| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (87)

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 9:30AM Tizmah said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
All lead characters are generally white to.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 9:54AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Tizmah Thrall doesn't look particularly white to me ;)
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 10:14AM Fakeassname said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)
"All lead characters are -generally- white too."

it helps when you don't omit key words.
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 1:15PM Jim Cricket said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Tizmah

This is very true. The noble exception are the two Guild Wars expansions.

Factions: characters/NPCs are noticeably Asian.

Nightfall: everyone is noticeably African.
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 9:36AM Tizmah said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I also had that female clothing design is very tacky in most games. I think showing skin is a cheap way of making clothing attractive on a woman. Now I don't think revealing clothing should be taken out, because the objectification will be balanced out if less revealing clothing is made as an option and you aren't forced to wear it.


I don't think anyone should mind sexy clothing. But it is the fact that there are not any other options. Besides..It'll really tests the artists capabilities that he doesn't get to be skip out on armor detail for skin.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 9:41AM TekkaGules said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
The representation of women in games is no worse than the representation of men in my opinion. Just as women in games are shown in highly idealized/stylized fashion according to male adolescent fantasies, men are also depicted in depicted in similar manners that are impossible for most of us to achieve.

Can we just chalk it up that games just don't represent reality accurately and leave it at that?

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 10:12AM Grendel said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@TekkaGules That's why I'd played a fat-ass monk in Aion. :D
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 10:25AM jealouspirate said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@TekkaGules

I agree with you completely. Both men and women are equally idealized in most games, it's just the ideal is different. The ideal woman in many cultures is physical attractive/appealing, and the ideal man in many cultures is physically strong and capable.

In reality, most women don't look anything like the ones in video games just like most men don't look anything like the ones in video games. There's no discrimination going on.
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 10:32AM oneraindrop said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@TekkaGules The problem as I see it is that both men and women are objectified in ways designed to appeal to men. Which is equally objectifying, true. And it's probably damaging to both men and women. But it is still MORE marginalizing to women to be objectified for the male audience than it is for men to be objectified for the male audience. One could almost say that the women are objectified and the men are idealized.

Doesn't seem equal to me.
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 10:43AM jealouspirate said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@oneraindrop

Really? So women don't want to be portrayed as physically appealing, and don't like looking at athletic men? Many women go to great lengths to be physically attractive to men in the "real world", maybe they'd want to in a virtual one? See, it gets into tricky territory here.

And in terms of appealing to men, at what point does targeting your main demographic become wrong? Certainly romance novels and movies are portraying men in an idealized way that appeals to women.
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 11:05AM oneraindrop said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@jealouspirate Most women do not want to wear teeny tiny clothing no matter where they are, either. Looking good and being objectified aren't the same thing, and trying to equate them is misleading.
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 11:06AM oneraindrop said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@jealouspirate And to clarify? I think the portrayals of men in steamy romance novels are objectifying and I think they're dangerous and harmful too, you're absolutely right. They set standards real men can't meet, and they train young women to look for something they aren't likely to ever find. Your parallel is accurate.
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 1:39PM Kozuu said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@oneraindrop Honestly? I feel objectified in games because the male characters in MMOs can't properly portray what I want to look like at all. The only game where I really had a say on how I looked accurately enough was Mabinogi, because of the diet system of how fat I wanted to be in relation to how muscular I wanted to be.

I hated WoW male characters more than female, only because every male had to be turbo buff to the fullest. If I'm a dwarf priest, why are my muscles bulging so much? It seems like no matter what kind of man I am, I must always be buff? At least with a female caster I can be skinnier, even if I have to deal with outrageous proportions of the chest and waist region.

How about stop objectifying both sexes instead?
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 2:01PM oneraindrop said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@Kozuu I'm not advocating objectifying anyone. I tried to say that when smutty romance novels were mentioned. But @TekkaGules's original comment basically said that it's OKAY because it's not just women. And it's not okay.

