Giant Slugs watching Sexy women and other things

Ok, before you read any furhter, this is a bit about KOTOR2, so if you don’t want to know anything about this game, stop reading now.

Anyway, I got to the point in the game where some twilek wants you to dance for a Hutt. So the Handmadin did this and ended up with a dress to wear for the dance. After the dance, I kept the dress, and I noticed it said usable by my main character. So I decided to try it on, except that my main character is male and it wouldn’t let me.

So this brings up a few things, which some of which apply in many video games.

  1. Why would a Hutt find a female of any species sexy, but males not? I mean, as human, do you think we would find a female Hutt (for all I know, the Hutt I was dancing for was a female) sexy?

  2. Why couldn’t my male avitar put on the dress? Ok, so maybe it would have looked rediculious, but still, there is a prinicpal here. Infact this brings up a point about nearly every video game that has some kind of sex-appeal in it. A good example is both EQ and WoW. Female Paladins or warriors, no matter how much armor they have, always have that ‘scantaly clad’ look, yet for males this is never the case.

Yes, I know that most developers are males, but this kind one-sidedness has been pointed out on occasion for several years, yet developers continue on thier way without taking this into consideration.

So, why is this the case, and how long do you think until the playing field is ‘leveled’ considering 43% of all gamers are women.

Well, the whole armored-male, scantily-clad female has been a staple of the fantasy genre in general for decades, now. It may have been different in the early days, but I would say that generally the rise of the D&D archetype of fantasy really set the mold. Then there are the fantasy artists like Larry Elmore and Boris Vallejo that continue to convey this trend (granted, Vallejo makes ALL his figures, male and female, scantily clad).

Considering the perception (and general truth in the past, I would assume) that most fantasy or role-playing fans over the years have been predominantly male, the armored-yet-scantily-clad-female ideal has become fairly entrenched in most fantasy settings, to appeal to this demographic.

Personally, if I were a Hutt, I’d much rather have some hot-piece-of-ass scantily-clad human or twi’lek dancer chick in front of me all day rather than another Hutt. Biological outlook be damned.

Then again, you’ll likely only see the double-standard change once a) more women develop/market/publish these games at all levels, and b) such games are proven to be successful in the marketplace.

Personally I think this entire concept needs to be parlayed into a Reality TV computer game called Hutt Idol.

Do you really think that this would be cited as a determining factor in a game’s success? Look at Baldur’s Gate - not a lot of scanty armor for Jaheira to wear, but I don’t recall anyone looking at it and suggesting that part of its commercial success is rooted in modesty.

I will say that the lack of female avatars or female romance subplots has turned my wife off a lot of games. She avoided Planescape for a long time because she had heard that you could only play a male. She acknowledges that that was an error, since she loved the game, but demands to know why she can’t be a female pirate and seduce governors or their sons in Pirates!

As for the Hutt/human attraction, the cultural theorist in me could argue that by making Jabba the Hutt a sexual threat to humans, as well as a criminal overlord, his menace became more grounded in primal urges. KOTOR just picked up the mythos ball and ran with it.

Troy

I haven’t played Fable on the basis that I can’t have a female main character. Mostly because that was promised and then revoked… don’t get my hopes up, jerks.

It always irritated me that in games like Baldur’s Gate and the NWN expansion pack Shadows of the Underdark, male characters get a choice of women to romance with while female characters get one. And the one in Baldur’s Gate was effing obnoxious. And the one in SotU had a stupid dead girlfriend for no reason.

I’m playing KOTOR2 now. I’m not even off the first asteroid and I have to say that if I can seduce Atton he’s probably the best female romancable in the history of video games. How sad is that?

Not as sad as what they did with the ending!

But yes, the male romantic interests in these games usually seem to be the developers asking “Who’s the dullest, least interesting person in the whole game? Now, how do we make them even more boring?”

You’re forgetting the spymaster in the original NWN campaign who also had a stupid dead girlfriend for no reason.

Do you really think that this would be cited as a determining factor in a game’s success? Look at Baldur’s Gate - not a lot of scanty armor for Jaheira to wear, but I don’t recall anyone looking at it and suggesting that part of its commercial success is rooted in modesty.
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Market success would be a determining factor if the “female modesty factor” or somesuch was an obviously apparent part of the game design. Would the Tomb Raider series sell as well if Lara Croft were modestly-proportioned and clad in practical, rugged clothing? If such a game was released nowadays and failed to generate sales, I’m sure it would be ammunition for many in the industry to keep games “sexed up”, as it were. Picture Bloodrayne in cargo pants and a flak jacket, or the Dead or Alive girls solely in karate gis or what-have-you.

It’s not like BG2 had a lot of good options. Anomen the annoying wannabe Paladin, Minsc the halfwit, Keldorn the married, Korgan the bloodthirsty…only Yoshimo had the looks and the charm. This could point to an urge by developers to make each male character distinctive and colorful, but often in a bad way, while the women are often variations on dream girls - the tought girl Jaheira, the bad girl Viconia, the damsel in distress Aerie, etc.

Anyway, this irks my wife more than me, since she’s the big roleplayer in the house, so maybe I’ll persuade her to chime in. She hasn’t played through KOTOR2, yet, though she too was annoyed with her mating choices in the original.

Troy

If you’re going to posit that tits=sales, you should probably pick games that sell.

Maybe the Hutts just like ballet.

