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May 16, 2013 1:34 PM   Subscribe

The thirteen types of armor female characters are forced to wear in the majority of MMORPGs (via)
posted by prize bull octorok (109 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
The WHY? one is glorious and I think we should adapt it for all members of the US Armed Forces immediately.
posted by elizardbits at 1:36 PM on May 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


I kind of want the Creative Healer outfit, but I don't know if those nipple shields will support the weight of all that fabric.
posted by muddgirl at 1:45 PM on May 16, 2013


This is correct in broad strokes but it would be vastly improved by linking to examples of each type. In its present incarnation people unfamiliar with MMORPGs have no basis for judging whether it is accurate or not. Hell, I'm familiar with MMORPGs and I don't recognize some of them.

So: needs examples.
posted by Justinian at 1:45 PM on May 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't know; it's probably ok if she just wanted to draw a comic thing and not put together a fully-referenced journal article?
posted by ominous_paws at 1:50 PM on May 16, 2013 [35 favorites]


The entire rest of the tumblr is examples (sometimes it only shows an altered image on the front page, and you have to click through to the original).
posted by muddgirl at 1:51 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is all Guild Wars armor, right? Like, all of it. If I had time I'm 100% sure I could link to every single screenshot of just that.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 1:52 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's not MMO, just RPG but I downloaded Final Fantasy 4 to my iPhone, because I loved that game so much when I played it on the SNES ages ago. For some reason they updated the graphics and costumes the female characters wear so now they all look like toddlers in skimpy bikinis. Ugh. How is this an improvement?
posted by Hoopo at 1:55 PM on May 16, 2013


It's ok, sure, it's just not as good as it could be.
posted by Justinian at 1:55 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


EVE online avoids this. Profile pictures are from the neck up and battleship armor is typically at least 1600mm thick.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:00 PM on May 16, 2013 [14 favorites]


As far as I can tell, the theory is that striking at female characters' midsection must not be allowed, so they just leave that off because it's kind of sweaty. Or something.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:01 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh man, LOVE THIS. So Justinian, here's an example! I'm a high-powered female mage in a P2W MMORPG and this is my outfit. 100% Lingerie Armor, no question. For comparison, here is a male mage!

As I enter each battle, I am wearing nothing but a bra and lacy panties (with a cut-out to showcase my nonexistent toon pubes, natch) connected to thigh-high tights via garters that appear to be made of embroidery thread. This look continues right on down to ridiculous, stilt-like high heels. For "coverage," I get some kind of weird ultra-wispy barely-there non-cape(?). It drives me INSANE.
The game creators recently added the option to customize your look, but even after shelling out for new clothes, I'm still stuck with my heaving toon bosoms all hanging out, stiletto boots, and a skirt that's slit -- on both sides -- right up to my animated hoo-hah (a la the Creative Healer). The skirt also blows in the non-existent cartoon breeze to show off more leg.

Bonus: Even though I'm one of the top 100 players on the server, and have been playing at least 1-2 hours every day since the day the game was released, 99.99999% of the in-game comments and messages I get are "Ooh, so sexy!" I can completely fucking destroy someone in a PvP battle and they'll turn right around and send me a PM that says something like, "Sexy AND tough -- I like it!" Not to mention the near-constant barrage of requests for photos of my actual face, my real email address, my IRL location information, etc. You'll pry this game out of my cold, dead hands, but the whole thing is so discouraging from the "armor" on down. The other high-level players I know who happen to be women almost exclusively use male avatars for this very reason -- going in, I had no idea.

It's a cartoon on a computer game! I don't actually look like that! NO ONE DOES.
posted by divined by radio at 2:02 PM on May 16, 2013 [38 favorites]


In EVE your character wears a shirt and pants. I guess this is because spaceships are climate controlled and there are no orcs. If you want to shell out some real-life cash I think you can buy a black pencil skirt.
posted by ryanrs at 2:03 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


They're not even sexy pants. They're like cargo pants.
posted by ryanrs at 2:04 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


There are pants now? Times have changed. When I used to play EVE it was just profile pictures. Everything from the neck down was up to your imagination, and why would you imagine yourself wearing pants? In space no one can see you let yourself go.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:08 PM on May 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


You should be careful you don't catch pneumonia, divined by radio. That would be an embarrassing way to go after braving existential horrors and threats to the survival of the world.
posted by Justinian at 2:10 PM on May 16, 2013


My hot EVE space warrior.
posted by ryanrs at 2:21 PM on May 16, 2013 [9 favorites]


When I browse fellow game artists' portfolios and threads on art forums, you are guaranteed a few scantily-clad supermodel-referenced pieces for seemingly no reason other than to say, "Hey guys I heard this is what the industry wants and I'm here to prove I can do this. Now let me show you my robots."

I scroll past a 3d model or drawing of a female character who looks like she's wearing cling wrap and I see red. It's like they've practiced getting the hang of anatomy (one version of anatomy, let's be honest here) and it'd be sacrilegious to cover it up lest anyone doubt their mad skillz at drawing teh ladiez.

I've sworn that if I ever have a say in hiring people, portfolio pieces like that would be coffin nails. There is zero creativity or originality in something like that. Zero.


