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Reader Comments (19)

Posted: Nov 20th 2011 4:07PM EndDream said

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Has nothing to do with sexism. People make games to make money and the boobs ads are working or their clearly wouldn't be using them. If harry chested men ads made people more money that's what we would be seeing.

Posted: Nov 20th 2011 4:43PM extispex said

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@EndDream = doesn't understand sexism
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Posted: Nov 20th 2011 4:51PM extispex said

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@(Unverified)

You're right. We shouldn't do anything. Sexism just exists! Not point fighting it at all! Might as well not care about hate crimes, disabled people, murder. They will always exist! No point!

Also, women are not species, and homosexual men are definitely capable of sexism.

Posted: Nov 20th 2011 5:04PM AshenDream said

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The problem, IMHO, is more the downright deceptiveness of the ads.

If I see an ad consisting of little but an, umm . . . ample bosom, and the words "Play Discretely", I'm left unsure whether I'm being offered an MMO or a call-girl service.

Posted: Nov 20th 2011 5:10PM (Unverified) said

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@extispex
"Might as well not care about hate crimes, disabled people, murder. They will always exist! No point!"

Those things we can change actually. I also never said that.

What I'm saying is that the sexual dynamics between men, and women is something that's a lot harder to even attempt to change.

Boobs and bikinis sell for a reason...and they always have.

"Also, women are not species, and homosexual men are definitely capable of sexism."

I meant the human species, and I've never met a homosexual man that was sexist. >_>

Posted: Nov 20th 2011 5:30PM extispex said

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@(Unverified)

You did say that it can't change. Not with those words, but you said that women "just have to grit your teeth and bare it". You said, "I don't know Beau" about him suggesting we make an ATTEMPT at telling video game companies that it isn't right. You were saying there is nothing we can do. Saying that men will be men is a really messed up excuse that is used all over the globe to legitimize really horrible behavior.

I am a gay man, and I have experience many gay men make sexist and misogynistic remarks. There is a gay stereotype that has saturated tv and culture involving sexism and misogyny.

Posted: Nov 20th 2011 5:55PM Beau Hindman said

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@(Unverified) I can't say that I am surprised at comments like this, mainly because I know that the people saying them do not really mean harm or wish ill will on anyone else. It comes from a place of simply not knowing what it is like, or from someone who has built up such a tolerance that they are convinced the issues does not exist.

Gritting your teeth and bearing it is probably the worst advice I would ever give to someone. I am not attacking the OP, just making a point: if people had this attitude years ago, my wife might not have the right to vote right now and I might not be able to enjoy my relationship with my little brother (I volunteer for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and he is black.)

The point is that the Evony ads are indeed sexist and harmful, even after the revamp. While they might not effect everyone the same, they shine light on an entire industry that has a problem. The least I can do is point it out and make people aware. BUT, there is a game behind the ads, and they ARE separate things. Anytime the internet decides what is right or wrong (Evony sucks because of those ads) I want to test the theory. The last thing I will do is trust strangers who have "heard" something online, without ever attempting to actually *play* the game in question. That's just wrong.

So, yes, punish Evony because of the ads. I agree with that. Like I said, however, it is naive to pretend that the entire development team or publishing team was behind the decision to make them. I wanted to give a little credit (if needed) to the team who worked their tails off actually making the game.


Beau

Posted: Nov 21st 2011 12:24AM copperbird said

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@Beau Hindman "If you want it to change, you can boycott those games that use sexist imagery in their advertisements or in game, but then I would probably be out of a job. "

So do you think people should boycott the game if they don't like the advertising or not? You don't seem very sure.

In this case, there are loads of similar games on offer. So why should people play this one, given the baggage that comes with it? (Don't feel bad for the coders, presumably they already got paid.)
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Posted: Nov 20th 2011 6:04PM (Unverified) said

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The problem with Evony's ads aren't that they're sexist. The problem is that they devolved to the point of having literally nothing at all to do with the game. Yes, a lot of games are advertised with images of a female character in form fitting or revealing armor, but Evony's ads looked like all they did was grab the first result from a Google image search - keyword "tits."

