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Reader Comments (151)

Posted: Oct 28th 2010 4:19AM (Unverified) said

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I don't really care about oversexualisation, but i think i saw more female than male Half-orcs in ddo since they were launched week ago or so....

Posted: Oct 28th 2010 5:39AM (Unverified) said

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Seriously? This crap again?

Can you please stop being to damn uptight about the question, it is a freaking game! None wants to play as an ugly, fat avatar, therefore they are making them attractive. Why none ever questions that every male avatar looks like a body builder, huh?!

That aside, their main market are younger males, and they gotta meet the demand.

Posted: Oct 28th 2010 7:33AM Xsorus said

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This a joke right?

Cause Women if given a choice would never choose the skimpy outfit and would always go for the unsexy outfit right?

http://www.costumesupercenter.com/sexy+costumes.html

Yea... I won't see any women in these costumes... no they'll all be wearing completely unsexy ouftits..

Posted: Oct 28th 2010 10:33AM (Unverified) said

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One thing that's really irking me about the majority of comments is that there seems to be a strange undercurrent of 'revealing skin is the only way to be sexy'. What about form-fitting clothing? If one woman is wearing skin-tight pants and a tight turtleneck, isn't she showing her body off /more/ than a woman in loose, knee-length shorts and a baggy t-shirt?

I don't mind chainmail bikinis. I just like variety, both in 'sexy' and 'badass' armour sets. Oh, and that goes for males and females. Not a single GW2 male armour set shows off the backside. It's all long-coats and half-skirts. -sulks-

Posted: Oct 28th 2010 12:07PM (Unverified) said

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@fakeassname

Clearly you don't know what you are talking about. Take a minute and load up STO if you can. Make a character and under skin/complexion pick "Aged 1" or "Aged 2" or "Aged 3", put the bust slider to minimum, put the body bulk slider to max, etc etc. I could keep going but the point is it's quite easy to make a really messed up looking character.

They even have a "stomach size" slider in STO.

Posted: Oct 28th 2010 12:22PM (Unverified) said

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Anyone who says the issue is different for male characters than female characters is guilty of using a double standard.

The whole point of these games is they want to make something that you enjoy looking at. This is why there are pretty spell effects and armor with giant spikes and such. You can't complain about realism because they're not supposed to be real, they're supposed to look interesting.

The fact is, men and women in these games are both painted in an unreasonable light. This is equality. If you don't want your women looking like Megan Fox, then don't expect your men to look like Brad Pitt. These characters look this way for entertainment value.

If you are saying this portrays a bad role model for women, then you are looking in the wrong place for role models. If you say that it gives a bad example to your kids, then you need to check your parenting. You should be teaching your kids the difference between entertainment and reality, not letting video games do your parenting for you.

In the end, I think this is just another example of a small portion of the community trying to censor the medium and tell people what they can and can't look at. You get a vote with your subscription fee. If you don't like it, don't play it to show the devs you don't approve. If enough people don't pay, they'll change. If, however, you are in the minority and everyone else is happy to look at these hyper-realized characters (which portrays both men and women equally unrealistic), then you have been outvoted.

Posted: Oct 28th 2010 8:05PM (Unverified) said

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As a young-ish female gamer, I find myself most drawn to games that give their female characters options (after all, a girl needs to have at LEAST 20 pairs of shoes alone...). Many games I've played, I was wowed by the gorgeous armor options I had, only to be dissapointed that it would be the only armor set my character could wear until level 20-something. Slutty armor doesn't bother me that much. After all, slutty armor or no, there will be naked chicks named some variation of the word 'Prostitute' dancing on tables wherever there is a large player city.

However, I don't like it when my character is running around in a snowy landscape wearing a mini-skirt. It just makes me feel sorry for her, and sad that will all of the new "Awesum levels and gear and crap" MMOs have not even gotten innovative enough to add a weather or temprature effect to the environment to add a layer of realisim.

LoTRO had a good idea, they have layerable cosmetic clothing, so you can have the benefits of your l33t gear and the appearance of whatever you want. I think more games should employ a method similar to this. After all, many girls are attracted to shopping/dressing up games (just look at how many variations of them there are on Facebook!) and adding more customability would cater to that demographic.

So to sum it up, I am fine with chainmail bikinis (though not with the chafing), and I would like it better if you had the option to throw a shirt on under it so as to cater to people who don't want to show so much skin.

Posted: Oct 29th 2010 10:30AM (Unverified) said

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I am so tired of these discussions. As stated before the story has two sides. Male characters are usually portrayed as muscular and buff while female characters have their curves. Both are idealized forms yet it us men that are always portrayed as the "sexual predators". I like my male toons to be be muscular and buff. If I had any "sliders" in real-life I would certainly tone-up a little. Do all of you nay-sayers truly believe that the female players want to be homely? My girlfriend enjoys creating strong, curvy female toons and I believe it is because she, same as me, enjoys a bit of escapism from the norm, where men are strong and sturdy and women can proudly strut their curves when facing off against a horde of blood-thirsty trolls.

Posted: Oct 29th 2010 3:26PM (Unverified) said

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While much of this does center around WoW most MMORPGs suffer from this. If you go to older games like SWG where the female characters do have options on how much that they show, especially with the appearance tab, many actual women tend to dress more attractively. If you go and look at newer games like the well received Shaya or Perfect World, female characters have no choice they will dress provocatively.