Rrrrr.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 2:21 PM on May 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


MefaFilter: They're not even sexy pants.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:26 PM on May 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


A friend of mine, back in the olden days of Everquest, would always play the scantily clad female despite himself being a grown ass man. How the guys playing male characters would swoon!
"You are so sexy" they would say.
"Thanks, but I am sad". He/she would say.
"Oh no! What can I do to make you feel better?" The desperate and eager to please guy would ask.
"If you got me the Razor Blood SkullAxe+18 I would feel so much better."

A few days later the suitor would return with the rare item, my friend would then sell it on eBay, deposit half and buy mountain of weed with the rest.

I wouldn't call him a feminist. But the enemy of my enemy is my false-boobed friend.
posted by munchingzombie at 2:33 PM on May 16, 2013 [70 favorites]


Phil Foglio
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:45 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Another space chick in a skimpy outfit.

I think the most revealing clothing item in EVE is the tank top. Alternatively, you can skip the shirt and wear just a jacket that is open in the front. But then you get a poorly textured black band/bra, and very little in the way of boobs. I'm pretty sure you can't get cleavage no matter how you mess with the clothing or body shape.
posted by ryanrs at 2:47 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, if bad anti-aliasing gets you excited, these EVE screenshots are just the ticket.
posted by ryanrs at 2:48 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is correct in broad strokes but it would be vastly improved by linking to examples of each type. In its present incarnation people unfamiliar with MMORPGs have no basis for judging whether it is accurate or not. Hell, I'm familiar with MMORPGs and I don't recognize some of them.

Well, FWIW, I played WoW for four years and could place about 2/3 of them in my memory immediately. They're only very slightly exaggerated (I don't think the, uh, vagina-pastie is quite as prevalent as she makes out).

The last one is verbatim from Mass Effect 2 though, it belongs to ridiculously-cleavaged blue paladin chick.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:49 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's like they've practiced getting the hang of anatomy (one version of anatomy, let's be honest here) and it'd be sacrilegious to cover it up lest anyone doubt their mad skillz at drawing teh ladiez.

Yeah, it's like a conspiracy man. It's almost as if they all went to school and were taught to draw that way.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:56 PM on May 16, 2013


The last one is verbatim from Mass Effect 2 though, it belongs to ridiculously-cleavaged blue paladin chick.

But Mass Effect 2 is not a MMORPG! It does look exactly like Samara, though.
posted by Justinian at 3:01 PM on May 16, 2013


divined by radio, have you seen the ads for Wartune?
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:03 PM on May 16, 2013


Oooh, can I link to the lovely Women Fighters In Reasonable Armor?

It strikes me that some people - boys and girls - would like their outfits to look like that. The problem is the lack of choice. I can't dress in a dashing pair of buttless chaps, and divined by radio can't wear an elegant long silk robe with a high neck, all fine tailoring and sinister. For example! And that sucks, because this is Not Real Life, so we should be able to indulge our harmless clothing desires.
posted by alasdair at 3:11 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's almost as if they all went to school and were taught to draw that way.

Life drawing models are about 1 million times more diverse (NSFW) than the "one version of anatomy" referenced. If fantasy artists are coming out of their life drawing class only knowing how to draw this or this, then they did it wrong.

There are even naked MEN in life drawing classes!
posted by muddgirl at 3:15 PM on May 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


The game I played that most indulged this ridiculous sexuality was Warhammer Online, whose Witch Elf took it to new levels of absurdity with the demon crotch armor. And lots of pointy little spines around your face. It's so offensive it's almost a thing of beauty.
posted by Nelson at 3:22 PM on May 16, 2013


God knows Skyrim isn't perfect in this regard, but this is much more reasonable.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:23 PM on May 16, 2013


Armor should not have boobs. You're asking for a cracked or shattered breastbone.
posted by Justinian at 3:28 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Life drawing models are about 1 million times more diverse (NSFW) than the "one version of anatomy" referenced. If fantasy artists are coming out of their life drawing class only knowing how to draw this or this, then they did it wrong.

You've never actually taken a life drawing class, have you?

After spending many hundreds, probably thousands of hours in life drawing classes with dozens of different models, in the process of getting my BFA with a studio concentration in drawing, and beyond, there is one thing that really irks me. And that is the kids churning out gloopy anime style fantasy drawings are making a lot more money at their art than I am, and they knew exactly what they were doing. And you're saying they're doing it wrong, when they are succeeded at becoming professional artists? You and I may not like it, but that just means you and I are old fogeys.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:28 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


The problem is the lack of choice. I can't dress in a dashing pair of buttless chaps, and divined by radio can't wear an elegant long silk robe with a high neck, all fine tailoring and sinister. For example! And that sucks, because this is Not Real Life, so we should be able to indulge our harmless clothing desires.

It's not an MMO, but Saints Row 3 deals with this rather nicely by simply not restricting clothing choices by gender. So if you want to be a dude running around in a miniskirt, or a lady in a tuxedo, you can.

