Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Saving the world in string bikini

Spinks wrote that she does not want to play Runes of Magic, because the front page shows women in a "skanky" (whore-like) outfit. She does not want to support such game.



I wouldn't like to play such game either, despite I'm a male and I live in a relationship since 5 years (that's closer to the dreaded 7th year than to the first date).

So why do I don't like the possibility of spending my time in a world populated by sexy women? Am I a feminist, hating the "women pictured as sex tools" thing? No. I think feminists are stupid, and there is a reason why every successful women start their speech about such topics with "I'm not a feminist but..."

The reason is very simple: if the game was real, if I was a druid going to battle against the forces of evil and the cost of defeat would be real death, I'd prefer to move out with the ugly blue women of Storm Peaks, than these maxed make-up skilled, exalted with Victoria's secret girls, simply because the blue women seem to be able to fight.

When I play, I want to be immersed in the game world. I don't want to role-play, I want the game make me role-play. When I play counter-strike, I don't have to "roleplay" a terrorist. I am a terrorist, sneaking in the slime with an AK in my hands towards the bomb placing spot. If I'd stand to chat with some friends, I'd be fragged. I don't sit on the bomb because I "roleplay suicide bomber", but to protect it from defusing = winning the game. The game makes me act like a real terrorist.

The pictures of super-sexy girls in a game is equal to shouting "the game world is a joke, the point is to hang out, to socialize, and to jerk off on screenshots, paying us in the process". The developers don't take their game seriously. They don't care about monsters, battles, the whole "saving the world" thing.

When the task itself is easy, and people get bored so much that boosting random idiots seems fun, they automatically turn to random social actions. Sexy-seducing actions (without the real sex) is just another pointless social activity, aimed to increase the person's feeling of self-worth (all the girls/boys want me, I'm awesome).

Hard tasks make the people focus on it and force them to act as an effective team. Have you heard sexists jokes on firstkill attempts (on a meaningful boss)? No, you only heard "add", "interrupt", "tank change" and such. Have you seen blood elf tits on world first videos? No, because the viewpoint is so far that the whole character is just few pixels.

The feminists are stupid because they expect the men to abandon some joyful activity without any reward. Why would a bored man stop making sexist comments when that's the best part of his day? Pointless social activities are inevitable consequences of a pointless life. The successful women get little-to-none sexist abuse, simply because they are in a success-oriented environment and men there have several reasons not to make sexist abuses:
  • They are doing their job, have less time (and reason) to do pointless activities (including, but not limited to bad sexist jokes).
  • Since they need the work of their female coworker, they are focused on that. Being sexy or not is irrelevant compared to doing her job or not.
  • Since they value her work, they don't want to risk losing it over some stupid drama, so they rather don't make offensive comments of any kind against her.
  • She is not dumb, she knows that she can sue them.
Doing challenging, success-oriented activities automatically create an atmosphere where social activities are irrelevant. This is the best protection for socially undesirable/undervalued people. Jesse Owens could be the part of the Olympic team in an era when "only white" signs were everywhere, simply because he was fast and losing him could cost medals to his team.

The game which advertise with characters dressed as whores say that "it's a social game, there is large space for pointless social activities here". I don't want to play such a game.


PS: I found the avenging wrath animation for Blood elf females in T9.

31 comments:

praxedes said...

'I "roleplay suicide bomber"'

just made my night :D

Anonymous said...

"The successful women get little-to-none sexist abuse,..."

Because they would sue the offender, thats why.

Regarding the gear-looks: You do realise that you're shallow, right? Why would I pick a player with cobalt/saronite-gear (because it looks like real armor) over someone with better stats AND better looks (g-string for women, mass-muscles for man)?
A +20 defense rating enchant doesn't make you armor suddenly look more armor..ish.
Because it is magic, fantasy ... not the real world. In a game you could have better gear AND look good too.

Sven said...

"The successful women get little-to-none sexist abuse, simply because they are in a success-oriented environment and men there have several reasons not to make sexist abuses."

If only that were true. The truth is that successful women frequently experience sexist abuse. There are "several reasons not to make sexual abuse", but that doesn't stop it happening, as prejudiced people aren't acting rationally.

Likewise for Jesse Owens, Despite his heroic achievements, he was never offered any endorsement deals after those Olympics and had to make his living doing ridiculous things like racing horses and motorcycles.

Given your repeated posts about how dumb some people are Gevlon, I'm quite surprised that you think people magically stop being dumb when it comes to racism and sexism. These things are real and they have a big impact on both the victims and the performance of the whole team. It's not so much "standing in the fire" as deliberately pushing other members of the team into it mid-battle.

ks said...

A game with sexy chicks in skanky clothes? SIGN ME UP!

