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Wildstar and Sexism

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by Steampunkette, Jun 21, 2013.

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  1. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Alrighty. Before I get into the meat of this thread I'd like to lay out some ground rules and reminders.

    1. Please stay on topic. This seems like a stupid "Rule" but it's appropriate to the thread. We shouldn't turn this thread into a discussion of the overarching patriarcy or the pigeonholing of individuals via gender roles. This is also not the place to scream for Men's Rights or to dismiss feminism as "Old Hat" or some plague on culture.

    2. Ad Hominem won't be tolerated. If you feel the need to call someone a Feminazi or a Misogynist: Just shut the window and go about your business. That way leads to trolling, flaming, and the burning derail of the thread.

    3. Trolling is bad. Mkay? If your only intent is to bait someone, whether with sexist remarks (Get back in the Kitchen/Garage. Make me a sandwich/bookshelf) then please just don't. It's not worth it to write it out. It's not worth it to read it. And it's not worth it to moderate it. Don't waste everyone's time.

    4. The purpose of this thread is to try and consolidate the discussions of sexism within the game to avoid derailing many other threads. Because this is a valid discussion with merit and worth. Please take the time to respect that.

    Now. Let's start off with a simple issue that got brought up in a different thread: Body Shaming and the false equivalence of idealization to sexualization!

    Male characters are often Idealized. In Wildstar this can be seen in the Granok. They're large, strong, in-charge, and powerful. Big muscley arms and strong jaws with no-nonsense teeth-gritting cigar-smoking awesomeness.

    Female characters are often Sexualized. In Wildstar this can be seen most plainly in the Draken. While the male characters are hunched over with long, flat, faces and mouths without an upper lip but with heavily protruding lower teeth. Their noses are small and high on their faces, nearly between the eyes. The female Draken, on the other hand, have features that conform with western ideas of beauty. Their nose is "Normal" length for a human, their cheeks and jawline are present and less exaggerated, they stand upright, and they have both an upper and lower lip.

    This dimorphism is, however, only one part of the sexualization of the female draken compared to the male.

    [​IMG]

    Look at their posturing and body compositions. The male is forward, counterbalancing his tail. While the female is vertical. Notice the position of the shoulders and it's interaction with the character's posture and appearance. The female's shoulders are back which presents her chest to the viewer (if the viewer is in front) while the male's shoulders are forward, obscuring the chest by the angle at which his arms dangle (again, if the viewer is in front of him).

    While a big breasted female character is generally presented as sexualized, they don't have to be. Imagine that male draken as a female with fairly large breasts and appropriate (not bikini-plate) armor. Even with the large breasts he wouldn't appear half as sexualized as the female draken nearby, even if she were in appropriate (not bikini-plate) armor.

    It's not the model itself that makes the character sexualized. Or more accurately not the model alone. It's the posturing, movement, characterization, and vocalization that does the bulk of the work. That's why if you look at Elin from TERA Online you'll see a flat chested little girl who is somehow 12 times more sexualized than the Aurin Esper Scientist to the left of this post on the background of this website. Sure the Aurin has Cleavage that the little Elin doesn't, but that's not what makes something Sexualized.

    It's how that cleavage (or lack thereof) is presented. And that's the difference between Sexualization and Body Shaming. Big breasts don't sexualize someone, and having them isn't something to be ashamed of.

    -Rachel-
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  2. John

    John "That" Cupcake

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    Marketing SS designed to get people looking. You can choose more conservative armor if you want that.

    Also there are about 5 other threads about this same topic already.
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  3. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Come on, guys. Two posts, so far, and only 1 hasn't been trolling and/or dismissing the topic out of hand. If you don't want to discuss it that's fine. But derailing the thread just wastes your time writing it, my time reading it, and a moderator's time deleting it.

    How about we come at it from a different angle? Why are Draken males so inhumanly bent and twisted while the females are so very near to human in structure and appearance? What causes Male Draken to get so hunched over and their lips to more or less vanish until they kind of look a little like Chimpanzees? Just the edge of their face reaching all the way to their gums without any separation in the form of softer, more sensitive, tissue while females get plumped up lips?

    They've both got long and apparently heavy tails as counterbalances to their body, shouldn't the female Draken -also- lean forward? It's why all the bipedal dinosaurs had such big tails: To counterbalance how far forward their body leaned, especially while running.