Then again, in that game clothing is optional.
posted by neckro23 at 3:29 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm worried that people are gonna think I'm a paid shill for From Software if I keep bringing up how much I love the Souls series, but if you want reasonable, take a long steamy gander at the female-only armor sets from Demon's Souls.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:30 PM on May 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


Saints Row 3 is about the broiest bro game that a brogrammer ever brosigned. It's also a hell of a lot of fun and is pretty self consciously funny about the sexist crap. See for instance the sex appeal slider, which adjusts boobies on women and the basket on men. I'm playing through the game again right now and basically modelled Pam Grier, she's kicking a lot of ass.
posted by Nelson at 3:34 PM on May 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


In the MMOs that I play, which skew older and cater to a more Eastern/International audience, it's actually interesting how skimpy clothing for females has changed demographics of who plays female versus male characters. I remember when I was like, 14, and it was considered "gross" and "gay" for a boy to play a girl character. Now that I play with 20 year old gamers, it's actually the other way around - I mean, you've got to be gay if you don't like ogling hot, taut, skimpy female ass 24/7, right? If I recall, on the game I play, the ratio of male to female characters is something like, 20/80, and the costume choices for females outnumber the male characters because guys expect fanservice. The people who play male characters are mostly either female or gay, lol...
posted by Conspire at 4:15 PM on May 16, 2013


Well, as much as I despise whore armor, I must throw some kudos to Warhammer: Age of Reckoning. I used to play a female Witch Hunter (because, why not?) who was pretty much rocking the pissed off, heavily armed Quaker look. Sorry, no screenies.

And when I played WoW, my female mage was Robie Von Roberson.

(That time I wanted to test out the whole "Imma girl, gimme stuff" theory. Sadly, unsuccessful.)
posted by Samizdata at 4:20 PM on May 16, 2013


Nelson: "Saints Row 3 is about the broiest bro game that a brogrammer ever brosigned. It's also a hell of a lot of fun and is pretty self consciously funny about the sexist crap. See for instance the sex appeal slider , which adjusts boobies on women and the basket on men. I'm playing through the game again right now and basically modelled Pam Grier, she's kicking a lot of ass."

And, amusingly enough, gives an achievement for transgendering. As I know from changing from a giant Englishman who was half Kabuki to a tiny goth Asian woman.
posted by Samizdata at 4:24 PM on May 16, 2013


The MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic has nearly no revealing female clothing... the entire Star Wars universe is rather PG, come to think of the series and the books. Actually no I lie, there is one novelty set put into the game for fanservice, the predictable Princess Leia Slave Outfit but it's rather out of the way to obtain and needs a fair bit of grinding (heh) to obtain, and I was quite disappointed when my male character was not allowed to wear it (most armor in the game switches look depending if worn by males or females, as they do, but this was the one piece of armor in the game restricted to female only).

The biggest MMO offender in this regard would HAVE to be TERA Online, one of the playable races, the Elin, pretty much boils down "furry lolis", who are all females, aged about 8, and are various flavours of furry (foxes, bunnies, cats, etc). Their clothing is also "innocently revealing" showing, well, tantalizing glimpses of underwear, skin, etc.

It's a Korean game, and the entire Elin race needed to be redone graphically (covered up) before it could be released in Europe and the US, I think due to laws against portraying minors in a sexualized fashion.
posted by xdvesper at 4:27 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love videogames, but I hate gamers and gaming culture. I can't even show people Bayonetta, the best action game ever made, because its character design is so disgusting.

That said, Dark Souls has decent armor for female characters, and from what little I've played of Dragon's Dogma so far its the same. 'course, if i want people to hire out my Dragon's Dogma character there's preasure to skimpy it up.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:30 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Saints Row 3 is about the broiest bro game that a brogrammer ever brosigned. It's also a hell of a lot of fun and is pretty self consciously funny about the sexist crap.

Saints Row 3 has skimpy clothes if you want them, but also huge amounts of sensible, modest, real-world clothes for men and women. It allows you to create characters with widely varying body shapes (male or female), and even lets you match any voice (male, female, or zombie groans) with any body.

And then when you go to play the game, all the characters treat you with equal respect (or lack of it) regardless of whether you're playing a male or female character.

On the other hand, it's full of artwork and statues and characters designed for the same male gaze as every other video game.
posted by straight at 4:46 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


It all so true.

My best experience playing a female character in an MMO was as a troll in Everquest. Their outfits could be pretty revealing I guess. Normally I'm averse to RP on an MMO because pearls before feedlots yaknow, but it was fun with Maga! I liked to assure the groups I joined that I did *not* eat human babies. I knew that was bad, so I didn't do it. I gave back those other ones and was a good mama to them. The "uh...." reactions were perfect. I didn't get a lot of "are you a girl irl?" questions (unlike say PSO where I could have had "are you a robot irl?" bound to a hotkey).

It gets boring camping crocodile spawns is what I'm saying.
posted by fleacircus at 4:49 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


divined by radio, have you seen the ads for Wartune?
prize bull octorok, no, I had not, and now I feel like this thing I've been spending months on in pursuit of fun and mindless brain candy is gross and awful and exploitative.