I'm tired of watching dwarven male butt for the past 4 years...

Najtrok said...

God Gevlon what a great post. On the one hand you prove a nice point.

But the better thing is the fun part.
"Why would a bored man stop making sexist comments when that's the best part of his day?"
Was the third time i laughed out loud...

So for the point I agree with you. But the sexist part of the story is by far the funniest :-)

Anonymous said...

I find that the women who have a problem with such images aren't that good looking generally. If they had a body like that I bet they would sport a bikini too. There is a reason why images of women who are dressed "skanky" are used and why porn is the largest entertainment industry; they make lots of money. The makers of RoM are just being good goblins.

Anonymous said...

Sexy-seducing actions (without the real sex) is just another pointless social activity, aimed to increase the person's feeling of self-worth (all the girls/boys want me, I'm awesome).

So very, very, very true!!

Anonymous said...

I amd male, with a human, male palidan, yet I always feel sexy when he pops his wings :p

And for some reason, I sniggered when I read "jerk off on screenshots". It's not immaturity, but that given my impression of you, it's weird seeing you write such a thing.

Ok, maybe it is immaturity.

MomentEye said...

Feminism is a historical movement founded to promote the equality of women.

To say that expecting sexist men to give up their 'pleasurable' activities is unreasonable without reward is equivalent to arguing that slave owners should have been paid to free thier 'chattals'.

Any member of society who does not understand its history, nor participate in its development is a moron and a slacker.

HP said...

Rofl, I loved the parting SS in part because it is sorta true that belf paladins have been mostly eye candy but this time around, paladin T9 is truly hideous!

Anonymous said...

Please go look up the definition of feminism. Hint: it's not the female version of machismo, although there are extremists - which have given the movement a bad name.
And successful women don't get sexist comments in the workplace? Eh! Maybe not to their face... :P

Whats my main Again? said...

My raid groups first Kill of Kologarn.... there was A LOT of sexual refrences thrown out... lots of comments on how is right arm looked bigger then his left.. with his kungfu grip... and what exactly was holding up the platform you were standing on...

matojo said...

"I find that the women who have a problem with such images aren't that good looking generally."

Fat chick here, with absolutely no problem seeing such images in games and such. Similarly, I know of several women like me on my side of the fence. ;)

Generally, shmemerally.

I find freak-outs over scantily clad video-game girls to be absolutely silly. Well... freak-outs over any game stuff pretty pointless, really.

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog, Gevlon, but I would stick to things I know.

"The successful women get little-to-none sexist abuse,..."

and the followup comment

Because they would sue the offender, thats why.

are completely ignorant of how the world works. I am a successful female scientist (example--I beat out 150 other applicants for my current job, I get invited to speak about my work at major conferences), but I still deal with lots of sexism at work. At conferences, I am often asked to fetch coffee. In my workplace, men make sexist comments all the time. At least one of my (former) colleagues did it deliberately to make women uncomfortable in the lab. He only cared about his fun, not about the mission of the team or the company.

Another "colleague" was asked to stop looking at porn in his office because it really disturbed his (female) office mate. This is supposedly a fireable offense, but he was just asked to stop. Instead he kept doing it and mocked her publicly until she quit. No repercussions on him, and everyone knew about it. Both were productive workers. He wasn't a superstar either.

Women who complain (let alone sue) about sexism that doesn't rise to the level of outright "have sex with me or you are fired" are tagged as whiners and give up any chance at a career in their field. HR/legal/EEO will help them with the current problem, but it is easy to pass up people for promotions or non-promotion random opportunities for advancement if they are perceived as a troublemaker. I have seen this lots of times for victims of racism and sexism in the workplace.

End of rant. I agree that companies that need scantily clad women to sell their game are telling me their game is probably boring, and I don't bother trying it out.

Auntie Cail said...

I love the 'ugly' blue women in Storm Peaks. I'd roll one in a heartbeat. They are what female toons should be - believable in the role.

I like my female orc DK, too. She seriously looks like she can swing something as large as the axe she carries. Go figure. Now if the armor wasn't all drawn to expose as much skin as possible ONLY on female toons.. Yea, I am wearing mega plate armor that exposes my soft, soft belly full of vital organs, ty.

I agree about success being harassment insurance, by the way. I am damned good at what I do, and am serious about it. Exactly once in my 44 yrs has someone crossed the line. He then backed slowly out of my cubicle, got his manager, and came back to grovel w/out a word said by me.

If I want to be treated like a bimbo in game or out, that's easy enough to do. No, thanks.

Anonymous said...

""I find that the women who have a problem with such images aren't that good looking generally."

Fat chick here, with absolutely no problem seeing such images in games and such. Similarly, I know of several women like me on my side of the fence. ;)

Generally, shmemerally.

