The Half-Naked Elf Problem

shadowform

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lesterley said:
I think I just talked about this last week in my cartoon:
http://www.serialmmogamy.com

I think I would be more comfortable with the sexual objectification of an MMO avatar if it was an equal-opportunity objectification. If YOU can have the choice of playing a half-naked FEMALE avatar, why am I not given the opportunity to play a half-naked MALE avatar?

Leslee
http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/55/castanic_m_h01.jpg
This is heavy armor.
Heavy. Armor.

http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/62/highelf_m_r00.jpg
http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/89/aman_m_no-armor.jpg
http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/45/aman_m_l01a.jpg

There's plenty of fanservice flowing both ways, but a part of the issue here is what our genders look for when determining what we think of as attractive. Men tend to value physical appearance more, women tend to value success and confidence more. The equipment speaks to this to a certain degree, although there's certainly examples of skimpy armor on men and more regal looking armor on women.

http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/64/human_f_h20.jpg
http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/52/castanic_f_h21.jpg
http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/43/aman_f_h21.jpg

Honestly, though - the market will speak. You can crusade for all of the moral values you like, talk about how gaming needs to 'grow up' to be taken seriously (because no serious grown-up industry uses sexuality to try and sell it's products, like say, cars), and complain about how this sort of thing only reinforces negative stereotypes... but at the end of the day, when someone looks at the promotional art for this game, they know what they're getting: thin, attractive women and burly, overmuscled men. It's a stylistic choice, just like how LotR wants to make itself very moderate and realistic, and how WoW wants to be a colorful high fantasy where your strength is directly proportionate to the size of your shoulder pads.
 

Dogstile

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shadowform said:
lesterley said:
I think I just talked about this last week in my cartoon:
http://www.serialmmogamy.com

I think I would be more comfortable with the sexual objectification of an MMO avatar if it was an equal-opportunity objectification. If YOU can have the choice of playing a half-naked FEMALE avatar, why am I not given the opportunity to play a half-naked MALE avatar?

Leslee
http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/55/castanic_m_h01.jpg
This is heavy armor.
Heavy. Armor.

http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/62/highelf_m_r00.jpg
http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/89/aman_m_no-armor.jpg
http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/45/aman_m_l01a.jpg

There's plenty of fanservice flowing both ways, but a part of the issue here is what our genders look for when determining what we think of as attractive. Men tend to value physical appearance more, women tend to value success and confidence more. The equipment speaks to this to a certain degree, although there's certainly examples of skimpy armor on men and more regal looking armor on women.

http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/64/human_f_h20.jpg
http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/52/castanic_f_h21.jpg
http://tera-online.cc/uploads/gallery/main/43/aman_f_h21.jpg

Honestly, though - the market will speak. You can crusade for all of the moral values you like, talk about how gaming needs to 'grow up' to be taken seriously (because no serious grown-up industry uses sexuality to try and sell it's products, like say, cars), and complain about how this sort of thing only reinforces negative stereotypes... but at the end of the day, when someone looks at the promotional art for this game, they know what they're getting: thin, attractive women and burly, overmuscled men. It's a stylistic choice, just like how LotR wants to make itself very moderate and realistic, and how WoW wants to be a colorful high fantasy where your strength is directly proportionate to the size of your shoulder pads.
I think I love you for this post. I swear half the people in this thread are ignoring that Tera online treats everyone like a sex object. Which is the style of the game, if you don't enjoy the style of the game, don't play it. I certainly don't.

In regards to games that aren't Tera online, valid points all around. Although if a game ever does let you disguise what you're wearing in PVP it deserves to burn.
 

Grey Day for Elcia

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xXxJessicaxXx said:
Of course women aren't going to buy your games if they are aimed at men.
That's something of a hypocrisy there. You are an avid supporter of abandoning gender norms and treating women and men as equal beings (not, for example, having one be a muscle bound hero in battle armour and another in a bikini make squeaks every time they are hit). At least that's what I've gathered from reading some of your posts and I definitely agree. But you can't have it both ways; you can't take issue with a developer making overly sexual female characters and then say something like "Of course women aren't going to buy your games if they are aimed at men."

You are, in effect, creating your own gender roles. Who says this design is for men? Women can't want this? Women won't buy a game because sexy female characters are in it? Aren't you making assumptions based on your own perception of gender and bias? Isn't you saying 'this sort of thing' is for men, just as bad as anything this game has done?

I think you've gone to the opposite end of the extreme scale; you're so against something that you have become just as bad. Not that this is an attack, though. Trust me. I'm on your side.
 

