Greedy Goblin

Monday, May 9, 2016

Set your boob size to max (if you play female)

Social Justice Warriors always speak up against sexism in media, including video games. They are hopeless contemporary versions of medieval priests who preach about responsibility, equality and human rights instead of redemption, penitence and salvation. And they can't even scare people into obedience by threatening them with the burning hell.

Why they are hopeless? Because media producers don't make such media out of personal fun. Please look at these "armors" that are used by the tanking class Valkyrie. They fit perfectly to the "fantasy medieval" atmosphere of Black Desert Online, right?

No, they aren't different set of in-game armors, those aren't that bad. Those are silly and overly feminine, despite female NPC soldiers are wearing decent armor, so it's not that the devs are all weirdos who can't imagine women in anything but stripper outfit (my avatar in +HP tanking armor with two guards):

What we see on the top pictures are "outfits", purely cosmetic clothing. There are some basic outfits available on character creation and there are more outfits in the item shop. The ones on the picture are from the item shop. They aren't just pictures skinned on the avatar, they are actual objects, with jewelry dangling and sheets move in the wind, so there was lot of work with them. While a developer surely gets some liberty with artwork, item shop stuff is different: it doesn't just blend into a game, it's sold individually. If the item shop stuff don't sell, the artist will be fired. So game developers only make what sells. And indeed, you see these abominations inside the game a lot:

Please compare my avatar in a freely available outfit and this "fierce warrior against evil". Don't just look at the dress, notice the enlarged breasts and the stupid amount of make-up. Someone paid real money and spent lot of time with the character creation to make this thing. You naively believe that only drooling morons and slackers create such things? Then check out the recruitment of one of the top guilds of Jordine, the most populated EU server:

Not like it's a real surprise after the horrible amount of rape "jokes" in EVE among Sov-holders. This is why social justice warriors won't achieve anything in media: the customers - even prominent customers - prefer outright sexist content and pay for it. It's important to note that I failed to find a single item shop outfit that is less sexist than the free ones. There is simply no market that would justify assigning art resources for that.

What would be needed to make this change? Not more preaching and angry SJW nonsense, but putting money where the ideas are. If decent-looking outfits would sell, developers would make them. If top guilds would demand decent behavior instead of outright sexism, racism and "edgy humor", the lower tier people would emulate that. This almost smells like a project.

The big question is: why should I, a male care about sexism? Not like there is an imminent danger of modeling characters after Chippendale boys! The SJW answer is something along "you are responsible for the rights of the weak". Bleh. The selfish reason is much simpler: sexism is the worst woman-repellent, so one who wants the company of women must get rid of it. I guess even those "edgy jokers" behave themselves when they try to date, having the vague idea that "gimme a sandwinch bitch!" isn't a good line to find a girlfriend. But you likely won't find a girlfriend in a game, so why bother? Because women and decent men can be useful party members. This is where the "edgy dudes" disagree: they believe that they are better in the games, so they don't need any "bitch" or "boring nerd". Luckily there is a simple way in games to disprove them: pwn them!


Anonymous said...

Well it's not like the Developers aren't willing to listen.
There initially wasn't a female mage (witch) for example.

It'd be really nice if the character restrictions were removed,
not just for outfits but also gender, race and age.

If MMOs need something it's character customization especially a looker like BDO
preferably intertwined with in game progression for long time play value.

Halycon said...

Here's the point where I'm going to say something that's fairly specific which will be taken out of context by someone to mean all.

Day in and day out I have to deal with a specific type of story from my friends in the medical community. Especially the ones in the maternity wards. Sexism works for a certain undereducated demographic in attracting women. In equal parts horrifying and heartbreaking. And this is not a statistically insignificant portion of the population when you have to hear people tell stories that are all variations on a central theme when blowing off steam after work about what just happened that day. It starts to be a much more sinister sounding epidemic, or worse, just the way of reality.

Which is why I take complaints about sexism in games not at all seriously. It's not that the point is bad, it's that they're trying to treat a symptom, not the cause. The sad fact is, sexism works. It's far from repellent for women, it's just repellent for the type of women we would associate with.

Complaining about sexism in video games is the worst type of self congratulations. You do it, you feel better about yourself, making a visible stand for a better world and all that. Meanwhile Rome still burns in the background. Wanna complain about sexism, wanna try to fix it? Fix it where it matters. Where it's hard and everyone will ignore your efforts because no one wants to grapple with the true scope of the problem.

maxim said...

You might find this video somewhat relevant to the topic

Other than that, i guess the only problem is finding a game which both has a shop with player-generated content and skimpy girl outfits being the norm

Steel H. said...