I find freak-outs over scantily clad video-game girls to be absolutely silly. Well... freak-outs over any game stuff pretty pointless, really."
I was saying women WHO have a problem with scantily clad images aren't attractive in my experience. The are women (like yourself) who aren't bothered by such imagery because they seem to be comfortable and well adjusted. My girlfriend is overweight but is the first one to admit that if she could she would wear a bikini.

Molinu said...

Augh.

Nice post Gevlon, but remind me not to read the comments any time you mention anything having to do with sex appeal. Reading the stuff on this page is giving me a headache.

It's true that this is a game, and stats matter more than looks. But you can still tell a lot about a developer's target and intentions by looking at the aesthetics.

Firespirit said...

Gosh, the only reason I would want to play runes of magic at this point is because of the armor on the man using the sword.

I am so rediculously sick of paladin tier art being sub-par and laughable, its not funny (no pun intended).

Leifo of Kargath said...

So your comments on sexism in the workplace (at least, by U.S. standards) are way off. In fact, I think they're worse in most European countries from my experience in international offices. But I'll leave that aside for now, because I have a different observation.

How "goblinish" is it to advertise a game by using scantily clad women?

I bring up exhibit A: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001286.html which has an awesome dissection of the slow descent to the rock bottom of internet advertising by a 'freemium' game.

While I agree wholeheartedly with the analysis and the article, you can bet that the folks there are doing champion/challenger testing, gathering data, and slowly refining the ads each time and observing how the click-throughs and conversions improve as breasts become more and more of a focal point of the ads. Despicable by most standards... but if it's effective, how can we blame them?

If an advertiser discovers that showing more boobage turns into better results, doesn't the goblin in him say to go for it?

Is that any different than a glyph seller going with his undercutter strategy, despite other glyph sellers claiming he's doing something "wrong" or not being "fair" or hurting them with his actions, when he's making gold hand over fist?

Or more appropriately, how is that different from the immorality of gold sellers who are still seeing real life dollars from people taking them up on their quick cash and power-leveling services?

Sydera said...

Pardon me but I don't think you have any idea what kinds of discrimination women face in the most lucrative professions. Your article could have used some research on the point. I am a professor, and I have good friends who are women lawyers and executives. We all face gender discrimination.

FYI: any woman who says "I am a feminist but..." is a feminist. This apology exists to disarm a male interlocutor.

Sven said...

"FYI: any woman who says "I am a feminist but..." is a feminist. This apology exists to disarm a male interlocutor."

I'd half agree with you there. Many young career women that I know, whilst fitting my definition of a feminist (in terms of wanting equal rights in the workplace and wider society), they do not choose to describe themselves as such.

Why? Well many of them have fallen for the stereotype of the feminist as ugly, man-hating dungaree-wearer that is still widely propagated. So they're feminists in reality, but don't like to call themselves that. It's a shame that a movement that has done so much for women's rights is viewed so negatively by those who have benefited from it most.

Anonymous said...

I am a successful woman in a highly pressured business environment (beat 25,000 applicants to get 1 of 40 places). I personally get a kick out of sexual banter at the office - most fun part of my day! Of course none of my guys would dare to take it too far, I'd let them know they'd overstepped my line. So we have a laugh and sometimes a bit of a flirt.

I had a client tell me on the phone the other day that my voice sounded really sexy (I'd just had a sore throat/cold) so I answered that I was flattered that he thought I had an alternative career on the hardcore phone lines, but infact it was costing him more per minute to talk to me anyway given my consultancy rate.

The worst kind of gender discrimination isn't in co-workers looking at porn or making remarks that some might take the wrong way, its found in that secret glass ceiling, the hidden promotion meetings where someone gets to say "yes but if you select her for VP rather than him, she might go off and have a baby in the few years time". That stuff is far harder to combat because its behind closed doors.

Unfortunately women being oversensitive and kicking off about the little stuff (like a scantily dressed woman) do more damage to the struggle for equality than good.

Bristal said...

Nice post. I enjoyed it. The comments are a bit flaming, but judge Sotomayor might have something to say about your conclusion that success makes a woman immune to sexism.

It's a tired cliche, but successful women in business or politics are often characterized as pushy, bitchy or untrustworthy, while successful men are considered hard working, innovative, risk takers, "on the cutting edge", etc.

Any good Goblinish businessman/woman will screw you over in a heartbeat for a deal. Women are likely to have more social fallout as a result.

However, I do not begrudge an art designer/marketing dept using sex to sell a couple million video games.

Is the target demographic of an MMORPG going to choose the box with hot Xena-warrior types, or a frumpy gnome with pigtails (sorry Larisa, I'd of course take the cute gnome but i'm not 22 anymore).