    -Rachel-
  4. Ellianar

    Ellianar Cupcake-About-Town

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    Boobies :D Thinking on your example of manliness personificated by the granok, i think the ultimate female RPG character has to be somewhat a femme fatale, so yeah pretty much sexualized but with a strong personality whether it be a warrior or scientist one.

    I'm personally waiting to see elder game gear on female character, and i hope more skin will be covered than not. I dislike the feeling of doing half a raid half a trip to a stripper club.
  5. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    I actually disagree on that point, though. You can show a female character who is powerful and sexual WITHOUT sexualizing her. Think of Mass Effect's female Shepard. She was powerful and she had a sex life (if you chose it) without being sexualized. They didn't make her hips swish in a hyperfeminine manner though she did have an appropriate amount of sway while moving due to the shape of the model's hips and relation to the shoulders.

    Contrast to Tomb Raider's Lara Croft and her "Sexy" method of climbing up a cliff by doing a handstand followed by a full split as a method of standing up. Compare it to the Aurin on the left side of your screen just there in front of the Granok. Heroic without being sexualized. She's pretty and has breasts and cleavage, but it doesn't define her any more than the Granok's trousers coming down between his legs do.

    -Rachel-
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  6. Kataryna

    Kataryna Super Cupcake

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    Honestly, I think the topic has been beaten to death, raised to life, then beaten back to death. There have been at least 2 or 3 threads on this same topic. Why do the Female Draken look like that? Because the devs decided they did. Because they have to attract people to the game, and what better way to do that then to make the characters look appealing?

    here's two examples of threads just like this:
    http://www.wildstar-central.com/index.php?threads/female-armor-aesthetics.1066/
    www.wildstar-central.com/index.php?threads/id-like-to-take-a-second-to-talk-about-boobs.3817/
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  7. Katu_Kath

    Katu_Kath Robot Cupcake

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    not to try and derail the thread, maybe its a lore thing? They want the male drakens looking feral and beastial, to use as an intimidation factor to their enemies? Maybe the male drakens looked similar to the female drakens before getting taken over by the dominion? Or maybe the other way around. Maybe the Dominion wanted the females to be more Cassian-like, and have forced them (through experimentation) to (edit: look) more cassian?

    On another note, it could be simply for the fact that carbine is aiming for the 18-35 male audience, and thats what that particular demographic likes.
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  8. John

    John "That" Cupcake

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    The answer is really simple, although you're not going to like it: sex sells.

    Its no different than any other part of society...look at any advertisement, commercial, magazine cover etc etc...put a beautiful woman on it and you're going to get a lot more eyes looking at your product that you would have otherwise.

    Wildstar is trying to capitalize on that part of the human condition, whether that is right or not is another question but the motive and reasoning behind the choice to make physically attractive models is pretty clear.
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  9. Vyver

    Vyver "That" Cupcake

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    There was like 10 threads talking about raiding at one point, there was 15 threads talking about flying mounts, there's at least 4 threads talking about healing and telegraphs

    stuff gets talked about
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  10. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    I'm saying that it's not exclusively the armor. It's posture, motion, and more.

    As for marketing: Marketing for Men, maybe. But does a sexy woman giving me the come-hither stare make me want to buy something? Not particularly. How about a gay man or an asexual one? Probably not.

    -Rachel-
  11. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

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    I am totally in for more ''sexy'' male characters :D

    As for the woman, i don't know, some like those sexy/half naked models. But i myself would rather see some armor on those woman, but not on my men!!! Keep them half naked, please.

    But my point is:
    Why don't they make male characters more sexy? and females wear more armor?
    I would rather just see that option trough the gear we have, and the character costumisation that we can make our character sexy if we want it and less sexy if we don't care.

    o.0 New siggy kat? I like it :up:
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  12. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Not anymore, it doesn't.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-160706/Sex-doesnt-sell-.html

    I really don't think Wildstar's devs are trying to capitalize on that at all. It's far more likely that it's just become an internalized issue. How do you get across that a character is female in videogames? Big bulky armor hides it. Heavy clothes hide it. So you have to "Show" people she's female. It's pretty common across much of visual media.

    Though, again, I'm not just referring to the models or the amount of clothing they're wearing.

