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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I'm never questioned to be male or female, nor do I go about pointing out my gender.
I make male characters because I don't want my character walking around all slutty-like.
Also.. I don't like compliments IRL.. I see them as sort of kiss-ass. And well.. That there role playing in the games.. If I've got a female character.. I get a guy saying 'hey babe'.
My reaction. GTFO. But I just realistically reply with one word answers. Bore them off my back. And eventually if they seem especially dumb. I switch over to annoying troll mode to get them to quit messaging. 8D Call me antisocial. But no offense. You interweb people. I don't give a rip about you.
I play the game to play the game. So.. err.. Having a male character is easier for me. And one never questions the IRL gender of a male character. Though if I am questioned, I'd tell them the truth, then they'd not believe me.
All of you saying that girls dress slutty have never been to about 90% of Michigan. Shet's cold.
I myself dress conservatively, even in the summertime. Dressing provocatively = uncomfortable. And well.. I'd even be disappointed in myself for doing so.
Anyhow. That was to sort of fight back on the girls IRL dressing like dollar-store whores.
Anyhow.. Whereas I do appreciate if a game get's realistic and has the defensive female characters well-covered (like skyrim.. but that's not an mmo)... But if it's such a large problem for you.. Don't play the game. Play something else. Make a male character. If the apparel is the killing point.. try something else. A different game. A different genre.. etc etc.
Well.. Basically those that can't stand to play based on the apparel won't play and those that are attracted to it will play. If the numbers are rising as you say.. there will be a decrease in the growth of members of the game. The game will die out. A new game will rise that better suits the player base. Gaming evolution.
But as of right now 'sex sells'. Maybe when the female gamer population grows, and enough agree with this article.. outright appalled... Well... things will change. This is currently trending. This is what is booming.
THOSE ADDS, are from the less then popular games (mostly) that need more people (always) so, civony (now referred as Evony) is a game wich didnt have many players thanks to its slow paced game type.... so they recurred to the only thing they thought could help them... wich is TITS!
now... lets see how much audience they could get....
1- male heterosexual gamers... expecting for a "porn-like" videogame
2-Male homosexual gamers... (there arent many but there are) looking for stuff to laugh about (yes i know gay people and they are really kinky)
3-Female homosexual gamers... looking, as the first one for adult entertainment
and for female heterosexual gamers..... nooooo they just complain... but still its 25% of the mentioned before, only....
now, responding to your "customisation" section...female characters, in most games nowadays are shown as the "average" sexual appeal, since the developers dont want any people to hate them for big titties or small ones... Some even have the power of change, in the matter spoken above... and some others preffer to simply give you diferent choices...
NOW.... in most of the games, reffering to the male avatars..... we, male players (the most abundant of the community) preffer this "classic" examples...
1-the average... wich is human... average body.. not to fit (or as some call it "gay") and not too fat (or as some call it " we gamers :P")
2- the hero... wich CAN be human... or humanoid species... in wich they are built extremly fit, in what they are shown as some species of bodybuilding machines.... or something like that...
and well 3....... theres the ugly ones.. that you yourself mentioned... the thing is... those sometimes are really fun to play, have diferent gameplay experience or even look or sound good for the gamer... wich makes them as fun as the others....
well.... now i hope you understood... the female avatars ingame... they are not "slutty" by choice of the developer... but by choice of the women who play them, or men who try to get a "mule" (alternative character in wich you can store stuff) to get objects for their real accounts....
oh and by the way.... i know MANY women who, when they play videogames with customisable characters... they make them as slutty as possible but for none of the reasons i stated above... but bor the same reason as we men use the "trolls" or "dwarfs" .... just to have fun... and i believe, that THAT! is the true spirit of mmorpgs.... not to fight against the other sex over a childish therm -.- thanks for reading... i hope i helped
MC: Over and out...
