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Reader Comments (151)

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 2:11PM Valdamar said

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I can't say I particularly care either way. Sure, it's unoriginal and trite when a game's graphics are entirely aimed at pubescent boys, but I haven't played many games lately where that is the case.

Anyone thinking this is bad needs to take a trip back to the 80s and look at the fantasy game box art back then (try googling "barbarian game" - the game industry has made a lot of progress!).

WoW's character/armour art doesn't allow a lot of variation anyway, but they have just as many unglamorous female character models (e.g. dwarf/tauren/undead) to balance against all the humans/elves in chainmail bikinis, so they are offering variety to their more "prudish" customers. Ultimately they're a business and "giving people what they want" - if they toned down the art on some female characters and covered up most of the flesh I bet there would be a much larger uproar than this.

Variety is good - lots of women (and certainly men too) choose to play sluttily dressed characters in games where appearance isn't tied to loot and you have far more control over how your character looks (e.g. CoH, CO, etc.) with a wide range of both revealing and more moderate options.

Yeah maybe that Blizzard Dev's comment was a little careless (Blizzard hardly have a mature image anyway - not since they hired Furor from Fires of Heaven as a designer :p ), but I think this is being blown out of proportion (slow news day?) - some people do go overboard on stuff like this.

Plus I'm not sure the "Pink Pigtail Inn" (website linked in this article) has much of a platform to complain about sexist imagery in games when they've chose a ditzy girly immature name like that for their website - sounds like they have an uphill battle to me.

Personally I like to see just as many sluttily-dressed as prudishly-dressed female and male characters in my games, because that's a more realistic broad spectrum, giving a basis for relative contrast - just as I'd like to see as many fat characters as skinny characters, or as many ugly as good looking - it all adds to the variety and gives the Devs more options for characterising their NPCs too.

The last thing I want in games is for everyone to be pretty/handsome and flaunting it - there are so many US TV shows like that and I find it hard to remember which character is which, because none of the actors have very memorable or characterful looks to make them stand apart from the rest of the cast.

Tbh this sounds like a storm in a teacup - just lots of people taking themselves far too seriously.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 2:11PM The Other Chris said

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"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.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 2:18PM Shazzie said

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As a female, this does bother me quite often. But what really, really bothers me is not that 'sexy armor' or 'ridiculously big breasts' exist in games, but that most of my choices are to make my character look sexually appealing to heterosexual male players. Quite often it seems that the game cares more about what the guys want 'me' to look like that what * I * want 'me' to look like. I have enough of that outside of the game, I'll take my OWN fantasy in-game, thanks.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 2:19PM Elikal said

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I find it both shameful and disgusting how women are treated by game companies and gamers alike! First off, I find this over-sexualization of games entirely inappropriate. I am not a prude person, but games and games and sex is sex. When one wants nudity or erotic stimulation that should not be in games where kids play! What kind of example does that set!

It is outrageous that we have 2010 and still so many men act so little like a gentleman and use women as objects as if they were sluts, cheering and gazing on them in nothing but underwear! It is both the same with ingame clothing models and those unbelievable women at the booths! How can any decend and honorable man let himself sink so low as to enjoy such primitive and gross things as degrading women into some sort of nice furniture! How would the men feel if they were objectified thus and all shown up in underwear all over in games and booths!?

Games and games conventions are visited by minors, and should not depict such almost pornographic things at all. It is just another step in the ongoing moral degeneration of civilization that such things are thought to be "normal" or entertaining. I don't want any semi-nude or erotic bodies in computer games meant for spare time entertainment. Keep your sexuality to your bedrooms. I know it is not trend to say this, and I am by no means a conservative person. But this over-sexualization and making women into objects is just wrong.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 2:34PM Interitus said

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I dont have a problem with it per se. But do have an opinion on some things.

Women with curves. Women have hips, show them. I hate these stickpole girls.

Oh and get rid of the metal thong I don't find it sexy. It works for leather, but metal it's just weird. A smart artist can make full plate armour look sexy without making the character appear half naked. It's fine to show skin, but don't rely on skin to make sexy armour.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 2:53PM Syesta said

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To the beanpole dames that are Paladins;
you ain't it Ms. Thang;
Give me a sista I can't resist her;
Dalaran Sharp and Ice Cold Milk didn't miss her.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 3:40PM Kalex716 said

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I don't think anyone would ever disagree with the principal of adding more choices for self expression for both males and females.

I know its not the same, but their isn't a lot of variations for guys either.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 4:18PM (Unverified) said

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i never understood why the developers want to make the women's plating in world of warcraft like a bra in real life they could just stab you in the stomach or kidney and be done with you.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 2:56PM Dblade said

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I support making women characters in games as unappealing and as androgynous as possible so that female players may feel safe, and be treated equally as male players. That is, being ignored unless they have seriously good gearscore and can put out top DPS in a raid. We have been distracted too long by the oversexualized female form from the things that are really important in life, such as getting a server first on a 20 man raid, or finally getting those damn Russians out of the Stain region because they ganked my officer fit Guardian.

I mean, come on. Many a promising raid on Elite difficulty has been painfully destroyed due to the tank being momentarily distracted as the healer's thong flashes into his screen due to camera angles. Such silly focusing on things like "sex" or "beauty" is a guaranteed ticket to mediocre guild-land. The true hardcore transcend such things as sexuality to the sublime, platonic ideals like DKP and the perfect F-key rotation for insane, clockwork-style aggro retention.

