A Quick One.

So I’ve talked about how women are objectified and generally treated like crap in video games a lot.  It’s one of my biggest gripes as a female gamer.

Read this.  Hey, it’s cool – at least the site that hosted the game deleted it.

Still a disgrace.  Agree?

Go here.

Thank you for linkage, Leah Bobet.

The Games We (I) Play.

So I promised some kind of write-up on games I am playing/have been playing and whatnot. I think it’s time to lay down some 411, if’n you know what I mean. (Well, if not actual information, then a bunch of opinions that may or may not mean jack or squat to some of you reading along, but that’s good enough for me.) Regardless, ONWARD!

Diablo III

This is the “no brainer, no shit” game on the list because pretty much every gamer I know is playing Diablo. I don’t have the Diablo background most folks have; I didn’t play D2 until my eyeballs fell out, so I don’t have the compare/contrast of D2s greatness to contend with. That translates to this being a new and amazing experience for me. Sort of. Let me say this up front – I /love/ this game. I really do. I’ve sunk a lot of hours into it (if you can’t tell):

If Only I Kicked This Much Ass.

I’m done with act one Inferno and my damage is capping out near 31,000 at the moment. This is all good stuff! Except . . . well. I’ve played this game before, or one very much like it. It was called Gauntlet. Seriously, this reminds me of Gauntlet except with cool-ass graphics and a more customizable set of six talents. That’s not a bad thing, but no one’s exactly reinventing the wheel here, and for all that Diablo apparently has nigh-legendary replayability, I’m not sure how long it’ll hold me. I’m messing around with a baby monk when I’m not playing my demonhunter, and that’s entertaining me, but there are only so many packs of molten mobs I can kite around and plink at in circles before I want to pull my hair out. It’d be nice to play a class that can just stand there and FIGHT something sometimes, so . . . maybe the monk will be the answer. We’ll see.

Tera

Welp.  It’s pretty!  And it uhh.  It . . . it’s really pretty!  Oh, and its combat is sorta different.  Kinda.  Maybe.  Okay look.  This LOOKS like Aion.  This plays like WoW (the quests do anyway.) Tera’s comported itself as a step up because its combat system is different, and I buy into that to a point.  You can miss heals, for example, because you have to click and target spells either on a character or on the ground.  You can also make combos out of abilities, which sounded good until I realized I could space-bar-cheese an entire rotation.  As in I set my combos up so that A ability combos to B ability which combos to C, D, and then back to A.  And all I have to do to make max deeps is press spacebar harder.  Over and over again.  And aim with my mouse.   For a “step up” on combat, it sure does simplify it to a fault.  I remember back in the day the reason I didn’t like FFXIII was because of this same mechanic – it got so simple, I didn’t feel like I was playing a game anymore.  You could program your characters to do anything at the push of a button, so the point of actually playing got lost to the ease of the combat management.  I’m not sure that’s a good thing.  The game needs to engage mah brainz to hold me and . . . well.  It’s pretty so it’s engaging for now, but I don’t see that sustaining me.

(Also, one thing to add about the pretty?  The way the characters look and dress.  At least this game is consistent with its “sexualized exploitation of the genders.”  Men look just as slutty and “Fantasy Calvin Klein” as the girls.  Worth noting especially is if you play a Castanic female, you will literally be staring at her panty-clad ass the entire game experience.  She’s always stooped over as she runs and you can stare right up her butt.  Which, at least it’s a nice butt, but it is a little disconcerting.)

I Can See Her Spleen!

Guild Wars 2 (Beta)

This could, out of all of the games I’ve toyed with the last few weeks, be my favorite.  It’s gorgeous to look at (and your character is actually wearing clothes, which seems to be a novel concept these days), the combat is really fun if not a little difficult, and the quests seem engaging and well-written.  It’s not, “Collect six kobold scalps and do it over and over again until your eyes bleed.”  I didn’t play the first GW, so I went into this blank slate, and I was pretty pleased with what I saw.  The problem was, I didn’t see a whole lot.  Why?  The beta wasn’t quite ripe yet.  It was the really green banana in the bunch.  There was massive lag, and through some weird glitch in the system, you couldn’t actually play with your friends – you were always put on shard realms apart from one another.  I found it a little disappointing, but it whetted my thirst for the next beta weekend which I think is next week.