Does this make you think twice about your Ayn Rand, free-market ideals? If the free market is always the optimal system, and that market is mostly horny boob obsessed apes (or p2w whales) what hope is there for quality gaming (or mankind). Unless we find some different system than the pure unfettered free market maybe?

As for "exism is the worst woman-repellent", that's a more complex discussion, for another time.

Tithian said...

I knew quie a few women that actually went out of their way (transmog, costumes etc.) to make their character as feminine and sexy as possible. What makes you think that these outfits are solely designed for the male demographic? Sure, they cater to it as well, but I also found out that a quite a few of the men dislike gender locking altogether and since they wanted to play male characters, they ended up as warriors/wizards/berserkers.

Also the best selling costume in the game is the Treant suit, which is 100% non-sexist.

Vincent said...

If the gaming community was composed for a majority of women, the exact opposite would happen. This is nothing but a product targeted to its audience. It's the same for Overwatch, some characters a highly sexualised to attract a broader audience.

Unknown said...

Yeah! Yeah! That's a good project for you: create a guild with some sort of reasonable actual equality/parity rule enforced.
Imagine yourself with 49%/51% male/female parity within a year for a guild of a decent size (and all female players peacefully displaying their genre). That could be unique.
It would be even more challenging a project than destroying the goons imho...
Maybe you should try with some easier things first: like an all age classes guild (we nearly achieved that in GW2 in my case I think).

Let's use these MMO games as true social experiments...

Gevlon said...

@Halycon: I doubt if sexism "works" on any woman. I don't question that in the lowest demographics the expectations are so low that everything is accepted (even domestic violence or complete lack of personal hygene)

I'm not just whining. I believe [testable theory] that a group of "decent men" and the women they associate with them can pwn the "cool dudes" (primitive men). Since these men also tend to experience winning in a weirdly sexual way ("e-peen", "rape those bitches" [opposing group of men]), them being pwned by WOMEN would make them shut up and stop speaking out sexism in games, including showing off (therefore buying) sexist content.

@maxim: good one, however it assumes exactly what I want to prove:
players who dress their fighter as a stripper will less likely fight well

@Steel H: the market is always right. I do afraid that "we" will simply be marketed out of gaming because it will be more and more focused on an obnoxious demographics. Just like we are marketed out from TV or cheap clubs.

@Vincent: about 20-30% of the gamers are female. Can you name an MMO marketed to them.

@Rodolphe: gender parity is stupid. Rules that make the group welcoming to women and decent men is what I'm thinking about.

Cathfaern said...

What would be the win condition in this theoretical project? How can you say in BDO that you "win"? (Or at least win over the "cool guys"?)

Gevlon said...

@Cathfaern: this is why I said "almost smells like a project".
I think they are working on some "castle siege" feature, we'll see.

Zax said...

Welcome (almost) to feminism :p

Almost, because, you call them abominations. Do you refer to women who have large breasts and like makeup in real life abominations?

People make characters that they like the aesthetics of, and people have widely varying tastes. (As evidenced by porn). I like completely androgynous characters for example.

People also make comedy characters, like making the most ridiculous looking dwarf you can in some games.

That people make girly characters wearing silly cosmetic clothing is neither here nor there (although, chain mail bikinis are my number 1 reason for not liking female tanks earlier in wow, but that was a dev decision, not a player decision)

Also, I am not seeing a huge difference between your character, and the one the person paid real money for. You are both non-realistic proportions, and wearing very short outfits.
The heads appear to be tiny compared to the rest of the body, and the thighs are huge.

I also think that when you have compared whole groups of your ingame rivals to "House-slaves" and nazis, then, perhaps you are on thin ice when you are suddenly discovering your inner feminist.

We thank you for standing up for us women, we had no idea we could join guilds with real grown up men in them!

Gevlon said...

@Zax: show me a female combat soldier in real life with silicone breasts and makeup.

Yes, despite my efforts on the character creation, even my character is overly "sexy" for her job. As I said, looking like combat NPCs isn't an option.

Of course women could always join guilds with real grown men. But guilds with real grown men aren't too common.

Anonymous said...

"about 20-30% of the gamers are female. Can you name an MMO marketed to them."

Sims Online, if only EA had some balls and quality
developers left they would be racking in money like WoW in its prime.

But considering those numbers it might be good to have a look on how
women dress up their characters in games where the have a choice.
Just like you let males customize woman body shape and then
figure out that they find the 90:60:90 ratio attractive.

Maybe there really is a tendency in woman probably influenced by early
exposure to "Barbie" and other media to built what they have been taught
is a sexy character. Looking outside of games we too have a lot of women
who dress up well you know how...