Moonlight Butterfly

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Mar 16, 2011
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Grey Day for Elcia said:
xXxJessicaxXx said:
Of course women aren't going to buy your games if they are aimed at men.
That's something of a hypocrisy there. You are an avid supporter of abandoning gender norms and treating women and men as equal beings (not, for example, having one be a muscle bound hero in battle armour and another in a bikini make squeaks every time they are hit). At least that's what I've gathered from reading some of your posts and I definitely agree. But you can't have it both ways; you can't take issue with a developer making overly sexual female characters and then say something like "Of course women aren't going to buy your games if they are aimed at men."

You are, in effect, creating your own gender roles. Who says this design is for men? Women can't want this? Women won't buy a game because sexy female characters are in it? Aren't you making assumptions based on your own perception of gender and bias? Isn't you saying 'this sort of thing' is for men, just as bad as anything this game has done?

I think you've gone to the opposite end of the extreme scale; you're so against something that you have become just as bad. Not that this is an attack, though. Trust me. I'm on your side.
Not really I mean personally Jiggling boobies and ridiculous armour on women does suggest to a female audience that this game isn't for them. It wouldn't take a lot for dev's to stop acting like their audience is a load of 12 year old boys.

I personally find that the things the article mentions makes me feel uncomfortable. I'm sure there are women who don't but I don't think treating women like they are serious heroes instead of eye candy for the men playing would be that big of a jump. Like the article suggests a CHOICE would be nice.

Kingdom's of Amalur, which is an otherwise great game pretty much treats the female character like a guy who has chosen a nice butt to look at. Prominent female characters flirt with you and there isn't a single instance where a guy so much as calls you pretty. Now okay I have no problem playing as a lesbian if that's what the devs wanted but surely not everyone else in the world would be?

It's things like that I think that takes the majority of women out of the game and says to them 'This wasn't made for you.'
 

Lopunny

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Has anyone here played Phantasy Star? Whether it be Phantasy Star 'Online', Phantasy Star 'Universe' or the trilogy of Phantasy Star 'Portable' games?

For YEARS, appearance in those games have been different from armour. Being a sci-fi game, they've taken the rather neat step of the armour and stat boosting items being energy shields or 'Shield-Weaves' and then you're free to wear whatever you like on top from the massive range of customizable clothing.

Whole segments of the community just play it for the dress-up aspect!
 

TheDarkestDerp

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Nurb said:
Chemical Alia said:
That this fuzzy race resembles four-year-olds in metal thongs was a conscious decision on the part of an actual developer, you know. They didn't just "get that way" out of nowhere, and characters aren't designed in a vacuum.
Whoa, I don't know where you're seeing 4 year olds, I've never seen one with wide hips.
Sure you do. You even posted a picture of one and excused the idea with the good ol' anime cliche of "It's actually an adult of it's race". XD
 

Meight08

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xXxJessicaxXx said:
I don't think I could play Tera without cringing a lot and I would probably think less of men who had overly naked avatars.
You would be surprised the men make me think they were designed with woman in mind.
A castanic with no armour

One wearing cloth

Here is one wearing leather

And here is one wearing plate

strong broad shoulders:check
Muscles:check
Strong jaw:Check
Exotic look:Check
I may be wrong but these look like they were designed for woman and not men.
 

Emiscary

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Disconnecting loot from dress up mechanics does seem like a pretty decent solution. If they're really deadset on keeping the two connected then they could just make it so every piece of equipment you pick up has a variety of different cosmetic variations you can pick between. IE: presence or absence of spiky bits, full/partial plate, skirt length, color, cleavage line, that kinda thing.

Also don't you dare mock Catelyn/Brienne, they're like my 2 favorite female characters of all time.
 

TheDarkestDerp

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intheweeds said:
I really hope you're kidding here, it's funny if you think that the only problem with it is that women are showing skin. We actually don't need to look sexy all the time, you know. Certainly not when we are wearing a full suit of armor. I mean, really... really?

It does, however, bring up my thoughts on this:

What if I want to play a bad-ass? Seriously, I'm a girl, if I'm playing a game where I my character requires armor, I am obviously playing a game where combat is a major focus. This is not an "I want to look my prettiest" situation. I want to look like a friggin bad-ass. If I'm carrying a massive sword, I want to look like I might be strong enough to actually swing it and smart enough to protect my friggin midriff in a battle.

It's pretty obvious by the huge muscular men and hardcore armor that is so standard to most genres that men like to play games to feel like bad-asses. We do too! Why should we have to look sexy all the time? I like that feeling of getting off work and relaxing by turning into an online warrior too, you know. I just want to be able to look like one. Why can't women look hard too?

I quit WoW a while ago, but I played for years. Most of my characters were male just because they are the ones who get to actually look like they could battle. I loved my female Pally, but mostly because I found it hilarious and cute that her tiny frame would be swinging around this massive axe. She shouldn't look hilarious and cute - she should look awesome.