A couple notes from what I did play, though:

1)  Casters get to move while they cast.  HALLE-FUCKING-LUJAH.  In fact, you /have/ to move.  If you stand still in this game and try to kill stuff, it will very likely eat your face off.  You need to be engaged and paying attention, or that level three monster will maul your level three toon’s face.  Interesting that equal-level mobs are an actual threat here.  So, if you were one of those people that went into WoW and stood in the fire, you will hate GW2.  You need to be positionally aware at all times.

2)  Having difficult mobs does mean that trying to kill stuff a couple level highers than you will likely go poorly.  As in, you’ll get deaded fast.

3) There are a lot of cut-scene/instanced quests within storylines, but you can haul friends in with you so they can play along, too.  It’s not like WoW where cut scenes can screw up your party.

4)  My friend Crystal is a map designer for the company.  Instant cool points.

What I’m Looking Forward To

More GW2 (obviously) and more Portal, funny enough.  It was $7.99 on Steam so I caved and picked it up.  I’m absolutely terrible at it, as I don’t have the type of brain to do this solo, but I’ve been goofing off with a friend in co-op and that’s been a blast.  Glados is mean (and as an aside, I’m too sick to go to a concert with my friends tonight to see Jonathan Coulton.  I’m having a major sad right now.)  I’m contemplating taking a stab at Skyrim again, and I was deeee-lighted to hear that they’ve got an Elder Scrolls MMO in the works.  If it’s up to the quality of the other games in the series, it could have a huge fan-following.  I toyed with the idea of scooping Kingdoms of Amalur:  Reckoning buuuuut then they sorta flopped and laid off their entire staff and stuff got fishy there.  Rather not support a fishy company even if the gameplay’s solid, thanks.  There’s feedback post-38 studios collapse here, but I think I’ll be dodging that bullet.

Plus, let’s be honest – I need to do more writing lately.  Games don’t help with that in the slightest.  They’re a good way to keep my sick brain entertained, though!

World of Warcrack

And so it is that our heroine prepares to unsubscribe again!  For those not interested in gamer nerdage, might I recommend you go somewhere else, like perhaps here or here.   The rest of you – still with me?  Good?  Good!  So I wanna talk about Cataclysm, the good and bad, and what I’m taking away from the last year of my life.  This expansion . . . man.  Before I jump into it, I want to rewind and talk about how I felt about other expansions so I can do a “fair” compare and contrast.

Vanilla WoW

I got the bug, man.  The need for speed.  I started out on Stormrage, a PVE server, and played a night elf priest named Grizelle.

Fear My Tier Zero

I did unnerfed old-school Scholomance for four hour stretches and loved it.  I got all of my tier zero so I was mighty purple.  I did raids on both sides of Stratholme and thought I was a boss.  Killing Drakkisath in UBRS was DIFFICULT on ten, and there was always that argument of whether or not we should have the hunter kite Drak back to the beasts’s room or just say fuck it and tank it out and CC Drak’s adds.  I remember the first time I tried Molten Core with a bunch of friends; it was a disaster.  Hated it because we kept trying to split the giant pull in the beginning and couldn’t figure out how to do it.   It was so frustrating, I swore I’d never raid again.  This was followed up by my first venture into Warsong Gulch and THAT didn’t go great, either.  We didn’t know how the game worked, so the other team (who clearly were a pre-form that had played a fuck ton of Warsong on the test servers) laughed at us as we flailed and tried to figure out what to do.  This started Hillary’s theory of “PvP makes people mean and dumb and arrogant.”

I swore off WoW for a little bit, but then Lauren talked about this whole RP Server thing, and how people were nicer and more mature in general. I rolled horde, joined a guild called Noxilite.  I played a little dead frost mage named Yva.

My First Wow Commission by Lansiron

I pretty much abandoned Stormrage and fell into the horde community on Feathermoon.  I was hooked by good people, good roleplay, and – gasp – I tried my hand at a NEW PvP thing called Alterac Valley and loved it.  I played it for hours.  I got exalted rep.  I remember collecting parts to summon frost giants.  I earned a reputation as one of those players you avoided or it was frosty, icy death (I still relish being able to stack double trinkets and frost bolt someone’s face off for all their life.)   Between Alterac Valley matches, I would sit outside of the often-sieged Tarren Mill and pick off encroaching alliance players.  This is how I ended up talking to a bunch of A-side folks — namely Tarquin and Ceil — and forming cross-faction friendships.

I tried Molten Core again, this time on the mage and with the hordies, and it was a totally new experience – nothing at all like what I’d encountered on SR .  I ended up being an officer in their 40 man.  I met more great people, I basked in the awesome that was vanilla WoW up to (and through) BWL.  Then drama happened, as it will do in WoW.  Me and my “co-pilot” hordeside parted ways.  We used to do everything together, so this was pretty traumatizing for me in and out of game.  I lost a lot of my lust for roleplay especially – my character had been rp’ly married to his character.  Fortunately, my friends rallied to help “save the game” for me.  The horde folks were as supportive as they could be, and the A-side people were more than happy to help me overcome the trauma by working a story arc with me.   Yva actually became a villain for them, kidnapping a character named Shaila’s baby.  For the first time in my rp career, I was dealing with a certain character named Bricu Bittertongue.

The experience with the A-Side folks went SO well (and my lingering feelings of displacement over the horde stuff so strong) I capped a mage over there named Azka.

Still Love This Screenshot

Azka the pyromaniac became part of the Wildfire Riders guild and eventually I shifted my focus over to the alliance full-time.  Blizzard did this wondrous thing then where they made server transfers available, and Grizelle the night elf priest came to Feathermoon under the name of Indarra.  I’ve always been a better healer than anything else in this silly game, so I immediately swapped to Indi as my main.  I wanted to try my hand at “top-tier” raiding, and so I started subbing for these guilds called Chaos and Catalyst.  I got to experience Naxx 40 in all its pre-nerfed glory, and was probably only one of 50 people on the server to see vanilla KT dead.

Burning Crusade

So come BC I decided I’d move from a more casual raiding atmosphere  to a full-time hardcore guild.  I joined Chaos and settled in as one of their eight billion priests.  Let me say right off the bat, I – loathed – BC at first.  Not only was the opening starting area the ugliest thing in the world, the rep-grinding was horrible and end game bordered on impossible.    Blizzard overtuned a lot of that content right off the start, so even a progressed guild with twenty-five skilled players on a four night a week raiding schedule couldn’t beat it.  We were bashing our faces off of it for very limited reward.  It actually made the guild “disband” for a while to go pursue LotRO.  We knew Blizzard was getting told their shit was stupidly hard, we knew the nerfs were coming, we’d preoccupy ourselves with something more fun in the meanwhile.

Bliz inevitably implemented said nerfs.  The first nerf basically made the content playable for hardcore guilds, so we tossed LotRO and had at SSC and Kaelthas.  Kael was still pretty fuckin’ difficult at that point in time, and when we dropped him, only one other alliance guild beat us to the kill.  This was about when my perception of BC as an expansion shifted from “Man, this sucks” to “MAN, THIS IS AWESOME.”  For all that I hated the Kaelthas fight because of TOO MUCH GODDAMNED SCRIPTING AT THE PULL, I loved SSC, and I – really – loved Black Temple and Hyjal.  Black Temple felt like your reward for dying to Kaelthas for a zillion years.  It was a great dungeon with great fights.  A hardcore guild couldn’t tear through it, but they could progress at the pace of a new boss every couple weeks so you always felt like you were moving forward.  (I recall the Reliquary of Souls and Gorefiend being the only two fights I didn’t like in there.)  Hyjal was fun, too, and even though the waves of trash to get to bosses could be tedious as hell, I still enjoyed it for the most part.

I was playing a TON of World of Warcraft at this point in my life.  A ton.  Like, all the time.  I was staying up so late I ended up losing a job because I made myself so tired and sick I couldn’t  focus at work (that’s an embarrassing admission to have to make).  I was totally addicted, and not just to my four-night a week raid. I  was still hanging out and rp’ing with the Riders, and had capped a series of alt characters that I played whenever I wasn’t healing 25 man.

Seylon The Night Elf Slut I Mean Warrior by Lansiron – Beware Nipplage

Skyborne the Druid/Seylon’s Daughter by Loreli

Yva Reborn As A Warlock

Then the most glorious thing happened.  Karazhan.  Oh, Karazhan, how I loved thee.  I loved every encounter (yes, even Aran) and the only complaint I could remotely muster was that there was a bit too much trash to start.  Karazhan became the dumping grounds for all of my alts so I could have shiny purples on everybody.  I think I was raiding six or seven nights a week at this point in time – four nights on 25 man content with Chaos, the rest in Karazhan with whatever character filled the slot and whoever wanted to go with me to Kill Manz.  It was there I developed a taste for druid healing, deciding it was infinitely more fun to spam hots than it was to press flash or greater heal over and over again.

In retrospect, this was the UNHEALTHIEST time for me in WoW, but it was also when I was having the most fun.  Until  the raid-breaker dungeon, that is, by which I mean Sunwell Plateau.  It was back to the overtuned bullshit of early BC wherein you smashed your face off of bosses for little to no reward.  Sunwell sucked for me and the rest of my raiding guild.  Besides being unfun and nigh unplayable, it also came at the end of the expansion.  Unlike vanilla where I still had enthusiasm for the game, I was starting to feel the burn then.  I’d been playing WoW nonstop for a couple years by that point, so I was long overdue for a break, and it came right as Sunwell crashed and burned around our ears.  I took a hiatus, only to return for . . .

Wrath of the Lich King

I started off Wrath as the healing officer for Chaos.  All of us were still a little crispy-fried from BC, and we decided we’d cut down our raid nights from four to two with this expansion.  We got most of our core team back together and charged ahead, trying to cap our characters to 80 with as much speed as possible.  One noteworthy change for me was I was going to a full-time druid healer instead of my faithful priest.  I wanted to heal still, I just needed a change, and the druid hots were addicting as hell.  Wrath . . . amazed me.  Again I felt all of my disdain for the end of BC falling away as I immersed myself in Howling Fjord and Grizzly Hills.  I didn’t care much for Borean Tundra (at first) but eventually that became my leveling zone of choice when I realized how well-clustered the quests were versus running all over the Fjord to collect turkey heads.  The thing that got me MOST excited for Wrath, though?  Starting off with the reworked Naxxramas.  I loved that instance so much, and now it was back with retuned gear and boss encounters tailored for the 25 man game experience.  Gone were the days of needing nine priests to shackle on Gothik!

Unlike BC that felt overly difficult and in need of a nerf, Wrath started easy and built up in difficulty over time, which felt much more organic for the player experience.  I dug the snot out of Ulduar.  What’s interesting, then, is it was Ulduar that did me in for high-end raiding.   I liked the instance, had friends in Chaos, and was generally having an okay time, but I decided I didn’t want to be so hardcore anymore.  There were multiple factors that went into this.  One:  I was at odds with another “play partner” from WoW and wanted to put distance between us.  Two:  I was subbing in for the more casual Totally Raids and they were just flat out nicer to one another.  The thing about high end raiding is it’s also high stress.  There’s always a push to be better and improve.  Those who aren’t performing up to par need to be “dealt with” and nerds on an epic loot mission?  Are mean fucking people.  You prevent them from getting their Shining Axe of Awesome, you might as well be consumed by herds of rabid squirrels.  So I’d go from THAT environment where people were slapping one another around and calling it “fun”, and then I’d go to my Friday  night casual raid where people laughed and said “It’s okay” if someone fucked up.  Guess which one was more appealing after a short time?

This swap facilitated yet another main character shift.  I went from the healing druid with the high end raiding guild to Yva the warlock in a roleplay centric, casual friendly raid.  It was a good shift, a fun shift.  I will not speak of the Round Room of Doom instance which sucked but was fortunately over quickly, but I will say I adored Icecrown Citadel.  I really, really loved my ICC ten man, and the 25 was pretty fun, too, though it seemed to go a lot slower.  We killed the Lich King on both modes, though, which was satisfying despite the absolute SHIT game design that was Sindragosa.  The problem with ICC – and Wrath, really – was that ICC  was the only game in town for far, far too long.  The lich king was dead, the expansion was winding down, there was nothing to do.  Instead of giving us BC’s impossible dungeon of impossible, we had . . . nothing.  They added that random purple dragon to kill in Wyrmrest, but that was it.  You could hear a pin drop with how little was going on.  The RPers were wrapping up their stories with the death of Arthas.

I’m Still Proud of How Nerdy This Is

The only thing to raid was ICC over and over again.  It felt like Cataclysm would never come and everyone I knew was getting twitchy.  Once again I found myself unsubbing as I waited around for something to inspire me.  I had other games to play, other places to be.  Or so I thought.

Cataclysm

Cataclysm started strong.  I loved the look of Vashj’ir even if I hated that quest markers only told HALF the story (depth would have been a nice indicator with so many levels of terrain, Bliz.)  I loved that the five mans were difficult and not so easy a head-trauma’d beagle could plow their way through them.  I loved the hunter and rogue and paladin that I capped – new classes are exciting and fun.  I loved that they reopened Zul’Gurub and ZA!  I loved . . .

-crickets-

And  that’s the problem.  That’s all I loved.  Loving the LOOK of zones was not nearly enough to keep me hooked.  Loving that the five mans were hard was not enough to make me content to do them six zillion times forever and ever.   Loving alts who had to play in what I found to be subpar environment was sort of a drag.  I found a lot wrong with Cataclysm, and it’s put a bit of a damper on my enthusiasm for any ensuing expansions Blizzard’s got coming out.  Why?  Well . . .

