Saturday, January 19, 2008

How is *that* Plate? - Gender in Armor Styles

Cross-posted from Gathering Gamers

Many people have joked and poked fun at it, so it was inevitable that I'd bring it up: Why the hell does one piece of armor look less effective on a woman than it does a man?

I'm not going to lie; this is just another reason I rolled a male character over a female. If I'm going to play a paladin, and uphold the light (or at least my race's moral code and protect others), I don't want to look like a skank while doing it! Some armor is passable. Some can look sexy and mold to a woman's curves while still looking badass.

But no self-respecting warrior is going to charge into combat with large vulnerable areas of the body out in the open just because "Tee hee, don't I look cute?"

I understand that because WoW is a male dominated game that it's likely just designed that way to get their attention and give them something to look at. In the same right, what do women have to look at? Big clunky armor, and in the case of Paladins, big PINK AND PURPLE clunky armor.

Granted, culturally speaking, a knight in shining armor is supposed to be attractive. And sure, I can buy into that. However, dressing my sexy male Blood Elf in a power ranger-esque suit isn't going to do it.

I'm all for cosmetic armor and making things look *good,* and maybe sometimes sexy. But for crying out loud, why can't women enjoy the perks too without walking around Orgrimmar or Stormwind naked?

I'm looking forward to seeing more customization with my character. The coming of dances and haircuts that have been rumoured about for Wrath of the Lich King really makes me excited. I hope that with the new choices, it brings a little more diversity to everyone's characters. I'll leave the wish of practicality as just that, though; a wish. After all, since when has anything in World of Warcraft ever been practical?


lafingputz said...

they really need to introduce armor painting, or coloring. Some kind of look customization like a certain glow (non-enchanted) or maybe have decals, or even guild or arena team logo on parts of their armor. Even better (though hardly practical) to show damage in conjunction with the durability of it, so standing next to someone wearing the same armor, but yours being at 0 durability..he looks pristine, and you look like you just got sat upon by a mountain gronn.

Fear said...

I think it appeals to the same "OMFG I Must have a MOJO and all the pets in the game!" type of players. Not offend anyone, but a majority of the girls who play have in the least, a bit of that type of attitude. Many players who play them are looking for something cute or different. Or as to put it as the top perv in my guild "If i have to stare at an a#$ for 40 hours a week it might as well be a chick's"

Andrew said...

@ lafingputz:
I'd like to see items made with a transparency or custom colour, so that you set that colour and all your gear is tinted with it. Either the highlights, or a shade, or both.

That way we satisfy the folks who love to have everything looking bad arse, and also not have to put up with the Power Ranger type gear that paladins used to wear.

Anonymous said...

From Lara Croft to Samus Aran, lustful gaming has always been a man's, man's, man's world. You know the score: double-barreled heroines keep the boys' hands on their joysticks, but with more women than ever grabbing the controls – now more than 40 percent of all players are female, according to most estimates – developers have finally begun to give us ladies some eye candy, too. After all, what fangirl doesn’t like a man who can hold his load? And while we’ve long had the hots for classic studs like Link, Solid Snake, and Sephiroth, 2008 was a banner year for fangirl fantasies from bishonen to beefcake. So without further ado, we give you the 10 sexiest male video game characters of the year: these are the guys who kept us going and going and going...

hope your readers enjoy!