I've seen other WT ads, but they were all some variation of something dumb and skimpy like this -- nothing that even comes close to that imgur ad, which truly beggars belief. This is completely insane, like, just... beyond.
One of the most common 'bounties' you can get in the game for bonus XP is a digital version of Whack-a-Mole, for god's sakes. It's a bog standard dungeon slasher, level grinder, 3-class strategy/MMORPG with guilds and dungeons and spells and all that stuff. Nothing even remotely untoward. The closest you can get to an orgy is giving in-game roses to your friends to increase the amount of XP you all get when you run multi-player quests together.

Ugh doesn't even begin to cover it. Thanks for the heads-up, though. Guess I'll have to start over somewhere else. :sniffle:
posted by divined by radio at 5:00 PM on May 16, 2013


not an MMO but if i could cosplay assassin's creed every single day i would be fucking thrilled

ideally this would involve stabbing people though
posted by elizardbits at 5:10 PM on May 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Man, that nun character is fucking egregious.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:16 PM on May 16, 2013


Rustic Etruscan: "Man, that nun character is fucking egregious."

Well, seeing as the costume it is based on is a TV show/comic book franchise in game where the hero is a church themed vampire hunter/vampire where said nun is called The Bloody Canoness, it seems a little better.
posted by Samizdata at 5:24 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


And I thought Firefall was bad with the Engineer's infamous half-pants.
posted by mikurski at 5:27 PM on May 16, 2013


Well, seeing as the costume it is based on is a TV show/comic book franchise in game where the hero is a church themed vampire hunter/vampire where said nun is called The Bloody Canoness, it seems a little better.

Maybe so. It reminds me a little of Verhoeven and his tendency to indulge in the thing he's making fun of.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:30 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, seeing as the costume it is based on is a TV show/comic book franchise in game where the hero is a church themed vampire hunter/vampire where said nun is called The Bloody Canoness, it seems a little better.

...you forgot to mention that the actual game features you as a crime lord, who may or may not be wearing a hot dog suit, who fights zombies for Burt Reynolds when he or she isn't spraying raw sewage on people for money and glory.

So a degree of silly is to be expected.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:30 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is correct in broad strokes but it would be vastly improved by linking to examples of each type.

The answer to all of these is SoulCalibur.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:31 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I assumed from the ads that Wartune probably wasn't very good. If it's actually a fun, worthwhile game that they're dressing up as elf porn, that's a real damn shame.
posted by prize bull octorok at 6:19 PM on May 16, 2013


Armor should not have boobs. You're asking for a cracked or shattered breastbone.

It’s Time to Retire “Boob Plate” Armor. Because It Would Kill You.
posted by homunculus at 6:48 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine, back in the olden days of Everquest, would always play the scantily clad female despite himself being a grown ass man. How the guys playing male characters would swoon!

There was a guy on my WoW server way back when who did this as an experiment to see how much free loot & gold he could get. The results are both hilarious and sad.
He wrote a long series of articles about the experience.
posted by ShutterBun at 7:10 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


ROU_Xenophobe: "Well, seeing as the costume it is based on is a TV show/comic book franchise in game where the hero is a church themed vampire hunter/vampire where said nun is called The Bloody Canoness, it seems a little better.

...you forgot to mention that the actual game features you as a crime lord, who may or may not be wearing a hot dog suit, who fights zombies for Burt Reynolds when he or she isn't spraying raw sewage on people for money and glory.

So a degree of silly is to be expected.
"

And that the game also features things like laser firing hoverbikes. And a movie called "Gangstas in Space" with the most reality-driven director ever. And depending on DLC, an irradiated energy drink that gives you superpowers. And the funniest chase scene ever starting from a BDSM club. And...
posted by Samizdata at 7:34 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


We didn't have this problem on MUDs.
posted by goHermGO at 8:38 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


A friend of mine, back in the olden days of Everquest, would always play the scantily clad female despite himself being a grown ass man. How the guys playing male characters would swoon!

I played a female fighter (warrior? can't remember) on WoW from 2005 and always secretly hoped to be showered in fat loots, but this never eventuated.

Though I did have a hilarious support convo with a WoW GM.

"My pants are missing," I said.

"Oh dear," the GM said. "Wait, no they're not. I can see them on your paper doll."

Me: "They're not on my actual character!"

GM: "..."

Me: "You see?"

GM: "... that fringe of pixels underneath her shirt."

Me: "No."

GM: "Yes, seriously. That's your pants."

Me: "..."

GM: "I KNOW!"
posted by Sebmojo at 8:50 PM on May 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


I was at a Mountain Goats concert (shocking, I know) and John Darnielle started joking about the horrible outfits women in JRPGs wear. I don't think people got it.

I was reading a guide for Dragon's Dogma. One of the big mechanics is that you can make an NPC and other players can download them, use them in their game, and give them gifts and XP. The guide matter of factly suggested you make yours good looking, big breasted young-women so other people can take them out.

This game does let you make men and women with wrinkles! And body fat!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:21 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was at a Mountain Goats concert (shocking, I know) and John Darnielle started joking about the horrible outfits women in JRPGs wear. I don't think people got it.

JRPG outfits aren't that bad. I loved LOVED the dress sphere in Final Fantasy 10-2. Okay, they are terrible, but I still loved changing clothes every 30 seconds.
posted by betweenthebars at 9:26 PM on May 16, 2013


My best experience playing a female character in an MMO was as a troll in Everquest..