I agree completely with this article, but even if every game moving forward implemented this, it wouldn't fix anything. Male devs would just think what this guy thinks: "Surely a practical full-body armor suit can be made to look sexy?" ...and they start using the same armor with the 'skin' part swapped out for an 'armor-like' color and call it a day. Instead of choosing between sexy and badass (which is what it should be, ideally) we will simply be choosing which type of sexy we prefer. The way I see it, unless there is a major shift in the way armor models for women are thought about generally, there won't be any actual choice.
If there were a 'favorite' button on this site, this comment would be breaking it in twain.

This has been a point I've tried to drive home to my guy-gamer friends for years every time I get the "But there's plenty of strong sexy women in games". I can be sexy, I can be professional, I can dress for a gym session, but none of these ideas come close to what I'd be wearing faced with a life-or-death battle with some monstrous beastie or terrorist cell or whatever antagonist is wanting to shred my midriff and all parts outlining it.

If people want to play dress-up with their virtual fodder, that's fine, but I'd like an option that's not quite so insulting to my genders intelligence as a whole. Give me body armor that looks like it might actually protect me, not some ludicrously designed metal-plated catsuit... A warrior-woman who looks like she's actually a warrior, powerfully built, not 'stacked', scarred from her years of battle.. and a WOMAN dammit, not an adolescent 80lb DDD anomaly of biology and physics. I want my girl to be a bad-ass of the highest caliber, not some neurotic narcissist who wants to be sure she gives all the battlefield a good peep-show while she's on the scene.

Sexy is great. I've made a living by sexy on stage and elsewhere, it's quite fun. But if you really want to go the whole 'loses immersion' argument, seeing a party of grizzled combat veterans clad in glowing array of magical armaments, heavy armor, pitted from years of conflict, steel helms with horns, visors and cowls, finely muscled and steely-eyed... and here comes my gal in her tube-top and loin-cloth with thigh-highs... yep. One of us is definitely at the wrong job-fair. And I'm pretty sure it's not one of the guys.
 

Hungry Donner

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Wait, Tera will let me play as a huge metal dwarf who focuses on buff and debuff spells? It's a shame it also has creepy fox girls and horrendous female armor or I might give it a shot.

I don't mind sexy female attire in a game providing its used sparingly. I also prefer that it still to reasonable materials like cloth and leather, "half-plate" with a plunging neckline and exposed midriff is pretty ridiculous. I rarely play MMOs so it's not a problem I encounter all that often. This isn't to say that you can't find examples in single-player RPGs but they do tend to be much better in this regard. TES is particularly tame, at least since Morrowind; Bioware's games aren't too bad; successive armor in Diablo tends to provide more coverage . . . there seem to be plenty of examples where skimpy armor isn't the norm for women.
 

Twinmill5000

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I love Tera. I have a Castanic Warrior who I love to stare at. I'm also a dude. Seriously though, Tera did that part right. I. Can't. Stop. Staring.

With that being said, I looked at the human and elf races, and they aren't nearly as offensive as you think. Maybe I'm wrong, but, elves wear dresses, and human females at least wear shorts for the most part.

Tera should be able to at least have one race who can be best defined as slutty-mc-slutt-race. That's okay, as long as it isn't the only race.

I'm a guy, and I also plan on making an elf sorc, because they're alittle classier, though Castanics are much cooler imo. So, no, I'm not playing a Castanic because of boobage. That's only 90% of my decisionmaking process, and once again, nothing wrong with that.

And for what it's worth, I have seen a costume system in Tera. It's not exactly transmorgification, which is a shame, because some of the outfits look really good * flamboyant wrist* but, costumes are an option, and maybe there's something like transmorgificaiton too. I'm sure I spelled that wrong.


To reiterate: there is nothing wrong with one race dedicated to sex appeal. Especially if it's not the only race.

But I've been stalking Tera like that hot next door neighbor that leaves her lights on and her blinds open at night, so what do I know?

EDIT: Castanics aren't even slutty in their personalities. Mainly because that's not really attractive... no, they're cute badasses that wear nothing but pretend not to flaunt it. Yep. Sort of like night elves in WoW if night elves wore nothing.
 

frobisher

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DVS BSTrD said:
Odd, I can only think of two
Maybe three.
The rest being marketing studies, money, money, money, target audience, money, money, target audience, money, lowest common denominator, target audience, etc

Repetition as a way to accent importance.

Rest reserved for excuses that are always invented. And some already were - eg. in this thread.
 

Valdus

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You know an easy solution would be to just make armour realistic i.e it doesn't look like something a stripper would wear.

Then everyone looking to play slutty dress up would be stuck wearing their gear for what it is - crappy and unpractical, meanwhile everyone who is looking to play a fantasy hero in their fantasy game would get armour befitting it.