Quality and variety of a video game is what sells it to those who are not swayed by cover art, but there are still a LOT of sales to be made to the HM&S (Horny Morons & Slackers.

spinksville said...

"Unfortunately women being oversensitive and kicking off about the little stuff (like a scantily dressed woman)"


That was not me kicking off in any way (feel free to follow the link). I just said I didn't like it. Part of the reason is that it attracts the sort of crowd who think that in order to be a well adjusted pretty female you have to think it's great to have all female characters in string bikinis. (Newsflash, there's no freaking connection between how you look in real life and how you like your character to look. People who are better adjusted may well be more likely to go with uglier models.)

I'm sorry if me expressing my opinions upsets you in that way and makes you think that I'm hampering your efforts to get equality in the workplace. But all I said was that I didn't like it.

I'm not going to stop expressing my opinions. I'm also not going to stop striving for more equality and I guarantee you that pretending we're OK with stuff when we're not is not helping anyone.

If we can all grow up a bit, we'll realise that people like different things. That means some women will like skimpy characters and some won't, and we can accept this without calling each other names.

Gevlon:
"The successful women get little-to-none sexist abuse, simply because they are in a success-oriented environment and men there have several reasons not to make sexist abuses"

In an ideal world, this would be true for exactly the reasons you give. This is going to be one case where I wish people were more goblinish in real life.

Ben said...

"Why would a bored man stop making sexist comments when that's the best part of his day?"

No clue, eh? Try imagining "Why would a bored man stop making racist comments about non-english speakers when that's the best part of his day?" Or similar.

Men or women with out of proportion body parts used in games? Meh, whatever.

For some reason your non-wow posts make me think of ivory towers.

Gobble gobble.

Brian said...

One thing I notice about games that highlight female sexuality is that they ALSO highlight male sexuality, it's just that people don't pay as much attention. In games where women wear bikini-like costumes, the men aren't fat, dumpy guys wearing robes...they are Fabio looking dudes wearing armor that, while it might cover their skin, is also form fitting enough to show off their epic muscles.

Men in most games (including WoW) are as ridiculously good looking as the women, it's just that they aren't good looking in the same way. But since real life men and women are appealing for different reasons, that makes sense. Sex sells, for a segment of the population, and for those of us who don't care...it really makes no difference.

Orgalia said...

Fun post...dangerous topic due to volitile differences of human beings. We can't all agree on this or that just be patient and tolerant of each other to get along and move on with our lives.

LarĂ­sa said...

@Brian: being a woman I can't agree on that the men in WoW are goodlooking. On the contrary. I find especially the human guys seriously unattractive. (If you on the other hand show me a handsome gnome, ohhh...No. Just kidding.)

It probably sells better this way, so I guess they're just good goblins. Still it saddens me a bit. I want to believe that most people aren't dumb and stupid sheep. But time after time I get proved wrong. :(

Gibbiex said...

@Anon

Science is pretty brutal, there is so much job competition that jerks like that exist. Most of my bosses/advisors were complete jerks. I don't excuse the guy, if it was from an institution around here he'd be fired in a heartbeat.

Institutions are deathly afraid of getting sued, and promotion doesn't really factor into it. Cause trouble enough for legal to get involved? Oh yeah, you're gone. Happened to a colleague of mine, he started a physical fight with another guy on institution grounds, he was fired very quickly. Anyway i think perhaps its just where you work, but around here, yeah the sexual harassment stuff doesn't fly. Racism and all that is apparently fair game though.

Thunderhorns said...

Feminists have always seemed pretty pathetic to me too. Trying to reprogram men to not respond to gorgeous women or not want to see them scantily clad is like trying to program a two hear old to be as controlled as an adult. It doesn't work, it won't ever work. Men will always have a preference for hot women and react to them until they day the human race is destroyed.

I also have to agree with your second conclusion as well. I like to be immersed in the world too. I probably wouldn't be if I was playing a game with cartoon women dressed like slutty, anime characters. Just wouldn't work for me.

It was one of the problems I had with Ghost in the Shell when I watched it too. The main character didn't dress like a professional. Luckily the story was so strong that I overlooked it. But that would have to be one fun game for me to overlook cartoon women dressed in bikinis.

Carra said...

Well, my first character was a female mage. Why? Because it was the hottest character I could make. And mages have the pretties robes. And the reason I play a female gnome is because they're so damn cute, not because of some racial bonus.

People want to look good in a game. It's often quoted as the most important reason why the alliance has a lot more players then the horde. Why play an ugly ogre when you can play a cutesy gnome, hot NE or sexy female? And that's of course also why they added more sexy elfs to the horde side...

Bring on the chainmail bikinis :)