Personally I think that it is perfectly acceptable for the Male characters to be more attractive to the women who play MMORPGs. But stepping back to SWG. One of the community fears when they were talking about the appearance tab was the often expressed fear that you would see male characters running around in one of the two versions of short shorts and no shirt that is available in the game. I think that there are certain deep seated fears for this. But what is funny is most of these people complaining are males who play female characters because they are easier for them to look at day in and day out.

For those that want the female characters to set a more appropriate example for young girls, they are right and more MMORPG designers should give them that option. For those women who want the male characters to be more appealing to them, they are right and more MMORPG designers should give them that option. So just as many female characters look like Boris Valejo's fantasy women, there is no reason why the male characters should not look like his fantasy men.

Both styles should be available. This may mean that more MMORPGs will need to go down the path of adding "Appearance" slots that override armor. That way the game developers can have the freedom to design one armor look and the players will have the option to use more or less provocative pieces for appearance.

Posted: Nov 1st 2010 12:22PM (Unverified) said

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Options options options...interesting topic...

Personally I think Warhammer Online nailed the whole appearance thing, the 'alternative appearance available' option is perfect.

Basically you like the way your current armour set looks, but needs upgrading to a set which doesn't look as nice (vanity eh...!) then you have the option to amend the appearance of the new set to look identical to the old one but keep all the stats.

Granted you have to own an item 'overwrite' it onto another similar item but that's not too bad, as it's usually traded up armours that people don't like. "I'll keep my old set because I prefer the look of it", personally I think that's the epitome of 'choice'.

I do suppose however that if people are complaining about how much clothing people seem to be wearing in games, I guess you should look no further than a Witch Elf in WAR...Ann Summers anyone?!?

But at least with this character class you knew what you were getting from the outset...an underwear model with daggers...other classes make no difference for male or female character 'skins' the armour sets look the same just have different bumps, no more or less flesh showing.

But then again it's not like you have a character creation tool created by a plastic surgeon, bigger boobs...No problemo, click the slider and you can look as much like 'insert large chested lady here' as you want.

I think the objectification of women in games has been going on for a long while, and I cannot believe that no one has mentioned Lara Croft, granted that we're looking at games from an MMO persepctive and being able to create any 'look' you would like, I'd say that she does represent an extreme as far as objectification goes, and wearing skimpy outfits in what is clearly subzero temperatures.

But back on topic...

I've been sitting on the fence with this one for 9 pages of comments - so much so that the splinters are causing issues - I just think that that Tempes has a point (one s/he seems to make at least once on each page of comments) choice seems to be the defining characteristic which we're missing.

Heck if I had the choice my Lawbringer armour in WoW wouldn't have looked like I had several large yellow dildo's attached to it...

I'd say that anyone who needs pixelated characters wearing skimpy clothing to get them their jollies has deeper issues than what we're discussing anyway.

And whoever it was that stated that if you're using computer games as a basis of comparison for role models then you need to look at your parenting ability (or words to that degree) spot on...

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 1:47PM NeverDeath said

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I'm not at all upset with how MMOs handle women. The fantasy vixen is an immortal icon, and if someone doesn't want to deal with that then they can just stay away from fantasy titles. In the case of a priestly class, or a paladin-esque class, or something similar where it would make more sense for women to be chaste, I can see why some people would say "wth?". It wouldn't be so bad to have the alternative, I don't have any problem with that; But at the end of the day it is the developer's decision, and their vision that is being carried out in pixels. If their idea of a warrior isn't a hulking brute, but an agile and acrobatic fighter - then I can see how heavy layers of plate mail might not make the most sense.

The fact however, is that the "issue" is too often inflated beyond logical proportions by egocentric people who just want "their way". In my opinion, if you want games to do this and do that, maybe you should work to fill a design role in a game development team. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of sour grapes that they didn't do it the way you want it done, which isn't going to solve anything. Thankfully in the gaming industry, the number of people who throw out complaints and unrealistically skewed/wildly exaggerated arguments to try and support their own agenda, is not very high. The vocal minority should never be pandered to, because once you do then you will get more demands from other special groups, and you will inevitably be unable to please everyone - it is a path to self-destruction to try to do so.

There are therapy groups for people who are offended by everything they see and probably a BPD diagnosis to go along with it. I know plenty of women gamers, my wife among them. None of the ones I know have any problem whatsoever with being portrayed as powerful and sexy through their avatar, and feminism aside (which most people regard as fanatical and insane for good reason), I've never heard a proper argument that makes logical sense as to what exactly is truly wrong with how women are portrayed in MMOs, and why and how it should be "remedied".

The person who screams the loudest isn't automatically right, sometimes it just means they're the most annoying. At the end of the day, all we have is our 2 cents. If you look at the piggy bank as a whole, you will realize the majority feels there is no problem, which means that the only real problem is that some people have a preference that isn't being satisfied - which isn't really everyone's problem.


As for you, Archipelagos, If you propose that females be displayed more as characters with personalities, then I must also argue that so must men. Factually, MMOs are not traditionally the place for deep character development among non-playable characters, and so I suggest to you that you try your hand at the RPG genre - it might better suit you. This all hearkens back to the same basic problem, which is that most of these extremists are of a feminist persuasion, and therefore their purpose is not righteous but rather self-serving. If you want to put it on an even field and into a realistic perspective, men are "hyper-sexualized" in video games as well. Where's all the complaining about that I wonder?

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