The premise of Cleo's complaint rests on her view that the stereotypical female game character is "sexualized," and that this is done in order to attract male players even at the cost of insulting female players like herself The argument uses the logical fallacy, "post hoc ergo proctor hoc" ("After this, therefore because of this"). Her opinion assumes that because men have historically been the predominant consumer demographic for video games, men must be the cause of the particular trend she sees in this industry. By this logic, if I stamp my foot and a clock strikes 2 o'clock afterward, my stomp must have caused the clock to chime.
Here's an alternative explanation: Maybe the trend is developer-driven rather than user-driven. Video game developers have been pushing the envelope of the acceptable level of nudity for the past ten years or so to see if they can make headlines by convincing a publisher to back them on it AND have it pay off. This is difficult to do, as recent, high-profile game titles poised to earn commercial success with nudity as part of its content have often seen their success dashed by censorship campaigns in the US. "BMX XXX" and "Mass Effect" are two examples I have in mind as I write this. The point here is that developers want to make history, but they can do that just by having the content there. The EMPHASIS on that content occurs when the publisher tries to use it as a marketing strategy (or, in the case of "Mass Effect," when the game's detractors want to pick a fight over it). Because there's always so much hubbub over the issue (which this article surely serves to increase), people join for the novelty when they see a new game marketed in this way. Proving that such ad campaigns produce a gender-biased response is difficult; since even the author admits that men are the predominant player base for most games anyway, you'd EXPECT to see high male response regardless of how marketers choose to promote the game One does not necessarily have to do with the other in order to see the same effect.
Once such game content becomes more commonplace, the novelty will wear off, and you'll see focus on gameplay again. In fact, if some of the comments from MEN on this article - writing about how they simply refuse to take such ads for face value and ignore them - are any indication, this has already started to happen.
And yes, sex sells. And believe it or not, each new generation is more horny than the last. My generation (1990) I consider extremely horny. Everyone was hooking up with someone in elementary school, hell I remember one of my friends had to move cause she was caught giving a bj to her boyfriend. And our elementary was the mild one, everybody was gettin in trouble for sex and stuff at the other one that was across town.
And the generations just keep getting worse, when I was in high school my friend and I were walking home from school, passed by this day care center for lil kids, we said hi to them and one of them walked up to the fence and called my friend a stupid fat-ass. (replace stupid with something much worse that will get censored if I say it...)
Each new generation gets more rowdy in language and action, hell if I know why its happening, but it is. Welcome to the future, the real idiotocracy. (which will be in, i imagine, 30-40 years from now.) and with that all I have to say is "Welcome to costco, I love you."
they know how it is, maybe you should get clued in too.
Now for my thoughts on both sides of the equation.
To the extremists for this article:
Actions speak louder than words. We need to DO something about this if we want to change the way women look in MMOs. Not only do we need to show/say what we want in the games, but we also need to do so irl so the game makers actually get it.
To the extremists against this article:
To those who think women dress scantily I say there are many, many women who dress modestly. Please look more carefully. You say a majority of women dress that way because that is what you're looking for. If you were really looking for more modestly dressed women, you would find more of them.
To those who think women aren't equal to men because they aren't physically strong I say we are equal. We may not have the physical strength a man does but there are other areas that we excel in where a man would not. Childbirth is an area that comes to mind.
To those who think women who are jealous because of the way women look in MMOs I say not all of us are jealous, mad, or in bad relationships. Some of us don't like it because we have good values. We just don't have enough weight to throw around because not many people are willing to stand up for those values.
To those who regard women as sex objects in their fantasies, think that looking like a sex object is beautiful, & that most women are trolls I say this.....we aren't trying to rule. We just want to be treated as more than just a plaything. Most women are not trolls. Just because we don't look like sex objects, doesn't mean we're ugly. Please don't think of us in this way. That is very disrespectful.
My closing thoughts:
I agree that customizing is fun. That helps draw me into a game. I just feel there needs to be more options for customizing females, not just the barely there items. As for the way men are dressed, making them just as scantily clad will not solve the issue. It will only add to it. Men don't need barely there clothing but I do think there could be a few more options for them as well. We(both men & women who feel the same way) just need to take a stand on the issue. Some of the male posters here who think women need to do something about this could help us out. There are more male gamers out there. Just the female voice alone can't change it. We need to work together.