First impressions and all that. Evony's ads were the absolute nadir of video game advertising, and if that means the game itself is undeservedly looked on with contempt then... well, tough.

Posted: Nov 20th 2011 6:37PM Budukahn said

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I'm a little disappointed Beau that you haven't mentioned the biggest reason that I, at least feel people should be giving Evony a wide berth. That being the controversy around the day Evony sued a blogger for speaking against them.

To elaborate on my claim, and for those that don't know, Evony once tried to sue a blogger named Bruce Everiss who posted about an opinion piece about the dubious practices the company behind it engages using the archaic and quite stupid Libel laws of the United Kingdom. He also brought up the matter of the "famous" adverts.

Under these laws, Evony's makers were allowed to commence legal action Bruce, a Briton, in Australia despite him being a resident of the UK. Naturally there was no way most people in the world have a hope in hell of contesting lawsuits filed in countries halfway across the globe.

Fortunately, when it looked like Mr Everiss was not going to buckle and others rallied to his support, Evony dropped the case before it went to court realizing that even under the awful laws that allowed them to start a case, they wouldn't win.

Still, they were prepared to sue a guy, a chap of relatively little reknown for daring to voice his opinion publicly, and putting his name to it. In America, I understand something like that would get you laughed out a lawyers office under freedom of speech regulation.

My point ultimately being, this company has been engaged in some despicable and truly detestable acts. Things that I don't think should ever be forgotten or forgiven. I know we'd all rather keep politics out of our games. Sadly though, I'm not sure we can.



Posted: Nov 21st 2011 4:42AM Azules said

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@Budukahn +1 This. Shit is disgusting, yo.
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Posted: Nov 21st 2011 4:40AM Azules said

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I can see rape.. maybe (men can be raped too so dicey) but how on earth is butthurt a sexist term? It's a stupid term, but not sexist.

Posted: Nov 21st 2011 4:52AM (Unverified) said

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I thought the main issue with Evony's ads was that they grabbed pictures of random girls from the internet and used them in their ads without asking them?

Mind you, didn't they also grab graphics from random games and use them in their game without asking?

They are criminals, simple as that, and Beau, you have brought Massively into disrepute by treating them as game developers and reviewing their game.

Posted: Nov 21st 2011 11:51AM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) "Most women"? Seriously? I'm not sure what planet you live on, but "most women" certainly do not exploit their sex for monetary gain. You need to crawl out of your basement and meet some women outside of the porn industry (which is apparently your only exposure to them).

Moronic comments aside, I have a love-hate relationship with games like Evony who advertise this way. I hate 'em because it's ignorant and wrong on so many levels. But I love them because they attract the kind of community that I would rather have segregated anyway. Using ads like that draws certain types of people... and those are the kinds of people that I'd rather not be interacting with. So let 'em play Evony all they want! I sure as hell won't.

Posted: Nov 21st 2011 1:23PM (Unverified) said

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Seems like youre the one locked in the basement. Women use their sex to get; jobs, raises, drinks, dinner, husbands, out of traffic tickets, and thats before weve even gotten to selling sex for cash, whether its porn, prostitution, or simply advertising.

Any woman who denies trying to use their looks or desire for gain is a liar. I dont have a problem with it. I like to look at women. I will pay money to look at women, I will buy things to look at women. But its a bit hypocritical to then say 'dont objectivy women'.
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Posted: Nov 21st 2011 8:24PM Brianna Royce said

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@(Unverified) Even if your claim about "all women" were true, the fact that women might objectify themselves would not in any way excuse men from doing so.