It's been so long since I thought about EQ that it took me a second to realize you meant troll as in Grobb. Speaking of passes (what, it came up organically!) I once indulged in some harmless flirting with an EverQuest guide who subsequently helped me cheat in a GM event. I received a title, which was still a big deal at the time, and coincidentally one of the only things I couldn't already get as an officer in a top ranked guild.

I guess I'm lucky none of my exploits ended up on the likes of Something Awful (or perhaps more appropriately the Fires of Heaven boards?), and luckier still that Second Life came along when it did. As a place to explore gender in the open instead of as deception, it probably saved me a few years of my life that would have otherwise been /played. Sure, there was no gameplay to speak of but at least you could wear whatever you wanted.

This probably sounds like stoner talk, but it would be neat if some game companies got together on a universal avatar initiative or something. Even if it started as, like, a handful of games you could play your personal avatar in, how cool would that be? Maybe even cool enough to get me to trade in my NES emulator for some current games.
posted by Lorin at 10:02 PM on May 16, 2013


FWIW, in the Persona mmorpg, the outfits are mostly modest, and the female figures can best be described as "surfboard". Sex appeal is minimal. I love my female character- she looks like an FBI agent with a witch's hat.

Naturally Persona is an obscure, unpopular game.
posted by happyroach at 10:09 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Cargo pants are futuristic AND practical.
posted by Artw at 11:07 PM on May 16, 2013



FWIW, in the Persona mmorpg, the outfits are mostly modest, and the female figures can best be described as "surfboard". Sex appeal is minimal. I love my female character- she looks like an FBI agent with a witch's hat.


The Persona fighting game has some dodgy outfits, and some of the side games had some bad ones too.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:15 PM on May 16, 2013


EVE online avoids this.
too bad about the fanbase though
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:25 PM on May 16, 2013


I find stuff like this and the Hawkeye initiative to be pretty banal. Newsflash: comics and video games are fueled by teenage male sexual fantasies and stereotypes.

And that's worth discussing or disrupting or culture-jamming or what have you but yeah, genre conventions result in genre conventions. Yawn.
posted by bardic at 11:26 PM on May 16, 2013


too bad about the fanbase though

This is true. EVE Online is like the Los Alamos of being a jerk. Top minds working on cutting edge research, advancing the boundaries of human achievement.
posted by ryanrs at 11:36 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


comics and video games are fueled by teenage male sexual fantasies and stereotypes.

Wikipedia estimates the average age of a video game player is 37. Those barely there costumes are fantasies written by adults for (mostly) adults. Lets not blame the kids for the video game industry we're leaving to them.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:38 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


EVE Online is like the Los Alamos of being a jerk. Top minds working on cutting edge research, advancing the boundaries of human achievement.

Now you see its appeal.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:39 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


also, i'm really suprised that americans are uncomfortable with seeing sex in things, that's really unexpected

good thing none of this has to do with hatred of the female body
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:43 PM on May 16, 2013


We didn't have this problem on MUDs.

Maybe you did and the other players were just too polite to mention the ridiculous outfit they had mentally dressed you in :)
posted by anonymisc at 11:43 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


also, i'm really suprised that americans are uncomfortable with seeing sex in things, that's really unexpected

good thing none of this has to do with hatred of the female body


I love your logic. Thousands of degrading outfits in videogames that are aimed at teenagers and kids, and a fanbase of gamers that harrass and threaten people who point it out, then use mods to make even more horrible outfits and models = fine.

People trolling other people and making a game interesting for people who don't play = bad.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:48 PM on May 16, 2013


aimed at teenagers and kids

it's real good of you to think of the children, but i do think that there is a definite discomfort with sexuality in certain sectors of american culture and that it's probably a bad thing in some ways

as for harassment and threats versus trolling, aren't both kind of problematic and icky
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:54 PM on May 16, 2013


it's real good of you to think of the children, but i do think that there is a definite discomfort with sexuality in certain sectors of american culture and that it's probably a bad thing in some ways

Funny, that's the same argument that people on GameFaqs use when they complain that Terra's pedo-bait characters are getting 'censored' for the American release or that Nintendo isn't putting bikini and hot springs scenes in the American release of Fire Emblem. It has nothing to do with with 'prudishness'. I'm all for more mature sex in games. Notice nobody's complaining about the sex scenes in The Witcher, or the prostitutes (of all genders and species) you can hire in Fallout: New Vegas. They're complaining about sexualized outfits on videogame characters.

as for harassment and threats versus trolling, aren't both kind of problematic and icky

Yes, GoonFleet stealing the virtual spaceships of people who signed on to play a virtual spaceship game is the same as concentrated campaigns of harrassment against female game developers (see: Jade Raymond) and journalists (Anna Sarkassian). And getting attacked in a game you opted into is the same as the mysogonistic comments on every gaming review, even at highbrow sites like Rock Paper Shotgun. Its the same as (TRIGGER WARNING) transgender developer Chloe Segal getting outed.

I'm a white male gamer. I've got no skin in the game. But I'm not the only one who thinks the whole culture around gaming is fucked up.