On a side note, anyone wanting to see short, fat bald male characters need to go check out CoH/CoV. I've seen quite a few of those during my time in Paragon City. :p
to rule the way we regard women in are own FANTASIES and let us live are own lives
without there social commentary after all we didn't ask them to join in are gaming tho its open to all
who show equality and tolerance instead of complaining and that they should be flattered that we
think all women are buetifal even tho reality is most women are trolls that why the cosmetic industry
is a muti billion dollar industry
link to her wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alyx_Vance
Come on, developers, stop thinking every MMO player is nothing but a perv.
One certain comment made me think of this. And, well, it applies to a lot of comments in here.
18-year-old guy, and more importantly: Christian.
My stance: They're trying to sell sex. This to me says they can't sell anything else.
The other thing I note though, is that selling sex works... That's the point where I just sigh and ignore it.
Alone, I cannot change it. Until I work out how I should go about changing it though, I can't do anything. So I'll focus on more important things for now.
Also adding that is not just girls, but on the majority of the cases they never use color people. most online games don't give you the option of changing the color of the skin. not only online games but also normal games, programs so is still just a matter of discrimination, so although we all hate it we just need to coup with it. so although my previous comments say if on female side, im still are but is not to be so mad about it. could be worse if you didn't even have the option to be a girl
when i read the news on internet and i get this tits mmo adds i really feel nothing anymore. its like oh someone died, damn wth this marriage everywhere, the boob add, where´s the car section again?
MMOs already are giving the experience of a walk in the Playboy Mansion: too many boobs(I don't say I don't like 'em) and so less detailed male char's.C'mon ppl! If you are an addict of the gameplay the only place where you will see a nice pair of boobs will be the game.
When I start looking for an MMO I want to see the customization capacitys for both genders first.When I see an MMO where the male has no style at all I realise why so many guys started creating female char's.I got my own style and if the game doesn't lets me show it I don't even wanna see the rest of the game 'cuz it's just a waste of time.
However it's getting to point where you see it everywhere and way over the top. Take the evony ads.
Simply...wtf man? Why are they advertising their game by shoving two tits in your face?
Take Evony for example. The ad using attractive women to bring in the players, but the game differentiates entirely from the ad. There aren't even any avatars in that Web MMO, as all you do is construct buildings, raise armies, and wait 3 hours to find out if your attack failed or succeeded. A game like that typical turns away your average gamer, regardless of the model in the ad. As for games that actually have the women wearing next to no clothing -in- the game, I don't really care. As these are pixels, as well as probable men. Regardless of how hot they are, it's not like you engage in sexual activity with them. And even if you could, you're sitting on the other side of a computer screen so it's pretty much fruitless.
I figure if nobody is actually being hurt by it, it's not really something that can be changed. Developers don't care if a few feelings of females with poor self-image get hurt. Despite losing female players, the playerbase is largely male so they don't really care as much. As males tend to be more competitive, so more likely to spend money pimping their character out in the cash shop in order to be the best in the server. Still, I'll state that as a male, I have found a few sexual-based things annoying in MMOs.
In Perfect World, I thought it was alright for them to have such a detailed character customization, including bust size, as not everyone wants to have DDs.
On the other hand, in Forsaken World, the busts are not customizable, as all of the females have ridiculously large breasts, and the Vampires wears next to absolutely nothing.
Some would say this shouldn't be a problem to me, but it is. For males, I like the armor to be cool-looking. Regardless of what level you are, you have the right to look badass.
For females, I've heard they prefer their armor to be cute, as many of them pick mages or priests, due to the cloth clothing that is more likely to be cute, as you're not really expected to take many hits.
The thing is, an MMO may purposely diverge from both of the above paths, simply because they'll include "badass" fashion and "Cute" fashion in their cash shops. And that's how they get you.