    -Rachel-
  13. Kataryna

    Kataryna Super Cupcake

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    Yup! Thanks to MMOPapa! :)
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  14. Vyver

    Vyver "That" Cupcake

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    according to the lore female Draken are equal in strength, agility, and intelligence to male Draken, and can even lead tribes (though rare) but are primarily "huntresses" which is a position of high rank and authority. And since Draken culture is all about killing stuff, if you can have high rank and authority you must be pretty strong and agile

    and in relation to the Dominion, pretty much the only reasons the Draken are in the Dominion are

    1) they wanted the thrill of hunting Exiles

    2) the cassians are too terrified to refuse

    The Cassians couldn't alter the Draken without losing a few arms.....and legs....and guts..
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  15. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    That would be a good nod towards equality, certainly. Having male characters be sexualized in the same manner female characters are would be far better, for most players, than having female characters be un-sexualized. It's not the perfect solution, by far, but it would be progress towards equality at least.

    Though a guy in a thong and a harness on his chest with a body posture similar to the guy on the right of the background still wouldn't be sexualized to the same degree as the female draken posted earlier in this thread, since it's in large part posturing and movement, and characterization.

    -Rachel-
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  16. DMC9920

    DMC9920 New Cupcake

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    There is no reason to think this isn't done for the female players just as much as the male. It is females afterall who buy the high heel shoes that make them stand that way isn't it? I highly doubt most females would want their character slumped over like the male is. It's simple aesthetics, in WoW the most played races are Human for Alliance and Blood Elf for Horde. Wildstar would be shooting themselves in the foot if they made every character model slumped over. Most of the females ive played WoW with on Horde play Blood Elves. One friend in particular always picks Blood Elf if possible.

    Is that not what you would find if you went to a male strip club? Pretty sure you will find muscular men.
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  17. John

    John "That" Cupcake

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    Fair point, but realistically most video games are marketing more towards men than women simply because more men play them on average.

    It'd be like me walking down a store aisle and wondering why all the makeup and lipstick products are heavily marketed towards women.

    And I think a lot of people would disagree with that article about visual stimuli not being a powerful tool for getting eyes on your product :roflamo:
  18. Kataryna

    Kataryna Super Cupcake

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    oh man! i need to find a SS from Rift! there was an armor set for guys that my guild all called the "Bondage Set"
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  19. Trigger

    Trigger Cupcake

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    Interesting you use Draken as the example when they are also the race that is heavily patriarchal. I do believe the comparison to lionesses is accurate, from the female Draken thread. However, these are also sentient beings with free thought.
    Any combination of Gender X or Y cannot do ______. ....is sexist unless that gender really cannot do said thing.

    So, not have you only picked the race that has a huge contrast with its sexual dimorphism but you also have the only race we know of so far that is openly sexist.

    Although, I don't think attempting to explain why the female Draken look the way they do through lore is going to be a topic worth pursuing. Ultimately, the real reason why the female Draken looks the way she does is because the closer she is to human, the hotter she is. If she didn't have lips and was slouched, she wouldn't look 'hot.' And players are willing to play 'ugly' males but not 'ugly' females. (Even female players, sadly)
  20. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    A real life woman is not the same as a character. A Character has no agency to CHOOSE to wear high heels. Someone else makes that decision for them. In this case: The devs did.

    As for slumping characters: So what? Why not make the male character NOT slump instead? Why is that dimorphism there in the first place? If the race isn't meant to be human analogue (slumped over, horns, no lips, flat faces, high noses) then why is the female human analogous? Remember: In the womb all humans are basically the same (female) and it's only after hormonal release that any differences occur. The amount of dimorphism in humans before puberty is very small, and even after puberty it's fairly limited. Why is this race so very -very- different?

    I think it's because the devs wanted a bestial race, but pulled back when designing the females of that race because they wanted to keep them attractive. Which, you know, is fine. But attractive for a hunched over bestial race probably shouldn't be the same thing we, as humans, find attractive.


    Mostly muscular. Or more accurately "Cut" or finely muscled. Swimmer's builds, you know? But it's not JUST the body type. It's also the posturing, movement, and characterization.

    -Rachel-
  21. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Ah hah! But there lies the conundrum. 46% of gamers, currently, are female. Women are a bigger part of the demographic than most people realize, especially in social games like MMORPGs.

    Even with that argument in place, though, which has some validity, why cater only to one side and not the other? If getting guys to play is as easy as making women sexy, shouldn't making men sexy also be a thing to get women to play? Did you see the Ice Cream Truck video by Cazwell? It's an eye opener!

    -Rachel-
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