But hey, I'm sorry for the loss of your virtual spaceship.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:09 AM on May 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, as much as I despise whore armor,

Calling it "whore armor" in a context of it being bad and not like good armor, is kind of ugly in its own right. We can advocate for a broad and inclusive range of armour and wardrobe befitting the better range of style choices that players would like, without throwing around phrases that could be mistaken for (or are) slut shaming.
posted by anonymisc at 12:13 AM on May 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


(If "whore" is simply an allusion to "revealing", it's less ambiguous and loaded to just use the word "revealing")
posted by anonymisc at 12:16 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whoa, whoa. Let's not suggest that GoonFleet won't harass you for being a woman. They absolutely will, regardless of whether you're a friend or an enemy. And not just kitchen/sandwich jokes either. They will hunt down your facebook photos and have photoshop contests. If you are a hostile FC and any naked pics exist on the internet, expect to have them spammed during every battle and anytime you comment on the forums.
posted by ryanrs at 12:22 AM on May 17, 2013


A 37 year-old gamer today came-of-age with the Atari 2600 and Nintendo and X-men comics involving Storm and Rogue and Kitty Pryde the wall-walking-through mutant, not the rapper (speaking as a 38 year-old).

I dunno. I guess I'm guilty. I don't read comics any more but I do play video games. I thought the new Tomb Raider was pretty much the high-point of female-friendly, empowered, non-bewbie-centric portrayals of female characters.

But rpg/fantasy? Sorry, but you'll have to take those iron bikinis from my cold, dead, nerd hands.
posted by bardic at 12:38 AM on May 17, 2013


On a less serious note, RPS got a fashion critic to look at some new DOTA2 outfits. That said, this is a subgenre where even Penny Arcade thinks most of the outfits in games like League of Legends look dodgy.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:40 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cerebus thinks they would heal if you stop wearing chain mail bikinis.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:55 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nintendo isn't putting bikini and hot springs scenes in the American release of Fire Emblem. It has nothing to do with with 'prudishness'.

that would actually seem to indicate something about american ideas and if it's not prudishness, i don't know what you would call it

it's okay that you're american and want your games to stick to your culture, just be advised that not all cultures are yours, and if you have a problem with that, you're going down a path that has often lead to being an asshole
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:58 AM on May 17, 2013


If you got me the Razor Blood SkullAxe+18 I would feel so much better.

How this is done in EVE.

Total haul 50b, including a fitted supercarrier. Approximate value US$1,650. But the chatlogs are priceless.
posted by ryanrs at 4:18 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


This, of course, alludes to you: "that would actually seem to indicate something about american ideas and if it's not prudishness, i don't know what you would call it"

Not wanting women to always, constantly be singled out as the ones who get shown off all sexylike while the men get big heavy chunky practical armor, is what it's called.

You know, a lot of the people who call this shit out are not American and like sex and sexy things. Really! Do you think this isn't the case? It's not about the fact that this stuff is 'sexual' and we just hate liberation. It's the lopsidedness, and the institutionalize..dness of it. Girl? Skinny, stripper pose/face, exposed. Guy? Metal, warrior pose/face, protected. That's the formula, and it sucks.

Why you gotta jump to such a silly conclusions bro.
posted by Drexen at 5:55 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've started to judge my MMOs by whether I get to wear pants. I've been playing Secret World and the clothing choices seem to range from ordinary street wear to fetish.

Although one of the few things I miss about WoW is the druid outfit with the big glowing birds on my shoulders that made my torso look like the ark of the covenant.

Picking on Bioware's problems with thematic unity is kinda like trying to do a food review of cineplex nachos, but there's something deeply weird about "my father is abusive" monologues being delivered over the shoulder to a camera at thigh level, a preachy mission map about the evils of commercialized criminal justice systems culminating in rescuing an almost-topless convict, and the most dangerous lawful-neutral vigilante in the cluster wearing go-go boots and armor open to her navel.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:00 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, liking sex and sexy things doesn't mean needing everything to be sexy and about sex. Like a fighting game is probably okay to be about, you know, fighting. And dragons and magic and stuff. You want a sexy fighting game? Okay, cool, if it doesn't apply that to girls only. But not wanting all games to be sexy is not hating on sex(iness).
posted by Drexen at 6:02 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The problem isn't sexy, it's incongruous sexy. James Bond in a tuxedo at a concert on in a casino makes sense. James Bond in a tuxedo on a ski slope, or swimming under water to plant a bomb usually doesn't. A female character in a bikini makes sense on a beach, beauty contest, or perhaps a bodybuilding competition. A female character in a bikini at the bank or in a dungeon usually doesn't. Characters like Chell get praise partly because she's a case where the character design actually is congruous with everything else about the games.

Of course a good costume designer (like Edith Head) could communicate sexy with a tuxedo or a puffy princess dress. Video game character designers appear to be approaching the sexy more in the way that Russ Meyer did, and not many artists can pull that off successfully. Sexploitation isn't meant to be taken seriously, and where sexploitation is the dominant mode of costuming female characters, they don't get taken seriously.

