature generally than the WoW player population...

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 9:33AM Pewpdaddy said

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Just like anything else there is certainly a point where the over the top simply becomes too much. I posted about this yesterday in the TERA post for their vid. I got jumped because the game is gonna be so "awsomes" ... This can and has made me avoid games for the reasons mentioned above. I stopped playing FPS's because of the 12 year olds. I don't need them crying about dying because their idiots(Ima healer typically). Can't heal stupid and most of the time you can't help it either.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 9:33AM dudes said

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Women are psycho's anyway. They probably enjoy hacking and slashing in their shield-maiden outfits. Especially when it's against men.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 9:43AM (Unverified) said

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I agree with the idea that women are turned into sexual objects. Many gaming companies care about numbers and sex sells the best. On top of that it can be used to divert the attention of players to the farc that some are really bad games. Specially male gamers will be happy with the fact that there is partial or full nudity in the game and just ignore all the rest.

I do enjoy a good game. I'm a man, but i think that good games don't really need sex. A good example is Dragon Age. It's an awesome game, one of the best rpg's of the last few years. Did it need those half naked bosses, and sexual content? I doubt it. For the gamer who really enjoys a good game, this wouldnt be necessary.
But then again, if you look around, there is sex everywhere. Everything is sold using sex. Perfumes, cars, clothes, food. Games arent any diferent.

I'm also a parent.And i worry that i can't be at home playing a game without some random character showing up and showing their breasts. Games do have a pg rating, and it sais what content it has. The problem is that , if i want a more bloody game, i wont be able to find one without some naked character showing up.

Long story short. Sex and games should be kept apart as much as possible. Having 2 stripes of metal covering the niples isnt an armor.

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