Women, Sex and MMO Games
You want to start a new MMORPG, so you have two options to choose which one: a recommendation from a friend or looking around the internet to read about others opinion about the best Free-To-Play MMORPG out there. When you choose the game you are going to invest at least a whole day playing, you enter the website, fill the registration form to get your account and start downloading the game. If you are like me and want to start the game with the right foot knowing a little about it, you start checking around the website and the wiki (this is a great indicator to know if the game has high population and if it is good). An interesting thing you will find is that throughout the website you will see a lot of art concept, and the ones concerning women are almost naked, using small, tight, and sometimes transparent outfits. You don’t pay attention to this and keep reading to define your class and how are you going to build it.
When the game finally finish downloading and updating to the latest version, its time for some joy and start a brand new thing, which is one of the most exciting things for a gamer. As the game loads to the different screens you see the same art concept of almost naked women but it doesn’t impress you, you have seen this before so whatever. You selected class, nickname and you are ready to create your character and customize it (some games have better customization tools than others). Perfect World has an excellent customization option for your character where you can do whatever you want with it. Concerning the body you can customize her waist, legs and bust. From the start you can create a super hot female character and no matter how hard you work on making her a normal average body it doesn’t work, she will still look super hot.
Ok, you have you have your character created and you start your adventure through a huge MMORPG ready to invest a lot of time on it. You start with some small clothes or armor that shows all your physical attributes. If you look for a newborn male character around you will see he is using just some normal medieval clothes. As you level up you will get better armors and weapons, but you will find you still get some sexy armor that doesn’t look like real armor at all. If some clever mob decides to attack your perfect thighs or belly and you are dead. Once again, compared to male’s armor, yours is some sexy outfit but protective as being naked.
I think I described pretty well what you will find if you start an MMORPG concerning to the role of women in it. In one sentence: Women are sexualized everywhere you look. From the concept art to the armor you use, even the female NPCs are made to think on one word, she is a *****. I think this is the situation in a lot of, if not most of the MMOs in the market.
In my personal opinion, the reason for this is that male is the biggest target for MMOs, and games in general. I know there has been an increase in women playing games, but they are still a minority. Developers are focusing their efforts to please the consumer group that really brings profits to the company, male gamers.
This strategy has been used in gaming for a long time, even before MMOs started to become as profitable and popular they are right now. If you don’t believe what I am saying check games like Tomb Raider, Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive and others show women as a sexual object. This hasn’t change in MMOs as I described before, and I’m sure you can feed this article with hundreds of experiences concerning the role of women in a lot of MMOs.
I don’t know if any male gamer have any complain about this issue (I’m almost sure there isn’t), but me, as a female gamer feel insulted sometimes with the treatment given to women in these games. Most of the times I don’t pay attention to these things in order to enjoy the experience, but I can bet a lot of new female players feel insulted by these and simply don’t play the game.
This won’t change any time soon, but I’m optimistic that with the increase of female gamers year by year developers will start paying more attention to our needs about these games, not sexualizing male characters, but making games more like an adventure filled with thousands of idealized characters and not an harem full of sexy women ready to please the sultan.
If you have any comments on this issue I would love to read them, and maybe they can help to make further articles about this issue. Hope you enjoyed
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