Inclusion of congruous adult sexuality into games gets criticized primarily on the manner and way it's introduced. Relationship sub-plots and minigames seem to be desired. (Although the last romantic cut-scene I played through reminded me of this memory from the 80s (SFW).) A minigame in which you collect female characters as cheesecake collectable cards isn't.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:55 AM on May 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is a dig against The Witcher, which is terrible when it comes to sexism even though at one point the protagonist shuts down a councilor's sexist remarks.
posted by ersatz at 9:07 AM on May 17, 2013


anonymisc: "Well, as much as I despise whore armor,

Calling it "whore armor" in a context of it being bad and not like good armor, is kind of ugly in its own right. We can advocate for a broad and inclusive range of armour and wardrobe befitting the better range of style choices that players would like, without throwing around phrases that could be mistaken for (or are) slut shaming.
"

No, I use that term to state that the devs and art directors seem to treat all women as whores in game.

I just remembered I used to have fun playing around in the online virtual community called There. (helped pioneer what I think might have been the first virtual mosh pit with a live DJ). Anyway, my avatar looked like me, with greying hair, glasses and a pot belly. People would ask me why I did that, what with the ability to be as handsome and sexy as I wanted to be, and I basically answered exactly that - I wanted to be me, and not a Ken doll.
posted by Samizdata at 9:24 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've started to judge my MMOs by whether I get to wear pants. I've been playing Secret World and the clothing choices seem to range from ordinary street wear to fetish.

Seriously. They have the "Snake Charmer" and infamous "Sight for Sore Eyes" outfits, as they are called. At least in TSW outfits are purely cosmetic, and the majority are substantially less weird, save for a few standouts, like a line of bras as outerwear.

also horse mask
posted by mrgoat at 9:34 AM on May 17, 2013


You know, a lot of the people who call this shit out are not American

fine, "anglophonic"
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:56 AM on May 17, 2013


also, i'm really suprised that americans are uncomfortable with seeing sex in things, that's really unexpected

Except it's not sex, it's one narrow fetish for anatomically-impossible caricatures of real women that looks utterly ridiculous to anyone who doesn't share it.

Can you even try to imagine what it would be like if your only option in video games was to play a character designed not based on what you think is cool, but designed to be sexually arousing to some person with a weird fetish that turns you off?

That's the leap of empathy the creators of Brosie were hoping you could make. Some people can't, I guess.
posted by straight at 10:11 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can you even try to imagine what it would be like if your only option in video games was to play a character designed not based on what you think is cool, but designed to be sexually arousing to some person with a weird fetish that turns you off?

i don't have to imagine!
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:14 AM on May 17, 2013


So...you're okay with it? Because...it's more important not to be a "prude" than to ask game developers to make stuff that you like instead of stuff that only other people like?
posted by straight at 10:17 AM on May 17, 2013


also, i'm really suprised that americans are uncomfortable with seeing sex in things, that's really unexpected

Oh bollocks. Yes, American culture can be funny about sex compared to other countries, but that's not what's going on here (and I think you know that). Letting women characters wear pants is not sex-negative.
posted by jess at 10:19 AM on May 17, 2013


Yeah, I've been unlocking some of the inner-ring and starter deck outfits right now. Only the cut-off harness seems to be arbitrarily different across genders, but even there the female version isn't cropped so much to be ridiculous. The worst fanservice seems to be in the Funcom Store outfits. As long as the fanservice fetish stuff is entirely optional for me, I'm fine with it. The default character model is slightly too Barbie for my taste, but all the characters look a bit weird to me.

But it's nice to get a jacket that actually looks like a jacket as a reward, rather than be forced to make a choice between chainmail bikini and a significant in-game handicap.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:34 AM on May 17, 2013


fine, "anglophonic"

Uh, okay. You mean like the people who make a lot of these games? Or unlike plenty of feminists? Pretty sure that's not the common factor here...

How about the part where we don't actually hate sex? Gonna address that? Or give some kind of evidence why wanting both genders to have similar options available to them requires being disgusted by the female body? Even though... many of them are.. female themselves...

.. you know what, this is stupid. I'm going to go buy an icecream.
posted by Drexen at 10:39 AM on May 17, 2013


Basically if there was an actual nipple people would freak the fuck out.
posted by Artw at 10:44 AM on May 17, 2013


So...you're okay with it?

p much
Because...it's more important not to be a "prude"

i would rather allow devs the room to make socially unacceptable or frowned-upon shit than not.
ask game developers to make stuff that you like instead of stuff that only other people like?

there are more other people than me, and they will ask the devs to make things they like, and since the devs can't make a version of the game for everyone, they will have to choose or create a diluted compromise. even if i find a way to force them to make a game i like instead of one everybody else likes, that still leaves a bunch of people who aren't me who aren't getting what they want, to say nothing of the vision of the dev team itself, which is something no one seems to give a fuck about on either side, which really disturbs me
but that's not what's going on here

i don't know what you mean by "here", but localization is a thing
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:49 AM on May 17, 2013


Objectifying women is not frowned upon or socially unacceptable. It is the status quo.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:55 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


almost no one here that i can see seems to think these costumes are okay

these do not look like things my friends (who are, i will admit, mainly +/- 20 years older than me, in their 40s, etc.) would be okay with

i don't know what to tell you, my experiences do not agree with these being mainstream
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:59 AM on May 17, 2013


Artists can create their vision, and other people can say that vision is crap. Interestingly this is something that only comes up with feminist/queer/multicultural criticism of art. You can say that a game is boring, that it's too easy or simple, that the ending doesn't satisfy, that the publisher is evil, yes, evil for zero-day DLC, that it's a grind, that it depends too much on pay-to-win, that the developers are biased toward one faction or another, that the character classes are imbalanced, that the graphics are too colorful or not colorful enough, that the minigames were frustrating, that the politics are didactic, that it requires online, that it lacks multiplayer, or that the level design needed more variations.