Or as mom used to say, two wrongs don't make a right.
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Posted: Nov 21st 2011 12:05PM Zantom said

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Funny, I just happen to get back into this game. It took me a while trying to find it too. I couldn't remember what the game was called it had been so long ago. This article would have been very helpful about a week ago :)

Posted: Nov 21st 2011 6:09PM (Unverified) said

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I have issue with the way people use the term sexist today. Men and women with conservative ideas about sexuality and it's place in the world have changed sexism from meaning discrimination and denigration based on sex, to meaning anything that doesn't line up with their views on how women should be portrayed.

Sexism has come to be shorthand for "sexism against women." People tend to disregard the fact that sexism goes both ways. Men are still often expected to pay for a date, are expected to be the ones to put themselves up for rejection by approaching women, and are expected to treat women by different rules. The stereotype of the dumb housewife in sitcoms has been replaced by the equally sexist oafish husband and his smart wife.

I understand that men do not suffer as much under sexism as women do, and that many of the issues above don't really bother most men. Still, to throw aside that part of the discussion obscures the heart of the matter.

The problem at it's heart isn't the treatment of women. It's a disconnect between genders. It's that we need to find a happy medium between understanding that we are the same, and understanding that we have our differences. I think you'll find that in general, we as individuals have come a long way towards this. Society as a whole has been slow in catching up, but it will get there. But the idea of forcing it along by ostracizing sexual imagery and commentary is not the way to go.

Sexism is not the mere act of sexualizing a woman (or person.) Boiling a person down to nothing but a sex object is sexist, but even that is not the definition of sexism. Sexism is stereotyping and denigrating others based on sex. Sexism is assuming a woman wants to go shoe shopping because she's a woman, or telling a man to "Man up and stop crying."

So, what's sexist about those ads? You have (presumably) willing women posing for some racy images and getting payed for it. In today's climate, it's not very likely these women were coerced, or were doing these shoots out of desperation to make money. Today it's easier to find women who legitimately want to be a part of something like this.

So the problem boils down to a perceived broader issue of objectification of women, and sure, there's a problem there. But it's not with these ads, or with porn, or pop stars. It's with people's inability to separate those things from the women who don't want to be seen like that.

The true problem is stupid people thinking that because some women make a living being sex objects, that every woman wants that, or that because a woman goes out at night looking sexy, that it's OK to touch her without permission.

The misconceptions of the idiots of the world are not the fault of sexualization in the media. It may help contribute to their faulty thinking, but it is not the source. Those people are simply self absorbed assholes. They fail to think beyond their own skin. That doesn't mean the rest of us, capable of digesting sexual imagery in a mature way, should have to give that up.

What many of these complaints about sexism in things like these ads, porn, hollywood, etc seem to be asking is that we all pretend seeing a beautiful woman in sexy clothing doesn't excite us. I'm sorry, but that's a lie. I like seeing a sexy girl in an advertisement. I like watching a rocker chick own the stage with sexy charisma. I even like looking at pictures of naked ladies.

And that's ok. As long as all parties involved are consenting and the sexual attitude stays confined to the medium in question, there is no sexism. It's just people being people. Just because I saw a sexy ad doesn't mean I'm going to slap the next pretty girl I see on the ass and call her toots. I'm not an idiot.

Basically what I'm getting at, is that sexy ads, or bikini armor, or what have you, are not sexist. Sexualizing women is not a sexist thing to do. Granted, the game industry in particular and media in general has a long way to go in making women in games/media MORE than sex objects, and that has it's roots in sexism. I just protest the errant targeting of sexual imagery as the problem. Female characters should be able to be both sexual AND well rounded characters.

The problem isn't the bikini armor, or the thin model shaped women, or the large busts. These things are fine. People (of both genders) like these things. They shouldn't be the only option, but people tend to attack these things as if they shouldn't exist.

The problem is the failure to give female characters options and depth of character. The former is a problem in things like MMO player characters, where the visual is all that the game itself addresses. In those cases, it's limiting to have only hyper-sexualized options. But that's not only a problem with female characters, male characters tend to be equally absurd. The latter is more a problem with media in general, writers seem to have trouble creating female characters with depth of character that people can connect to.