AND it is overwhelmingly women who are objectified by men, across all types of media. The men in many video games are idealized, yes. They are buffed up and unrealistic. But they are not half-naked sex objects dangled in front of women with their sexy bits exaggerated and wobbling. Saying there's no objectification of men is clearly false. Saying that it's evenly distributed between the genders is also clearly false.
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 2:35PM Kozuu said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
@oneraindrop This is my issue with your argument. You are saying that women have it worse. I can only assume you find it worse enough that it needs to be addressed, and thus see a vast level of objectification. Where I see this as wrong is that, men and women should either be both fixed, or neither. Just by singling men out of this plea for change, you are objectifying them to me. I stand for changing both, and thus can't stand beside you because you refuse to accept that men should equally get changes.
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 2:58PM oneraindrop said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@Kozuu I am forced to conclude that you don't know what "objectifying" means. *roll eyes*
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 3:14PM Averice said

  • Half a heart
  • Report
@oneraindrop You forget, this isn't a one way street. Women are objectified? Women sometimes seek out objectification in exchange for power or currency. Ask a confident woman, does she feel empowered by her sexuality? The answer is most likely yes. And by currency I mean one of the 3 types of currency, not just money.

Men like beautiful women.

Women like beautiful men.

Women in video games are dressed to show off their physically appealing assets.

Men in video games are dressed to show off their physically appealing assets.

I mean come on, just look at Tauren! Talk about sexually charged male characters.
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 4:23PM Kozuu said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@oneraindrop I don't think you understand what I meant, because upon re-reading my post I did quite a bad job at portraying my message. I mean to say, that men are equally objectified, and it shouldn't be said that women have it worse. Women just have a different way of being objectified, not worse. If you find the different way worse, I understand that. At the end of the day, it's all the same to most of us. That's why people say that it's not a big deal, because it isn't on the grand scale since we're all objectified to an extreme. Seriously, I love to sometimes look like Rambo in games, but seeing it all the time makes me feel like I have to live up to some buff man standards.
Reply

Posted: Mar 23rd 2011 6:53AM Amara said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@TekkaGules I don't think it's about being sexual or even 'why can't I look like that?'. I mean, you are never going to be an elf or an orc, are you? It's why it's called fantasy. I know personally as a heterosexual woman, I've never drooled over a male toon in any MMO...

Personally I think it's about power. People in their replies seem to be forgetting those powerful women that scream sex appeal even when dressed from neck to ankle in a big woolen sack. Flesh != sexy. I am sure many men know a woman in their personal life or from the media that can make them drool without having to flash their private parts everywhere. Think of strong, powerful women in the real world and I don't mean in the stock standard sense (as in physical strength or political power), I mean the women that could say 'I hurl fire balls and set your bottom on fire' and you would believe them (if it was possible), they aren't the women running around in low cut tops and mini-skirts.

The male toon are built around being powerful and oozing strength, and confidence. The women toons on the other hand are built around appealing to men. If you are displaying yourself purely in this fashion, then you have no personal strength or power. Your strength/power comes from others. It's really is the opposite of empowering. This is of course excluding women that do things for money, that in itself is a form of empowerment but doesn't belong in this discussion.

Let's put it this way, if you see a woman walking down the street dressed in the equivalent dress of an MMO female character, you won't be thinking 'wow, she can handle herself' or 'she is strong', nay, I was saying the words 'easy' would probably come near the front and maybe something about not having any self worth if you can think past it. These women don't have any personal power at all and relies on other people to give them their power. Someone that doesn't need it and already has within themselves, won't go around showing as much flesh as possible.

This of course goes belong dress. They could design female toons and characters to have this same sort of oozing sexuality as well as personal strength/power without having to flash everyone that walks past. They would of course, have to change the way the female characters moves, reacts, dresses and general interact with the world around them though.

The day I could log into an MMO, look at my character and believe she really could take on a dragon no matter what she is wearing is the day I believe these articles/discussion would no longer be needed.

(forgive me, I am not the best writer and have problems getting my point across, I hope this makes a little sense to someone!)
Reply

Posted: Mar 22nd 2011 9:44AM Sorithal said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It's because of how the male body is set up IRL. We as guys basically can get stimulated from our eyes by what we see. Getting stimulated triggers brain chemicals that are easy to unintentionally fall into addiction with.

Obviously game developers are going to use this to their advantage by creating stuff that's sexually appealing to guys, and that's why the "sex sells" thing works.

'course I'd hope no one would actually play a game like GW2 or TERA just because "ZOMG BOOBS" or whatnot.

Buuut yeah, it is rather annoying seeing this stuff done repeatedly. It's one of the reasons why probably around 50% of the female characters you run into in-game are actually played by guys. It's kind of irritating to see how much some developers exploit that aspect just to appeal to us male gamers while the devs in return are basically like: "Well, don't worry girls, (some/all) of the males get to be muscular hunks!" :/

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW