Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Why would anyone even CARE?

So apparently there's some MMORPG in development that intends to try and give financial incentives to people who play characters of their own assigned sex. (You probably don't want to read the comments, they're pretty nasty.)

I just... WHY? What on earth is the point of this?

I'm trying not to invent and assign nasty motives because it's really not fair to assume without evidence, but... why should anyone, especially a game developer, care about how much the players in the game resemble their avatars?

Y'know what? I bet that guy playing the blue tiger-striped furry barbarian is not actually a blue tiger-striped furry barbarian IRL. Shock!

I know why a very small number of players would be in favor of such a thing, because the comments make it pretty clear - there be some highly unpleasant individuals who are deeply disturbed by the idea that the ludicrously-jiggly breasts the developers have implemented for them to stare at (their only purpose, in their minds) might be under the control of a RIVAL MALE. (And a few others utterly despise trans people and are specifically happy at the idea of something that upsets them.) But surely the company behind a game should be above such bizarre and petty obsessions?

They can't even trade off the notion of an environment where people are strictly locked to the "correct" sex because they aren't at all trying to implement that. I don't get it.


Chunkations said...

some people look for girlfriends or dates on MMORPG's if I were single and knew that the female avatar was more likely a real girl I might be more likely to play that game :_)

Whiner said...

I know that rationale exists, but I _utterly_ reject it as valid. The logic doesn't work.

Knowing that a female avatar is a female player does not make you any more likely to get dates. Said female player can still quite easily be underage, married, a lesbian, your grandmother, five thousand miles away, or just plain NOT INTERESTED IN YOU. You will *still* have to communicate with the player in order to find out if there's even any point in flirting.

Knowing that the player is a 'real girl' does not make it any easier to find a date.

Encouraging people to think otherwise is part of what leads to such an unpleasant harassment culture in gaming, where some men assume that all female-appearing characters in games exist solely to be hit on. This is rude and quite upsetting for a lot of female players... and that in itself drives many of them to play MALE characters just to get some peace and quiet.

Basically, by suggesting that you'd be more likely to play a game if you knew the girls were "real" so you could look for girlfriends, you are in fact making it LESS likely that there will be any female players in your game. This is completely counterproductive.

Chunkations said...

Some people have found spouses in online games, if all women had male avatars that wouldn't have happened.

So there are some women who are single who play MMO's, an extremely small percentage maybe.

Knowing that an avatar is female actually does make it easier to find a date statistically speaking.

Its kind of like a chatroom, the people with female sounding names will get hit on, thats just the way things are.