Sunday, 29 May 2011

Looking good?

One of the perennial problems of MMOs is female dress. It started off as a problem in computer games, because the original target market for them was nerdy teenage boys, for whom a glimpse of pixelated flesh was about as close as they were going to get to the real thing, so that was an effective sales tactic.

Unfortunately, it hasn't gone away since MMOs became all growed-up and mainstream. Clich├ęd chain-mail bikinis still abound, even though the games are played by many women and, well, how can we put this ... men who have seen a real naked woman, so don't need to play the game one-handed people guys who don't get their kicks from pixels.

Game companies rightly get a lot of grief for this, so a popular work-around has been the introduction of appearance slots in the game, to allow the players to choose their look, rather than have it dictated by the designers. Unfortunately, people are still people, so they don't always do what others might hope. Here's an example from Rift today (Rift allows you to have one set of gear for stats and another for appearance).

Epic gear with the good stats on it, looking as intended by the game designers:

Appearance gear chosen by the player:

Oh well...


  1. [/sarc] Aww that's delightful [/end sarc] The sickening thing is that I'm incredibly envious of that epic robe as I think it's a) beautiful as it stands, and b) could be made even more beautiful by being dyed.

    I'm not sure purple pants do it for me. And she must be chilly... Bet she'll whine when she catches a cold.

  2. Maybe you have a point, there. Everyone knows purple gear is the best...

  3. You can't change what players will do, but you can influence a lot how the physical shapes of avatars are and how they are presented in their rightful armor. I keep rolling my eyes at all the "panties-MMOs" still being created. At least WoW was pretty decent in that respect.