  • Cataclysm’s story was SO underwhelming.  The return of Staghelm was not nearly as OOOH AAAH as I wanted it to be.  Where’s the Emerald Dream, y’all?  Thrall has been used as a plot device too many times for him to interest me much anymore.  We need new hero blood beyond “Thrall’s orc girlfriend.”  Besides the random drive-by fire spews, I found Deathwing to be a less-than-engaging villain.  I found a lot of events/questlines/storylines TOO scripted.
  • I resented HAVING to follow Blizzard’s story in each of the 80 – 85 zones so closely, that we were unable to skip quests we disliked because it meant essentially killing our progression in a given area.  The beauty of WoW’s leveling structure in the past was how vast and expansive their world was.  Players could pick and choose their experience.  Cataclysm crammed its stories down our throats with no amount of wiggle room or control over how we progressed.  They tweaked the old world to work on a similar model, and I find that model flawed.
  • You were always the hero.  You weren’t one person working towards a greater common good.  The world BALANCED ON YOUR ACTIONS.  As an RPer?  This was a huge killjoy for me.  We can’t all be heroes.  We can’t all HAVE THE FATE OF THE WORLD ON OUR SHOULDERS.  This storytelling tactic (which had never been employed up until this expansion) meant that roleplayers were ignoring a lot of the presented quest text so they could craft their own stories about HOW they contributed to things.   They had to fake their way around this OH MY GOSH YOU’RE THE BEST-itis.
  • The boss encounters through most of the end-game dungeons did not feel fresh or interesting to me.  They bordered on gimmicky at best, and at worst recycled mechanics of fights we’ve seen before.   This shifted with Firelands some (at least I thought) though what they probably construed as clever with the Rhyolith mechanic was just fucking aggravating.  I think Dragon Soul has, to a point, been better for mechanics, but then they go and fuck things up by adding in a wave of the most annoying trash I have ever had the displeasure of fighting.  Whoever came up with the dragon trash before Ultraxion should be beaten with a boat oar.  Also?  Make your scripted speeches skippable already. I didn’t want to have to wait six years for Kaelthas to get through his monologue, I don’t wanna wait with the Dragon Soul council either.
  • There was so much focus put into reworking the old world quests, that for a long time there, people at 85 had nothing to do.  You capped, you did five mans, there were a couple raids, but that’s only going to satisfy for “so long” – and in this case, “so long” was WAY too long.  Toiling in the herp derp of “okay, so what do I do with myself when I log on” meant I grew detached from the content, which meant I found shininess in other games far quicker than I have with other WoW expansions.
  • For the most part, the old world content was “okay” but not brilliant or so revolutionary I wanted to cap ANOTHER priest or ANOTHER mage.  A lot of players I knew had their mains and a handful of alts already.  Why would they want to repeat hours and hours of effort just to see what changed in Ashenvale?  This expansion felt like it was much more “NEW PLAYER FRIENDLY” than established player.  With millions of subs from previous years reupping to see the game, this seemed like a bad marketing strategy on Bliz’s part.  I saw a lot more people falling off of WoW far earlier with Cata than any of Bliz’s previous expansions.  Part of this CAN be attributed to a game being six or seven years old, but I think people /want/ to have a reason to stay in game.  I think they don’t want to give up on what’s been years of effort.  So I’m not going to jump on the “it’s because they were tired of WoW” bandwagon with this.  I think the game didn’t give players enough fun things to do.
  • Graphics.  Kinda killed me to see how well-made the gobbos and worgen were in comparison to my poor, unloved humans and elves.  Everyone should have gotten some prettiness love.

So what does this mean for me going forward?  Well, I dunno. I’m not excited about introducing yet another talking animal class in the game.  I’m kinda over the Zoobilee Zoo stage of my life, and we’re up to talking cows, dogs, and pandas.  I admit I’m curious about Mists of Panda Bear Island because the content presented is what was SUPPOSED to be released in BC (until China nixed the panda bear thing and Bliz had to last-minute throw together the shitty draenei lore) so I might check it out, but it’ll be a labor of love if I do.  A lot of my close friends have flat out stated they won’t be back next expansion, and as any MMO is only as strong as its community, I dunno what that means for me.  I guess time will tell!

League of Legends. The Gender Gaming Thing. Again.

So a friend of mine asked me today, “Are you offended by the portrayal of women in League of Legends.” For those of you not familiar with LoL (and know this – gamers are laughing at you if you’ve never heard of it) League of Legends is essentially a free to play game where you control a character, get six abilities, and go kill other people playing the same characters. It’s not all that complex of a concept, really. The big draws to the game?

– There’s an enormous cast of characters to pick from. You can pretty much play whatever style of fighter/support/tank you want.
– Pure Player Versus Player. For those looking to go against opponents with an actual brain (in lieu of a programmed computer foe), this is the game for you.
– You don’t HAVE to pay a dime to play. If you want to buy characters and customize them, you can, but you are in control of what you contribute to this game.

I’m touching on bullet point one up there today. If you’re unfamiliar with the game and the characters, I want you to go here and check out who you can play. Then I want you to take particular note of the female characters. I’m going to categorize them for you here to make this simple. In some cases, I use a skin that’s purchasable to illustrate a point:

Gorgeous, Thin, Ample T & A Available

Total: 17.5 – Cass only gets half points.

Gorgeous, Thin, Less T & A But It’s Still Present

Total: 7

Thin, Not Sexy Unless You’re Weird

Total: 5

Scary

Total: 1.5 (Giving Cass half points for cleavage – note that female scaries are still thin)

Fat

  • Zero

So let’s tally that up – 31 characters by my count, at least 25 of them are beautiful. At least half of them are sexualized beautiful. Five of them are considered NOT sexy because they’re animals, children, or “little people.”  None of them are fat because fat women clearly don’t exist.

