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Reader Comments (151)

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 4:20PM (Unverified) said

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"This article just reminded of an interesting feature when Age of Conan came out. A wacky bug showed up early on where male characters were doing more upfront damage then female characters. It turns out that Funcom had coded seperate female attack animations and a male attack animations and the male animation was hitting harder for whatever reason. Funcom claimed it was unintentional, and I'm guessing has since fixed it... but it was certainly another "lol wut?" moment."

Good point cause the fact that the average male is stronger than the average female is clearly sexist, indeed any suggestion men and women are somehow different is sexist. I miss the old Goldbox ad&d days (that would be the 80s) when games didnt have to be politically correct and gasp men and women had differences.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 11:24AM Solp said

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I wasn't bothered until I saw Castanics.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 1:17PM Somnicide said

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Yeah. Thats understandable. But thats what their race is. They're sexed up. They're Succubi. And the males are Incubi. You really cant look at male Castanic armor and say that it is a sexist thing. Bare midriff is on both genders.

http://www.terafans.com/uploads/1278428191/gallery_24_4_1900149.png
http://www.terafans.com/uploads/1278191073/gallery_24_4_2533967.png
Thats male armor. And I would definitely not call that 'idealized in the masculine' way.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 11:28AM Thac0 said

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Simply put... NO i have no problem

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 11:33AM (Unverified) said

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This topic does come up a lot and I have mixed feelings about it.

First, I must admit I do like the look of skimpy armor on women and the entire allure of the fantasy art style and the more gritty/carnal nature of a lot of it. But also games like WoW, they're not exactly the old 'Age of Conan' (art, not the mmo) style.

But then I really don't want anyone feeling objectified or feeling bad playing the game for any reason. I do think there is a reason to say, 'If you don't like it, don't play it.' Given that if a game does make you feel objectified, then stay away from it. But also I don't want to push woman away from enjoying such games at all.

I think it's all about options. Let the player change things they don't like. It doesn't have to be some huge 'character generator' but have bodies with a bust under size D.

But in the end, if woman are given a choice to have the body style and armor style they want,.. that's great! But you can't start complaining when you have the tools to 'tone down' the sexual'ness of your character, but then see someone that does want to play the more 'vixen' type then complain...

WoW has night elves and blood elves, and they have dwarves and tauren. Now I wish WoW offered the ability to customize your body a bit for all races.. but if they did.. you can't complain they objectify woman if and when they offer a choice.

I just believe there are as many woman that seek a more sexy character as there are ones offended by it.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 11:54AM (Unverified) said

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solution:

Provide art assets that provide a wide variety of coverage for both males and females of all types, cloth, leather, chain, plate, whatever.

Then have an appearance slot for each piece, that will override what the "real" armor will look like.

LOTRO has this, EQ2 has this.

Problem solved. Now, you can look however you wish. If you really want to be clever, add armor dyes/paint.

BUT

It requires the options for art assets be there in the first place, which is where the art department in the MMO comes in.

As far as body shape goes, that's what sliders are for. (small big) Use them early, use them often. Have them for all your races, and for at least three aspects of each part of the body.

Done! No charge.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 2:46PM (Unverified) said

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I think if games had options such as city of heroes/villains. In that game if you want a fully clothed character either male or female you can do. Want no skin showing at all? Can do that. Want your femail to be practically naked? Got that too.

I don't think the issue people have is that there is skin showing. I think it is that they were never given the choice as to whether they wanted skin showing.

I personally prefer to have my female characters showing lots of skin and if the game doesn't allow that by default I go and find texture mods that make my choice possible. I don't care that it's not realistic, I just care that doing show increases my enjoyment of the game I'm playing.

That is all anyone should care about. Not making pressure groups to ensure that all game characters of any sex are fully wrapped up so only the eyes are visible.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 12:18PM (Unverified) said

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"... That would just be far too much work at this point ..." ? Really?

So other developers have done it, but it's too much work? Hm.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 1:03PM Tom L said

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Idealized people... you know, heroes!

The idealized forms of both men and women are visual cues that we inherently associate with good health and ability to bear children, in other words, it's all about sex anyways.

So, yeah, your fantasy game should have perfect people in them. It's called projection and wish fulfillment.

Ta,

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 1:22PM (Unverified) said

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Just goes to show you how much Blizzard respects their player base....they don't. They know 90% of the people playing their game are addicted and therefor will not leave no matter how much they offend them. There is a news article floating around the net somewhere called "Why they Rage" in which a blizzard employee stated something along the lines of "We know they will play our game and sit in their mother's basement and throw money at us, we don't take their forum posts seriously because we see them coming back every time they complain on our subscription numbers" and it is sooooo true. WoW forum posts = the definition of idle threats.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 12:25PM archipelagos said

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@ The argument saying that MMO's are only fantasy games.