Think about it, no one cares that every male character is a beefcake in games. Part of that is certainly because men aren't as readily objectified in real life, but I think the more important part is that those male characters can be more than just beefcake. (Not that they always are, but they get depth of character more frequently than female characters.)

It's fine for female characters to be model thin, big busted women in bikini armor. It's just important that they be MORE than just that. It's important that they have character and personality, and that their only purpose isn't for men to drool over.

All that being said, those ads are pretty terrible. But it has NOTHING to do with sexism. It has EVERYTHING to do with being tacky and improperly targeted. The sexy women are just an eye grabber, they have nothing to do with whats being sold. It's worse than even beer, because at least beer is related to sexual imagery in being a social lubricant. What the use of sexy women in these ads boils down to is the same as having your ad flash or make noise. It's just to get attention.

But not only are they tacky ads, it seems like they would be awfully ineffective as well. When advertising with something completely unrelated to the game, how many people who are interested in the ads are going to be interested in the product? Seems to me, you're just generating clicks you have to pay for, but those clicks wouldn't lead to a high percentage of retained interest.

Posted: Nov 25th 2011 11:30AM BigDragon said

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I was a long-term Evony player who finally quit several months ago. I have a few friends who still play - so I keep tabs on the game. This review missed many important aspects of today's game.. so much so that I feel compelled to post here.

First of all... Evony is really two different games Age 1 and Age 2. The games appear similar but in fact are quite different in game mechanics. Most of the Age 1 veterans tried Age 2 and either quit or returned to Age 1. Evony has kept Age 1 running to maintain its player base.

The game may claim "Forever Free-to-Play," but game veterans have two other slogans... "Free-to-be-Farmed" or ""Pay-to-Win" The game provides expensive means for deep-pocket players to quickly gain unbeatable advantage over free or even moderate-paying players. Before I quit playing, I read a post from a hardcore player who spent $20,000 US... thats right... twenty grand folks.., to buy super heroes that offered near instant army and unbeatable advantage. When several of these super players band together - it spells the end of competitve play. The Evony forum is full of posts about how this practice has irreversibly affected the play. Even the volunteer forum mods are complaining. Of course the game owners love the cash... lol

This reviewer must be a casual player because heroes are not role-playing avatar characters as suggested. Instead, heores are merely a means to buff the build and combat abilities of your account.

The ingame grind is truly mind numbing. Armies grow exponentially and so does the farming effort needed to support them. An honest player can expect to farm 16 hours a day, clicking on the same commands over and over, just to feed a "normal" sized army. Sound like fun? No? So most players resort to third-party software called bots to automate the grind, or they stop playing competitively, or just quit completely. Competitve players create dozens of alternate accounts called feeders to funnel food and resources to one massive combat account. Social interaction among live players dwindles as most of the game play is taken over by these "bot" programs. An honest single-account player is just not competitve. He or she is like the caged tiger released in a fenced-in hunting preserve - shot dead by the big spenders for their amusement.

Evony does little to police their game rules. I do not think Evony has the resources to stop the cheating. A few top players were banned for cheating, but then were suddenly restored fully intact.. They claimed that threatening to reverse massive credit card charges was all that it took to get back in the game. Jeez. That's when I finally quit playing

Ironically,the big spenders are the biggest losers in the end. Their spending advantages effectively kills the game server as other competitors quit. Then their investment becomes worthless.

If you are curious and wonder if I am biased in some way, just go to the Evony forum site and look around. Then go to some of the Evony bot sites for uncensored feedback. Draw your own conclusions.

Humans are competitive and driven by self interest. Especially gamers. Unhappliy, I suspect that any successful MMORTS game will eventually look like today's Evony. The nature of the anonymous online genre seems to compel players to cheat and the business model favors the spenders. Balancing and policing a game means increasing game costs and decreasing game revenues. This is a dilemma for the game owners.

I loved playing Evony. I would play another game like Evony if it was honest and competitive. My friends and I have been looking for months. We can't seem to find one.

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