It's not just about the half-naked elf chicks. Fantasy armour in general just looks ridiculous. I remember praising dragon age for having half-decent armour and the shoulder pads still look larger than 40k space marines. Can you really blame someone for wearing something that looks stupid when the alternative is...wearing something else that looks stupid?
 

Kahunaburger

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Twinmill5000 said:
To reiterate: there is nothing wrong with one race dedicated to sex appeal. Especially if it's not the only race.
I don't know about that. Blatant pandering to neckbeards and the female equivalent of neckberds in my vidya gaems is always annoying, as is characters intentionally wearing stupid-looking non-protective stuff to fights.

I mean, you wouldn't see this defense of the pedo shit in Tera. Nobody would say "there's nothing wrong with one race dedicated to pedos. Especially if it's not the only race."
 

PlasticTree

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Not sure if someone already said this, but you're missing a point here. People like better gear because it allows them to get stronger, but they álso like better gear because people will know they're badass. People will not just think they lóók badass, they will also know that they actually are.

This works the other way around as well: if I see someone wearing something awesome, then I might get jealous, and it will motivate me to get to his of her level as well. But if I know it could be nothing more than a pretty picture pasted on some awful stats, then I really wouldn't care anymore. Nor would it motivate that person to look badass, because badassery is in the eye of the beholder. Eh.
 

Eamar

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Lunar Templar said:
image snipped

not every game has this problem ... just sayin
You're joking, right? She's wearing metal stockings and suspenders :/

This sort of thing is more appropriate:

EDIT (again): found a decent image courtesy of Kahunaburger

 

Darkstrike_11

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YOu bring up two good points Shamus. Firstly, I totally agree that the level of scantily clad women in videogames is stupid. However, I seem to remember last year the escapist ran a panel on women in gaming, and I was shocked to find out that a number of high ranking female voices in the gaming community all made the argument tha they didn't mind the scantily dresed-ness of many female characters, what they really wanted was meaningful interaction with women in games (a la alix from Half Life). I was surprised because, as a male gamer, I am definately not ok with the amount of ridiculous female objectification in games. It makes gamers look immature and sexist, and I often feel uncomfortable being grouped together with people who enjoy jiggle physics because I like a particular game. Therefore I don't think Shamus has it right, I'm not so sure if this trend is such a turn off for female gamers as we thing. But it sure is a trn off for some male gamers.

On costume armor, Spiral Knights is a game that does this really well. The top end armors all look the same, which meant that before costume armors were introduced everyone looked the same. However now, the ability to put one outfit on for show, and one on for the stats (alongside customisable armor accessories) means that everyone can use their best armor stats wise, while still looking the way they want to!
 

Grey Day for Elcia

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xXxJessicaxXx said:
Grey Day for Elcia said:
xXxJessicaxXx said:
Of course women aren't going to buy your games if they are aimed at men.
That's something of a hypocrisy there. You are an avid supporter of abandoning gender norms and treating women and men as equal beings (not, for example, having one be a muscle bound hero in battle armour and another in a bikini make squeaks every time they are hit). At least that's what I've gathered from reading some of your posts and I definitely agree. But you can't have it both ways; you can't take issue with a developer making overly sexual female characters and then say something like "Of course women aren't going to buy your games if they are aimed at men."

You are, in effect, creating your own gender roles. Who says this design is for men? Women can't want this? Women won't buy a game because sexy female characters are in it? Aren't you making assumptions based on your own perception of gender and bias? Isn't you saying 'this sort of thing' is for men, just as bad as anything this game has done?

I think you've gone to the opposite end of the extreme scale; you're so against something that you have become just as bad. Not that this is an attack, though. Trust me. I'm on your side.
Not really I mean personally Jiggling boobies and ridiculous armour on women does suggest to a female audience that this game isn't for them. It wouldn't take a lot for dev's to stop acting like their audience is a load of 12 year old boys.

I personally find that the things the article mentions makes me feel uncomfortable. I'm sure there are women who don't but I don't think treating women like they are serious heroes instead of eye candy for the men playing would be that big of a jump. Like the article suggests a CHOICE would be nice.

Kingdom's of Amalur, which is an otherwise great game pretty much treats the female character like a guy who has chosen a nice butt to look at. Prominent female characters flirt with you and there isn't a single instance where a guy so much as calls you pretty. Now okay I have no problem playing as a lesbian if that's what the devs wanted but surely not everyone else in the world would be?

It's things like that I think that takes the majority of women out of the game and says to them 'This wasn't made for you.'
But you are creating gender roles; you are saying some things are for men and some things are for women. You go so far as to suggest it's obvious that certain things just aren't for women. Now, you personally don't want these things and that's fine (I don't want them either, mostly) but to say they aren't for women is just as bad as the problems you are addressing.

I believe you mean yo say that you don't like them and that your individual perception of gender makes you uncomfortable with them. To lump an entire sex into one group and say "this isn't for you" is not my idea of progression.