So, I'm not much into MMORPGs and wasn't eagerly awaiting the Age of Conan release, but I tend to keep up with news. I read interviews early on claiming that they were updating the conan-setting to make it a little more female inclusive, so women too could wander around in tiger skins swinging huge swords. Cool, thinks I.
Reading some of the launch reports, they mention that the newbie character proceeding through the plot will have women falling all over him.
"Several quests involve the local house of prostitution and its illustrious madam, and her tart dialogue leaves little to the imagination. Even the newly freed Casilda offers you her questionable services, so between that aspect and plenty of salty writing, it's obvious that Age of Conan earned its M rating."
Hrm, I think. I wonder how that works with female players?
Apparently not very well. While the AoC forums won't even let you in to read player impressions without a cd-key, a little google-caching was enough to let me read some threads. Sure enough, a female player was complaining that she'd started the game and was constantly being offered sexual services by female NPCs and ignored by male ones. Her objection, she specified, was not an anti-lesbian stance, but that the characters seemed to react to her entirely as a man, not as a woman. It felt like the plot writers had completely forgotten female players.
Depressingly, the thread is full of people saying charming things like "if you don't like it, go back to the kitchen" and "Conan is a sexist world, it would be a disgrace to the author to be inclusive!" and "if you care about something minor like that you must be a RL bitch" and "I was really hoping morons like you wouldn't play this game".
Then, of course, there was the quite serious, non-ironic "If the game has to cater to WOMEN, then someone might ask it to cater to HOMOSEXUALS, and WHERE WOULD IT END???"
I dunno... with a game that doesn't suck, maybe?