This is why I have changed my previous stance, and fully support the de-sexualization of female characters. It's about the mathematics, people! The expert player would even be happy if their character is a cardboard box with a weapon taped on and a set of really impressive, glowing shoulder pads. We can't let needless sexualization distract us from the things that matter.

Thank you, and good night.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 4:03PM (Unverified) said

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Sex sells. Always will.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 3:17PM DancingCow said

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Colour me pro-choice.

If you like the skimpy, sexy etc. costumes - and I've known several female players who do - give players that option. If you prefer something a bit more reserved, or even downright ugly, that should also be possible.

But there has long been a standard in western gaming that all female characters should be buxom and sexilicious and all male ones a bit muscly but not overly attractive. It's the same in television - male characters can (in most shows) look like anything but female ones generally have to be attractive.

As a long-time gamer it doesn't bother me - I've grown accustomed to it - but it is out-dated. While the fantasy of hot women associating with average looking guys probably does still boost sales, I think the gaming industry is strong enough now to survive without it.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 3:45PM (Unverified) said

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Sound like the problem is developers have a new challenge on their hand....they need to make more options in the looks department for armor. Games like Warcraft very rarely have optional armor choices at the high end. Usually it is all stats, so they need to make an option that allows for optional looks on each piece of armor. Maybe just make a realistic check box or something. Then they can go crazy with whatever fantasy look they want, and give an option for those that want to not look like a slut.

Just realize that pushing that on the developers will slow down development time at least a bit.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 3:52PM Nadril said

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I think people need to realize it isn't just female armor sets that are unpractical. Most of the armor sets in the game are unpractical and have big ass spikes in strange spots. It's supposed to be that way, it's supposed to look cool.

Sorry but again I just find it silly that people can moan about how "gosh those female armor sets sure are unrealistic" without actually looking at the game they are complaining about. Deal with it I think.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 4:10PM (Unverified) said

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Oh come on.

Between tabards, cloaks and shirts you never reveal much skin in WoW unless you actively try to.
You have to try real hard to actually find the slutty outfits and they're mostly 5 year old low level Vanilla greens and blues that you need to farm or just vanity dresses and such.

Can someone point out which of the WotLK or even BC tier sets is supposedly makeing female gamers uncomfortable ? You can't even tell my gnome warrior's gender when i have the helmet display on, she's just a mean ball of metal.

Seems like people just want to complain about a percieved issue and pick a proeminent MMO without actually bothering to check the facts.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 4:56PM tekert said

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women in gaming... 2012 is feeling more real heh.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 5:01PM tekert said

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Dont get me wrong, love women playing but, well.. barbie mmo vs transformers, pokemon vs robotech.. Cmon.. who really cares, oh wait, i know..
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 6:47PM Azimn said

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Hey guys great comments, to clarify I am not against "Fantasy attire" but I do think that metal panties are an odd choice when killing monsters. I think that games that allow the choice for players to be sexy or not are great. I do expect sexy girl fighters but as game players shouldn't we look at whether this is or is not a good role model for young girls. Again I think there is room for both and as I stated even my wife was wanting more revealing attire for Fable. I know that men in lion cloths and women in less are common but what of the games where the woman's version of the same armor is just underpants (like Runes of Magic) wouldn't the female version be like the male's only well female?

I also would ask do all of our heroes in games need to be over muscled males and over sexualized females? I for one would like to see more options, even if I do enjoy the stereotypes once in a while.

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 7:27PM Pigeonko said

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I just wish my EQ2 necromancer character didn't have such huge breasts. Now my guardian is flat-chested since she's an iksar, but my necromancer...

Posted: Oct 27th 2010 10:54PM claytondora said

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Not in the least. I, like many other heterosexual males of breeding age, enjoy the fuck out of titular babes in tight clothes. Just because someone (male or female) is portrayed as a sex object, doesn't exclude them from being a personality subject. The sexiest characters (and people)are ones who just scream personality. Hot chicks are a dime a dozen, but one that makes you think, that's a keeper. People seem to have this misconception that if you want to get into someones pants, your not going to respect or treat them like a person. This just isn't the case.

I was brought up in our Puritanical States of America, just like many of you. So let me present to you an alternate theory: Video game characters in skimpy clothing actually empowers women.

*collective gasp*

I know, I went there. It's as simple as this. For centuries, nay, millenia, men (as well as other women) have been telling women that they should be ashamed of their sexuality, that their bodies are something evil, something to be ashamed of (Garden of Eden, Islam). So when a superpowed, supersexy, supervixen (Ala Wonderwomen, Zena) comes around, your sure to hear the uproar.

Hell, if an attractive woman came up to me and told me I'd look nice in a speedo and shoulder pads, I'd feel better about myself. Maybe that's just me...

Posted: Oct 28th 2010 12:31AM Averice said

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Not at all.

On that note, the headline of "handle women" is pretty damn obnoxious with its connotation and general falseness. It should say "portrays women".

On the WoW panel itself: the question wasn't "brushed off". No clue how you got that idea. They answered the question using a magazine metaphor that the questioner used as well. Honestly I don't even see any of this "skimpy" clothing that the questioner was talking about. There are a total of four pieces of gear from levels 1-80 that have any sort of "skimpyness" about them, and they're equally skimpy on a male character as a female so what's the problem here? Seriously, do some research before getting outraged about made up information. Rather sad to see an article on here that panders to misinformation just for viewership.

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