Anonymous said...

Gevlon. you talk a lot of sense but now I see why some people call you naive, crazy or out of touch with reality.

Universal woman-repellents are low position in society, bad breath, physical deformities and general lack of sexual attractiveness. Sexism is tangential.

As for costumes and boob sliders - I would understand arguing impracticality, vulgarity, immaturity, lack of taste or overall dissatisfaction with art style or abundance of titty monsters, but sexism?
There's nothing sexist about make up, silk lingerie or otherwise sexy, provocative or outright erotic outlook. Nor is there anything sexist in publicly expressing personal preference in female characters with plump thighs or prominent breasts.
I would argue that sexism especially thrives in societies that suppress expression of sexuality. Literal puritans were awfully sexist. And even today you can ban everything lewd, have moral police roaming shopping malls and raiding motels yet deny driving license to women at the same time.

Smokeman said...

I'm confused here.

On one hand, Daum (The publisher) seems to want to push for a casual friendly dress up game.

On the other hand, the PvP crowd wears Ghillie suits.

Aren't the casuals who just want to dress up or play the PvE aspects of the game going to scream bloody murder when they start reaching level 45 and start getting targeted? It seems like such a bait and switch.

It's the same problem I have with Eve Online... supposedly, it's a "Sandbox" where you can do all this stuff, at least until you try to do anything out of the "starter zone" and then it's clear that PvP is the only game.

There is no "end game" here except for PvP, and your baby doll lingerie or rabbit eared stripper outfit is of no help there.) This looks like a recipe for failure. Eve survives because it's cheap to make, and CCP can survive with a quarter million or so subs. BDO?

Once the dress up crowd starts to whine about PvP stopping them from getting the high level ores and crafting whatnots, which group will Daum listen to?

Cathfaern said...

I think Gevlon's problem is not that you can dress female characters "sexy". His problem is that you have no choice there is no realistic armor. On the other side there is no "sexy" costume for male characters.

Anonymous said...

Out of the active members in my guild it's the female players that are most likely to be fawning over costumes - even the dreaded Kibelius. Males actually tend to prefer ghillies (completely asexual) or slightly stylized costumes (Bern for Rangers, yet unreleased Eckett for Sorceress, that one blue robe for Witch I forgot the name of) - or the more sensible looking base armors (Grunil for the Ranger is a good example).

Anecdotal evidence? Maybe, since my sample size is roughly 60 male/10 female, but it does make me thing you have skewed perception in this matter.

Vincent said...

Well that's the point, 20-30% of player base is "not enough" to have a ridiculous amount of games with sexualised men in in them, if you get to spend resources on increasing your revenue you will work on the 70%. The bad part is that working on that male % player base might draw away the female % player base.

But there are example of sexualised men in video games...

The point is, if there was 70% female playing video game, we would see a lot more beautiful and strong men, because sex sells.

Anonymous said...

I believe WOW or maybe the original Everquest had "ugly" females. No one wanted to play them, except the occasional Tauren female.

Too mch skin is sexist, maybe a nice burkha should fix that issue. That's bad too.

The point of new feminism is to claim moral superiority same as religion always finds people committing sin to assert control.

And no mention of the child-molesty look of the tamer class?

nightgerbil said...

I think your wrong gevlon. Swtor has a similar not as extreme thing going on and in my experience its as likely a female as a male player wearing the hot pants boob tube and too much make up.

Also note we had similar costumes with terra and from all the other east asian imports. It seems to be more about asian culture then about sexism in general.

Final point: goal orentated players wear tree suits. Your "almost project" will fail as the only people you will beat are carebears. The "cool bros" dress like they have a garden fetish.

Provi Miner said...

Eve is pvp???? not really its everything including non-consensual PvP. Think of eve as living someplace. there is no place where violence can not reach you. Yet there are places where it is very unlikely. I suggest you find those places and do your thing dock when the reds show up and undock when it is clear.

Anonymous said...

The reason why videogames feature overly sexualized female characters is to appeal to their mostly male audience. But the reason why the audience is mostly male is not because they feature overly sexualized female characters. Women, in general, simply do not care much for competition, whether it be against other people or against the AI. It's not like this is something limited to videogames either; stereotypically, it's "the guys" who meet to watch a soccer match(a competetive game!), not the women, and it's "the boys" who spend their afternoons kicking the ball around, not girls. (Whether this is a result of biology or upbringing is irrelevant to the argument)

This is also why Counterstrike: Global Offensive, despite being one of the least sexist games you can think of, has female players in single percentages, while Final Fantasy XIV - where it is literally impossible to *not* wear a miniskirt in some cases, complete with free camera for casual pantyshots - has female population of around 30%. Why? CS:GO is a PvP-centric, competetive game. Final Fantasy XIV is a casual, cooperative(dungeons) game with a lot of PvE and crafting.