Not a good ratio so far.

Let’s break it down for the men, now, shall we? And I’m getting lazy with the images so you’ll have to take my word on it for some of these characters. Want proof? Just ask for the character and I’ll direct you:

Sexualized Men, Plenty of Beefcake.

Total: 8 if I’m being generous.

Attractive Men, Limited Beefcake.

Total: 12

Thin, Not Sexy Unless You’re Weird.

  • Alistar – A minotaur.
  • Amumu – A mummy.
  • Blitzcrank – A robot.
  • Corki – A flying little person with old man hair.
  • Fizz – A fish boy.
  • Galio – A gargoyle
  • Heimerdinger – I don’t even know what the crap he is but it looks like a half robot machine man thing. It’s weird.
  • Jax – Arguably could be put in scary, too.
  • Kennen – Tiny ninja. No really. Like gerbil people ninja.
  • Malphite – Made of rock.
  • Maokai – A tree man.
  • Nasus – Dog man.
  • Nanu – Yeti riding small person.
  • Rammus – An armadillo.
  • Renekton – A crocodile man.
  • Rumble – A mechanized squirrel.
  • Teemo – Little person kid-like thing.
  • Twitch – A rat man.
  • Veigar – A little wizard dude.
  • Viktor – A mad doctor type.
  • Volibear – A bear.
  • Wukong – A monkey man.
  • Xerath – Alien mage.

Total – 23

Scary.

  • Brand – A fiery demon man.
  • Cho’Gath – A demon thing that eats people. Looks like a roided up lobster.
  • Dr. Mundo – A knock-off on Mr. Hyde.
  • Fiddlesticks – A ghostly scarecrow.
  • Karthus – Dead guy.
  • Kassadin – Alien dead guy hybrid scary thing.
  • Mordekaiser – Black Knight demon type.
  • Nautilus – Ocean ghost.
  • Nocturne – Ghost.
  • Shaco – Evil clown.
  • Singed – Evil scientist.
  • Sion – Undead dude.
  • Skarner – Scorpion.
  • Trundle – A troll.
  • Warwick – A werewolf.
  • Yorick – Undead.
  • Ziggs – Explosive midget.
  • Zilnean – Old, old man.

Total: 18

Fat

  • Gragas
  • Urgot – Fat AND Scary. WOO.

Total: 2

So that’s 63 male champions, only 20 of which could even potentially “appeal” to someone as attractive. Of those 20? Less than half of them are blatantly sexualized.  But hey, at least they got a couple of fatties, right?

To recap: the ratio for exploitive art and presentation of female characters as sexual objects in LoL is over 50 percent. Making them attractive at all without the consideration of excessive T & A? A whopping 80 percent. That’s 80 percent of their female characters drawn to be beautiful. For men? Less than one sixth of their characters are “blatant beefcake”. Less than a third can be even categorized as “beautiful” because Riot’s portrayed them as different species or abhorrent because of scare factor.

So to answer my friend’s question from earlier, am I offended by LoL’s portrayal of female characters? Less than I should be, sadly, because the gaming industry is fucked and I’m so tired of this goddamned topic. I’m -disappointed – Riot lumps women into a category where all their tit-donning characters have to be pretty. I’m sorry, but if you can make 40 something characters that AREN’T pretty on the male side, why aren’t there any on the women’s side AT ALL? Even their token “scary chicks” are somewhat attractive. What message is Riot trying to send? Are all female characters truly drawn just to appease the male audience? And if so, what does that say to boys growing up? Or to women who want to game? Why can’t women be SCARY AND DISGUSTING like Urgot or Mordekaiser? Why do they have to be drawn like pretty princesses and Barbies? And don’t throw Pantheon at me as Riot’s big “here, have a cookie – we sexualize the men, too.” That doesn’t pacify, placate, allow, or explain.