MMO's cover a broad range of genres, not just fantasy games, so your argument is a bit flimsy. They can be horror, sci-fi, modern, anything really: not just fantasy. Saying that every MMO should have the same art style and design is like expecting every movie and book ever made to be a sequel to Lord of the Rings, as directed by Uwe Boll. It's a completely unrealistic perspective.

I honestly do not understand why wanting more choice in the industry instantly equates to denying others what they want. That is NOT what is being asked here.

MORE choice, not less.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 1:57PM (Unverified) said

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No you see you are just plain stupid on that thinking. It's always a fantasy game. It might be a horror game of fantasy. You aren't actually really doing what you are doing in the games. Playing sports games these days where you can create your own char playing in the minors working up to the pros is a fantasy/dream. Saving the world or escaping from a killer is a fantasy/dream.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 4:18PM archipelagos said

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My point was about genre not escapism. Try looking up both before calling names, eh champ?
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 12:30PM (Unverified) said

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Why would Blizzard have to rewrite gear statistics? Do you even know how appearance-only item slots work in other MMO's? Sheesh.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 12:37PM Skyydragonn said

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Why is it that so many people make an issue where in reality there is none?
Video games portray exagerations of reality just like movies, television, comic books, novels etc etc. No one complains that almost every video game male character is either an overdramatization of a body builder or a tough as nails "gritty" anti-hero. No one complains that WWE Wrestlers walk around in spandex underwear on television, but throw a fit when a female wrestler wears a bikini? There are so many bigger issues in the world that people should be focusing on instead of something so rediculous. Games are fictional envoirnments that suffer more scrutiny than any other form of entertainment industry simply becuase thier such an easy target. Most of those who make issues like this into such a drama inducing fiasco don't even play video games!

How many times have we seen politicians clamouring for a ban on this game or that becuase of excessive violence, yet movies like SAW are okay?
To refer back to my WWE comment, there is apparently nothing wrong with the camera getting a good closeup shot of a femal wrestlers backside in her tighter than nessecary binkini but a female video game character shows some leg and a bit cleavage and suddenly its 'objectifying" It baffles me to no end. Considering that the female wrestler is a living breathing person, and the video game character is just an artist representation of an exagerated female form. Why is it okay for male characters to all be portrayed as burly (usually) dumb as a brick tough guys, but not okay for females to be portrayed as having any type of sex appeal?

At what point do we begin to think it's okay to censor the artistry of a video game? At what point does that censorship begin to bleed over to other mediums? Why are we even having this debate for the upteenth time...again.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 12:38PM Snichy said

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I dont even see genders in MMO now, just the different aesthetics. A lot of crap is written about womens armor in games like Tera but all I see are the well drawn graphics, not the flesh on show, but then again I am a mature man with more than half a brain cell and a wide and varied social life and know the difference between the real world and the virtual world, unlike a lot of basement dwellers out there looking for a righteous cause to anonymously champion for their one chance to stand out from the crowd.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 12:56PM Schwinghammer said

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"I am a mature man with more than half a brain cell and a wide and varied social life"

It's bizarrely amusing how people are trying to argue that they "have a life" so thats why they don't care about systemic gender bias, and it's "the nerds" who are losers wanting equality.

Is this some bizarro backwards world or something?
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 12:47PM chuckasucka said

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I think it's a shame, ya. And I think that game developers can't use the excuse that "that's the way women want to look in a fantasy game, sexy because it's a fantasy" anymore. I think that what it comes down to is player choice. Players shuold have the ability to represent themselves in many different ways. A woman should be able to dress like heroic, battle-first Joan of Arc, or like a seductress. But then make it so that a man can dress like "bad-ass knight guy with huge armor" or like Fabio on the cover of some trashy romance novel. Or furthermore, if a man wants to roll a female character, and wants her to be his little mini-porn minion with little to nothing on, then sure.... why not. If that's what you really want. Personally, it bothers me to have female character models with non-functional, revealing and overly sexual armor on, because it completely takes me out of the immersion of the game world. I just can't connect the dots to where scantily clad = effective in combat.

I think that appearance slots, where players can pick which pieces of armor provide the visuals and then have other pieces that provide stats, are going to be the standard very soon.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 12:47PM chuckasucka said

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Oh also, I don't like to represent myself as a big huge chunk of a man with a neck the size of a tree trunk and muscle-bound to the point where I look deformed or embarrassing. I want to play a warrior that isn't stupidly huge. I want him to be normal sized for what would be expected of a man who is capable of wearing armor and holding a shield up. For example. I think that body shape should also be more of an option in the future.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 3:09PM chuckasucka said

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Ya, you have a good point. WoW isn't as bad as the NCSoft group. I'm anxious to see what Guild Wars 2 does with its armor models. I'm sure the females will be very feminine, but with the ability to choose the appearance of all the armor and weapons, maybe there will be some ways to have depth in the ways people armor themselves.
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