As for the comment about "Why can't the women look average?", I ask, why is it a problem that you're somewhat unable to have a fugly character? Do you want them to look unappealing, or do you want them to look plain enough to the point that it makes you feel better? -shrug-
"its a bit annoying that games attract players with sexy girls(they just forget about the gameplay sometimes) and you got to admit pretty boys are either gays or simple created. most guys don’t care about their appearance specially gamers, not being racist or anything but have you seen most of hardcore gamers? can they walk?"
1: i have lost count of how many games i have tried out and realised that some of the more popular mmo games(that i know of) are 90% the same as each other when it comes to for example quests, characters (and NPC) looks and clothes. the games that irritatets me the most are the ones which has made a gender lock on the classes like AIKA online. P.S i have not seen any gamer who can´t walk in my country. (exept those who are bound to a whellchair)
Those hardcore gamers that i do know of do go to the gym 1-3 times a week or train some other way.
"also don’t say all guys go for sexy girls with tiny skirts, big boobs, blond, when i think of a perfect girl the first thing that comes to my mind is personality, why the hell would i want a good looking girl if shes a bitch?"
2: as he said all guys don´t go for sexy girls with tiny skirts, big boobs and blond hair. i also consider the personality the most important part. But if i had to chose a girl for her aperance i would say either avarage long skirts or pants, small/avarage boobs (natural) when it comes to the hair colour i don´t really care.
"PS if you really hate that give a try Ragnarok online, although theres still some of it but is really few compared to other games. or simple play runescape where you cant say if its a girl or boy"
3: i have played s4 league for about a year now, its a mmotps and there is at least 1 clothing style that everyone likes(asfar as i know) some can you get in difrent colours and the only thing about the female clothes that i find a bit annoying is that many have short skirts. some of my active friends are female (or at least say so) and they don´t mind it cus 1: either they don´t care or 2: they like the skirt.
This is soley my personal opinion regarding this matter and i apriciate that you have read it all. If you have some comments on this i will try to answear but it might take some time cus i rarely wiew my e-mail.
This is a one sided and highly sexist look at a common problem. Are women objectified? Yes. Are men? Hell yes. Unless somebody's willing to point out an mmorpg where you play a short fat bald man? No? Alright then, guess we'll focus on the Rogue in Requiem, Dante, Kronos or any class in any game that is not a tank. In Requiem the rogue class is dressed in leather belts, same for the mage class in AIKA. But hey, that's ok, it's only a problem if they're women, right?
I don't like the way Nexon and Outspark do business, you know what I do? I don't play their games. If you want to make a point, then do the same, not whine about it and then go back to playing it.
Also, let's take a look at Champions Online, there you CAN make a "normal" woman. How many "normal" women do you think are running around in that game? I'll give you a hint, it's a number lower then 1. This is an article that echoes something that has become a norm, complain about women being treated as sex objects and then proceed to play the said games thus giving the developers support to continue doing it. It's called hypocrisy, you should look it up together with a few more words, such as "objective outlook" and "auto psychoanalysis".
And it's a good thing you named your article "Sex and MMO's" and then proceeded to fill it with pictures of scantly clothed women. God forbid you'd actually have to use your brain to write a reasonable and thought out article, no, it's best to just use sex to attract your readers...oh wait, isn't that what the games do as well? How odd...
But one thing I hate is this thing on more childish games, you see games like Ether Saga online or Luna which graphics are more childish and more cartoonist that there are pictures like these, and I'm pretty sure that most of the players who lay in these games are younger.
So to sum it up, this situation is real and this situation is dumb and I hope the game companies will start to think why not to put the pictures.
also don't say all guys go for sexy girls with tiny skirts, big boobs, blond, when i think of a perfect girl the first thing that comes to my mind is personality, why the hell would i want a good looking girl if shes a bitch?
PS if you really hate that give a try Ragnarok online, although theres still some of it but is really few compared to other games. or simple play runescape where you cant say if its a girl or boy
First thing we learn is you gotta go where the money flows ;)
Do you really think that the women who Do wear those kinds of things and the same women who play online? The women you are talking about aren't even the majority, they're just the ones you seem to notice.