Hutts:Humans::Heiresses:Tiny, spasming dogs

You’re forgetting the spymaster in the original NWN campaign who also had a stupid dead girlfriend for no reason.[/quote]

Sigh. Yes, and I even kind of liked him until that. And then the whole “BLUH DURR MY JOB IS HARD GO KILL A DRAGON WON’T YOU GOD MY JOB IS SO HARD AND DIFFICULT!”

I wanted to kill him by the end of the game.

Some games just offer limited choices because the differences between men and women are real and many games are simply reflecting this reality. Just because some modern video games allow you to be a sword-swinging shield bashing muscle-babe doesn’t mean this is even remotely realistic in any way. Although it’s certainly a nice feature to allow a customizeable gameplay experience that includes women that could drop-kick your ass in a heartbeat, I just don’t understand why this should be the defining feature of the game.

Planescape isn’t ABOUT “gender” roles. Name me one scene in that game where it’s critical that your character is male and I’ll eat my mousepad. It’s about a guy who used powerful magic to sunder his frigging soul from his body and can’t die for crying out loud! The next step in this absurd line of reasoning is to refuse to see James Bond movies because they didn’t simultaneously release the exact same movie with “Janet Bond” in the starring role.

Look, if you want to judge entertainment based on how well it conforms to your political ideals that’s up to you, but you should be prepared to be disappointed a lot of the time.

P.S. This reminds me of how art became so politicized a while ago and what we ended up with was really shitty paintings that had some kind of obscure political meaning. Very funny but also quite a shame.

If you’re going to posit that tits=sales, you should probably pick games that sell.[/quote]

Well, I already mentioned the Tomb Raider series. What about Fear Effect’s Hana Tsu-Vachel (sp?)? (I can understand your statement wrt Bloodrayne, but did the DoA games not sell well?)

Ok, how about the upcoming Rise of the Kasai? Do you believe it will be positively influenced in sales because of the appearance and marketing of the acrobatic, scantily-clad younger sister of Rau, Tati? Or do you believe it would sell just as well (regardless of how it does overall) if the main characters shown were Rau and an old hag in a frumpy robe, perhaps Rau’s grandmother?

It’s a little odd to claim “realism” when you are fighting side by side with female warriors, characters with tails and are playing a male avatar of the walking dead.

I’m not arguing that gender roles should be the defining issue. My wife got over the Planescape guy being a guy and still uses the game as a reminder of the type of experience she wants her NWN players to have when she DMs.

But there is no denying that she wants to be the character a lot of the time. It is role playing, not virtual novel reading (though it got close to that in Planescape at times…man that was a lot of text). She wants to be a female pirate seducing men along the Spanish main just like I am doing as a male pirate. She may come around - she did with Planescape - but if the bulky muscular male avatar is a block for her “immersion”, I can’t just tell her “no it isn’t”

he next step in this absurd line of reasoning is to refuse to see James Bond movies because they didn’t simultaneously release the exact same movie with “Janet Bond” in the starring role.

Nice try, but no. When I see a Bond movie, I am not being Bond. I am watching Bond. The whole point of RPGs is to have a character that channels your decisions and reflects your experiences.

No one is judging entertainment based on “political ideals” - the lack of good female romances does not make KotoR a bad game any more than the lack of male spies in NOLF does. But if some people are turned off by the options available to the character they want to play - if female characters are routinely short-changed or added as an afterthough - I see nothing wrong with pointing this out and asking why.

This isn’t about political correctness. It’s about giving a growing market of gamers something that they want and that has been constrained by who-knows-what societal factors.

Troy

All sword-swinging shield bashing muscle-men on this forum raise their hands now.
“Defining feature”? People are only asking it to be available, since they prefer it.

Planescape isn’t ABOUT “gender” roles. Name me one scene in that game where it’s critical that your character is male and I’ll eat my mousepad. It’s about a guy who used powerful magic to sunder his frigging soul from his body and can’t die for crying out loud! The next step in this absurd line of reasoning is to refuse to see James Bond movies because they didn’t simultaneously release the exact same movie with “Janet Bond” in the starring role.

Except you don’t play the role of James Bond. And if it’s not critical for it to be a man, why not have a female version?

Look, if you want to judge entertainment based on how well it conforms to your political ideals that’s up to you, but you should be prepared to be disappointed a lot of the time.

How is it a political ideal to want to play a character which in romance and such has the same ideals you do? Or has the same biological features (and if you say “no woman looks like a computer game character”, I’ll point out the same holds true for pretty much all men), or hell, just like it better for whatever reason. The male-centered game world needs to be changed, it serves no purpose.

Heeey…there’s a good idea for a flash-game…

Name me one scene in that game where it’s critical that your character is male and I’ll eat my mousepad

Any of the stuff with Deionnara?

Not to get all, you know, meta, but basically it has to do with adolescent fantasies and concepts of power. With boys, despite perhaps seeing better around them in RL, raging hormones and immature natures means they subconsciously associate physical strength with social power. So the superhero is never some guy pondering difficult problems in a lab while balancing his personal life, but some super-buff guy in a goofy suit BASHING the problem. And many guys, in this mass consuption culture, don’t mature much farther beyond this for many years into adulthood.

With women, for whatever evolutionary reason, physical attractiveness is their form of power. It doesn’t matter if its only proximate or its magnatude socially dependent, however un-feminist its just sort of how things turned out.

Since sexiness is also power, but the problems remain, in the male adolescent mind women superheros are also BASHING the problem, just like their male counterparts; only the most powerful women will have long legs, giant breasts, and as few clothes as the censors will allow. The whole boobs n guns motif.