I am also not so sure that "crass community" has a large impact on female population(though certainly higher than overly sexualized female characters). World of Warcraft historically had a large female player ratio, while EVE had historically small female player ratio. Having played both games, can you say with certainty that the community in EVE was much worse? That people in WoW did not make nearly as much dick jokes, casual racist remarks, and so on?

(And again, compare EVE with its low female population and WoW: EVE is a heavily PvP-oriented game, while in WoW that element is entirely optional and inconsequential. Therefore WoW has more female players, even though the character creator in EVE allows you to make some very average Janes. Or indeed complete monstrosities if you so desire)

Finally, do you think all game developers in the world, for the last 20 years, did not really give this any thought? We are talking about people who in some cases will deliberately cut off parts of their game to be sold later, or who regularly release blatnatly rushed and unfinished products, because they know they can get away with it. Do you really think these people, who only care about their profits and nothing else, did not consider - or indeed analyze - the potential gain/loss by introducing more "gender neutral" outfits or characters in their games? They make games for sale, they know all the numbers, they know the demographics. And yet they do not do it.

I can only conclude that it is simply not worth it. It's not worth it to the point that even including *one* optional modest outfit, that would not affect the male population in any way, is too much effort. And that tells me that the female population must simply not care one bit about all this "oversexualized female characters" thing. Otherwise, they would be a viable customer base and catered towards.

Unknown said...

Have read your blog for a long time now and since you commented above :"The market is always right". I am wondering how you would account for the auction experiments where a 20 dollar bill is consistantly sold at auction for over 20 dollars. An auction is a very basic form of market and there is no hidden or lack of information. By all laws of economics the bill should never sell above 20 dollars but even after spectators view the experiment and claim they would never make the same mistake when placed in the actual situation they again validate the results. New branches of economic research are focusing on the more irrational sides of actual behavior rather than idealized models of how we all should act. For myself the concept of "The market" free or otherwise is one of those idealizd terms which have no basis in actual reality. I admire your abilities to view situations in ways others don't and that you demand situations be judged by their results rather than through the eyes of common wisdom. Yet it often seems to me that when you cling so fiercly to the construct of markets and what you have termed meritocercy you hold yourself in the same sort of dogmatic shackles you decry in others.

Kurtizzle said...

I can make a comment here and I'm going to back up something nightgerbil said:

"It seems to be more about Asian culture then about sexism in general."

Watch any Anime, Manga style cartoon, all the characters are over the top OTT.

The possible reason for this is that the 'Far Eastern' populous are genetically similar in appearance when directly compared with a similar demographic in Europe or perhaps America. This leads to the hero characters in their entertainment industry being OTT in an attempt to make each and every character unique. No one makes and massive effort to make the cast of EastEnders or Coronation street all uniquely identifiable, but in 'Far Eastern' culture this is perhaps a hidden issue.

Going back to sexism in games, far eastern developed games feature over sexualised female characters, but at the same time, the men are quite often all featuring above normal muscle structure, absolutely bonkers hair cuts or shocking battle scars.

So yea it might need toning down, but it is in part a pursuit of individualism.

I play two male characters in game, lvl 50 Berserker, lvl 20 warrior alt to get started up soon and a Valk to inherit the warriors gear for 5 man dungeons.

And yes my Valk wears a silly white dress, I have the stockings turn off, so she has armour clad legs, I bought the armour for the potential +10% exp and I wanted some angel wings, there was no way I was going to use them on any other character than a Valk, for lore purposes.

And yes her breasts were set to max, she has some butterfly face tattoo thing, some black stars 'tramp stamp' on her lower back and I named her Crystal_Wings.

She is my calpheon library knowledge reset toon, a bit of eye candy on my logon screen. I main Beserker and he is ugly as hell, but fun to play.

My attitude was, all the female characters already look like strippers on the logon screen, so might as well embrace it.

For the record, I'm married and my wife has natural 34DD breasts, so I cant get away from breasts set to max in IRL either.

Anonymous said...

>: show me a female combat soldier in real life with silicone breasts and makeup.

Medieval female soldiers would be non-existent. Heck, even in modern militaries women aren't put in combat positions.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: even an all-male character selection with strong gender roles among NPCs (women can only be traditional women) would be better than the Victoria Secret's army