So, long and short of this? For the four thousandth time?

GAMING INDUSTRY. FIX YOUR SHIT.

Note: Sad but true, interwebs trolls are interwebs trolls. The last fourteen-year-old entitled white-kid nerd rager that came in here and tried to basically say “chicks should deal with it because games are made for people like me” was promptly deleted. SO. We can’t have nice things like discussions. Comments nuked from orbit. Games are for everyone, basement-dwelling nerdlings (of which I pretty much am one). Play nice and let everyone have some fucking equality in entertainment, will you?

Dorkcraft.

I’ve played for what, five years now? Kind of strange to think about the big picture. I figured out what an online addiction was from it, certainly, and I had an inability to balance my game time and my real life responsibilities. I learned the hard way then that my priorities were screwed up and have since made the necessary changes to better living. I’ve made friends, a community, and have traveled to visit those friends. I’ve lost friends too, and those incidents were very painful.

When I think about my time invested in this game, it’s riddled with ups and downs and all arounds. I’m not nearly as interested in chasing the next epic as I used to be, though there was a time that’s all I wanted to do. The mechanics are old, the graphics just as old . . . how many kobolds and undead and wolves can one nerd kill, right? I’ve been a huge advocate for RP sometimes. Other times I’ve been a forum troll. I think I’ve done a little bit of everything in this stupid game.

What always kept me coming back, despite all of the nonsense aspects, was the people. The Martys and Reubens and Laurens and Scotts and Nicks and Evies and Jenis and Gabbys, just to name a few. I would log on even when some game related drama made me sick just so I could reconnect with my friends. It became my place for socialization when I wasn’t with the real life crew/family I see weekly.

And now I’m not comfortable doing that thanks to Real ID, and I resent that. I resent that now, thanks to this system, people I can’t just go and see (because they live in Canada or Washington or Chicago or Texas) may leave the medium we use to primarily communicate. I resent that the fear of this Real ID system’s implementation has injured my community to the point that it’s making us all ponder quitting. I always wondered what it would take to draw me away from Warcraft. Mind you, I know I could talk to them on chat programs and emails, but this was something we did together and shared. It’s one of those things that when conversation grew quiet about OTHER things, we had this to jaw about, and now it’s going away.

Since the stir of Real ID’s douchebaggery started, I’ve felt like I’m pre-maturely mourning the death of something I highly value. This does not bode well, methinks.

Crises on Planet Dorkcraft.

It’s funny how an MMO can bring out the worst in people, and I include myself in that particular generalization. It’s very very easy to forget that the person sitting on the other end of the screen has feelings, and a life, and circumstances that may very well be worse than your own. Sometimes, that person who isn’t a particularly good raider might have a damn good reason for his or her laspes; a marriage that’s falling apart, an illness, difficulties with the job, or hell, just difficulties relating to other people in general.

I guess it’s not surprising that a web based medium attracts a lot of socially dysfunctional people. You can be quasi-anonymous in Warcraft, and never really have to own up to your actions. If you get a bad reputation, you reroll a new character, or transfer servers and you can effectively erase your past and move onto something new. The repercussions for being a dick are minimal with so many ways to just get away.

I think if I can teach one person in this game to be more cognizant of other people and their circumstances, if I can teach someone to think twice before humiliating a stranger simply because they can, I’ll have done a good thing. Young people (Oh God I feel old saying that) have a tendency to see the universe as it pertains to themselves only, and for those kids going out there, getting a job after college and trying out the whole adult thing? Understanding the needs of other people is a skill they WILL NEED to be accepted and respected by their peers.

I think I’m done being all wordy and full of bullshit wisdom now. Let’s just leave this post at I saw a kid humiliate another person in the medium of Warcraft today, and it turned my stomach. It made me really think about how I treat others, and how I need to be more careful with their feelings. They might just be pixelated pictures moving on my screen, but behind that avatar is a real person who may just have it worse than me.

Blargh.