@Icedrake "The problem with this article is that it is opinionated. If you’re trying to make a serious news article, don’t make it opinionated. You’ve only looked at things from one point of view; yours."
I think what she's trying to show is how females gamers feel about it, so of course it would be opinionated.
@mr.bojangles "To be blunt this article has served no purpose. Trust me when I say this will continue until the demographic of either A.what is attractive or B. the average gamer is changes. So you might as well put your self on a couch and wait it out."
The purpose of this article was to show what we, as female gamers, thought of the way that a lot of games show women as. What we CAN do about it is get our female friends into games, that way, to please the increasing number of female gamers, the developers would have to do something about the way they advertise their games as well as give female characters decent clothes to choose from.
- but in the end its all about the "Money" .and S e x sells so the Dev's or Editors wont give a damn about this article even if selling naked ideas like this have the wrong impact on moral or if its right or prudent . but hay DON'T give up speaking your mined .. you might change the View of 1 Pearson in a million and that will still count as change .
Just replying to make a +1
It's just how it is,was and will be unless you do something to change how women project themselves in real life.
And another true thing in these comments what girls shows in the real life, they really looks like ... u know what i mean. and this styles are not just irritating womans, its also offend man's too, not the way u think, we lowe womans who show more from their body but its cause some problems if u cant get that girl and usually u cant !
You right the female charters are too sexy and their armor looks like can't protect you but sexual contents are everywhere in this sh.t world, not just games but everywhere. And if it irritating u just ignore it and create a male one.
If u really want to change anything try to write an article what really girls wants in these games.
And another thing, How a man choose a new mmo ? first of all u think we see a hot girl and we want that and we dont care anything more, maybe the first part is true but its true for womens too cuz its a normal reaction for humans but the second part is truly not ! And why someone stay playing these games is not cuz there are nice girls in it, its because the game is good !
U sad u bet a lot new female player feel irritated by these things and just dont want to play, sorry but never heard that ! Not a single woman cared about this kind of staffi think u overreact this thing.
I hope there are more and more girls came to play games like MMO's but this kind of articles not the way u should solve the problem
Now, before I start this long reply, let me just say that I'm a 17 year old dude that plays MMO's. And remember that little "I don’t know if any male gamer have any complain about this issue (I’m almost sure there isn’t)" bit? Well think again, because I, a guy, do have an issue with this. I DON'T like games where the women are dressed like....ya know.
Ok, so if I'm on your side why would I say this article is a joke?
Because when I go to school, or out to the mall, I can say with confidence that 70-80% of the women I see aren't dressed much better than they are in a game. short shorts, teeny tiny tank-tops, why didn't you just wear a bikini? And how many women participate in these sexy photo-shoots, on their own free will, wearing even less.
So why on earth wouldn't developers use this tactic? It works in real life, it'll work in their game. If women don't want this to happen in games, why are you letting it happen in real life?
I would go on, but i doubt you'll listen. Sooo ya...start bashing this reply.
That attracts males. Ads catch their eye and they try that game out. ( Most of them anyway )
The only thing i have to say about all this is...ok you wanna exploit the female appeal to make males more hooked to the game go for it (just don't overreact it to the point of offending us females by making npcs look like....ya know what i mean) but why is it that we can't have a little something for ourselves either?! i mean why is it that females always look good and guys always look ...i can't even find words to describe it...
In the end this isn't just the games fault...games like perfect world with so much customization work both ways but male gamers just don't bother making their male characters look good...they prefer wasting their time making a perfect looking "hot" female for eye-candy.
If we go down to statistics 80/90% of the world in a MMO is made to please the male gender and the other 10% go for pink stuff and fluffy animals to please females?! we don't just like pink stuff and fluffy things...use your brains and 1 day you may get there...anyway the female community is growing in the online games but we are still a minority. I believe that if developers pay attention to their female followers things may get a little better for our side.
P.S: Has anyone else noticed that all the above screens have half naked blonds with big breasts?!...