But you can't say that the design of female characters is inconsistent with plot, character, setting, or game mechanics without someone crying chicken little about censorship or artistic vision.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:07 AM on May 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


True, but I think a lot of people complaining about this think (rightly) that it's a little more important than complaints about class imbalance or grindiness.

The people whining about Diablo 3 because it wasn't därk enough were pretty widely ridiculed, including here on MetaFilter. It's one thing for the makers of a bright, colorful game to say "If you only like dark, gritty games, this game isn't for you. It's for people who like colors." It's quite another for developers to be saying, "If you're a straight female or gay, this game isn't for you. It's for people who like boobs. Physics-defying caricatures of boobs." (And even that might not be a problem if it wasn't almost every game proclaiming "THIS IS FOR BOYZ" with its artwork.)
posted by straight at 11:22 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


In a perfect world, gaming could be less pervasively hostile to women and still have room for games with the one-giant-pauldron-and-a-bra armor aesthetic. Pointing out that the latter is currently kinda ubiquitous and discussing why that's the case is something that might help us get within reach of the former.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:25 AM on May 17, 2013


that the publisher is evil, yes, evil for zero-day DLC
you will probably be made fun of if you say that in any place that is not a gaming community
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:52 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


i don't know what to tell you, my experiences do not agree with these being mainstream

Well, Fight The Power and everything, but maybe the fact that this many people and this many articles, here on MeFi and elsewhere are saying that this IS all too common for the mainstream and that it's a problem might, if not change your opinion on whether or not it's a good thing, at least give you pause before declaring your opinion to be a sound judgment on the entirety of the English speaking world?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:02 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


also, i'm really suprised that americans are uncomfortable with seeing sex in things, that's really unexpected

Actually it's not that people dislike the objectivication of women that shows that "Americans are uncomfortable with seeing sex in things", but rather the objectivication itself. Because what you get is the same sort of brokeback girls prancing around in moronic looking costumes, without ever actually ever showing any real nudity.

Even Saints Row III has those stupid censor blocks when you streak, because god forbids some of those on average 37 year old arrested adolescents should see a nipple -- or worse, a dong.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:43 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Actually, with more microtransactions and F2P models, I think the market is moving toward more character customization rather than less. Even Blizzard took a step away from the idea that a character's power was based on the Kirbiness of their shoulder-pads and headgear by introducing transmorgification. I know I paid $5 to give Jack a shirt and fix Garrus's armor, which was money well spent given how much time in-game I was thinking, "he can calibrate our guns but can't fix his own damn armor."

straight: As I see it, most of this criticism is coming from fans who already bought the game, book, or movie ticket, and want to talk about what they didn't like about the work. The point is not to indict the creators, because nothing is %100 perfect.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:49 PM on May 17, 2013


As an artist, i'm guilty of a few of these. But they forgot to add....

The insectoid motorcycle bodysuit: link

The living dragonarmor: link

The full mantis: link

And the goop suit: link
posted by ELF Radio at 7:12 PM on May 17, 2013


Yeah, it's like a conspiracy man. It's almost as if they all went to school and were taught to draw that way.

I drew alot of fat naked guys in art school.
posted by sidewinder at 11:37 PM on May 18, 2013


I had a friend who played a female character in Anarchy Online. He was in a guild called the Princesses of Pleasure or something like that. Everyone in the guild was in theory actually a woman IRL. My belief is that they all were dudes trying to convince the other dudes they were actually ladies and taking great pleasure in ratting each other out. Keep in mind this is before the days of ubiquitous voice chat, which made it somewhat easier. From his stories they got up to some serious infighting, backstabbing, and shenanigans. Like a caricature of what dudes think a sorority house is like

Part of their deal was you had to basically defraud other—presumably male—players out of so much money every week and contribute it back to the guild. This was made somewhat easier by the ridiculous outfits available to AO players. One of the most egregious was the "Red Ties" commemorative bra, panty, garter, and stocking set.

If you look around at the different categories in that Sephora's Closet blog, there are all kinds of scandalous clothing. However, to the designer's credit, they were equal opportunity: Both dudes and ladies could wear most items.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:49 PM on May 23, 2013


So there's a game I've mentioned, Dragon's Dogma, that doesn't have traditional multiplayer but instead lets other players rent out an NPC that you create. I'd love to see detailed stats on how many people rent out scantily clad, absurdly proportioned women vs people like me who have an informal policy of only renting out people dressed properly.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:31 PM on May 23, 2013


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