Sense of Humor Fail.

It’s been a long weekend.  It was the local Folk festival which meant work was pretty much insane.  And my car broke down on friday.  So maybe I am not in the best of moods today.  So when this popped up on my Facebook friends list I kinda grumped about it.




Ok, I maybe having a total sense of humor fail today, but this pissed me off.  For one thing, I don’t do this (there was a famous time a freind made me jump playing the first Resident Evil game and I trew the controller across the room though), and second of all I have witnessed male gamers do it just as much as female gamers, especially playing racing games.  And I realised over the weekend that even though I now have my PS3 linked to the net I have a fear of joining multiplayer games as my username is obviously female and I have read too much Fat, Ugly or Slutty to dare do it.


No Room for Negative Characters in WoW?

There has been a lot of controversy in the MoP beta over Ji Firepaw and his dialogue. More specifically something said to female characters.


To Males he greeted them with:

“Hello, friend! You’ve got a strong look to you! I bet you’re all the rage with the ladies! Join me! You and I are going to be good friends!”

To Females he said:

“Hello, friend! You’re some kind of gorgeous, aren’t you? I bet you can’t keep the men off of you! Join me!”

This upset some people and the line has been changed. I have to say was pretty creepy, but then I think the male version was too. My take on it was he was trying to flatter either gender into joining him but getting it wrong and going waaaaaay too far. I’m not sure what it’s been changed to, not having played in the beta. And I’m not against the changes.

But that’s not really what I want to talk about. It got me thinking though.

Is there no room for ‘offensive’ characterisation in games any more?

I’m not sure I worded it right there so I’ll try and explain.

For example a dev wants to write a new character for the game. This character needs its own personality, and that may depend on what part of the storyline it fits into. Let’s say he is a member of a faction you have to deal with to gain acceptance. But this guy, well, it turns out he really doesn’t like women. And says so. Possibly in vocal terms. And part of the storyline is about you overcoming that. Either he gets cut down to size, or you change his opinion, whatever. My question is this.

Would people allow this to remain in game?

Personally I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Oh, sure, the quest line may make my blood boil, but in the end, as long as the over all message isn’t “Hurr hurr, wimenz are useless” and finishes up with only male characters getting passed it, I’m not going to demand it changed. Shit like this exists in real life, and I hate that, I really do, but I feel removing all traces of offensive subjects from the media would harm rather than help. Show it being challenged. Show it bring overcome. But please don’t act like it never happens, because if people don’t know it does then how can it be beaten.

Another example:

A new game comes out. In this game female toons can only take the cooking profession and their level cap is 5 levels lower than a male toons.

Now THAT I’d have a major problem with. It doesn’t highlight any issues other than the devs are assholes, and can influence young males into thinking of women as inferior.

Im not saying that it’s ok to have a character do a sudden about turn in personality and abuse someone out of the blue. I’m not saying it’s ok to have offensive content for the sake of the ‘lols’ or to troll users. But I am saying that in my opinion content shouldn’t be sanitised too much.

I hope this makes sense, as it did in my head, but on print I’m not so sure!

Pretty Pandas and a Bit of a Rant.

They have revealed the female model for the new Pandaren race in WoW. But you already knew that.


I like her. I still don't like how male Draenei are big, hulking things and yet the females are skinny whispy things, and I was worried the Pandarens would go the same way. I'd like her to look a but fiercer though, I hope there are options for that. Ideally I'd still like more customisation choices during character creation, for height, weight etc. I've never been able to get into Everquest 2 but damn, I could play with the character creator all day.

Now I'm going off on a tangent, sorry. I noticed a lot of comments about how the existing female character models look are 'like something from a men's magazine'. I know the type of thing, mags like FHM with pneumatic looking blondes on the front cover. They are much maligned for objectifying women, and promoting the idea that the only skinny women are attractive. Whether you agree with that or not is not the purpose if this post. Rather, why is it we vilify men's magazines when women's magazines are just as bad? I can pick up a women's magazine and see photos of celebrities imperfections splashed over the pages with mocking comments "Look, she has cellulite, the fatty!!" or "Oh dear, a little bit of her wobbles, she's really let herself go!". Ok, there are less bare boobs in them, but they objectify women none the less. I rarely read them myself, only in waiting rooms if there is nothing else on offer, but when I do I feel a little bit of my self esteem wither and die. But you never see campaigns to get them off the shelves, unlike lads mags. I think I'll stick to reading National Geographic in my GP's waiting room.

Trade Chat and International Women’s Day

I made a mistake today.  I was playing Pinkamena and forgot to hide trade chat when I zoned in Shattrath to train. Oh how I regret it.

Today is International Women’s Day. A day designed to empower and inspire women. A day to promote gender equality.  And in WoW, a day for imature assholes to try and belittle girls in the game.

I try and keep Trade chat turned off if I don’t need it, which is most of the time.  There is only so much spam I can take before I want to end all of humanity, and I find if I want to enjoy my time in game it’s best I don’t read it.  But I only set Pinkamena’s UI up yesterday and wasn’t in a main city at the time, and I forgot. I dinged 64 and HS’ed back to train, but ended up going AFK for a few minutes.  This meant when I saw stuff being said in Trade about IWD me being the masochist I am I could scroll back up and read even more of it. *sigh*

It started off with one person saying about how it was IWD, and her partner had bought her flowers.  Innocent enough but it was a matter of minutes before the “Women should stay in the kitchen and enjoy it” type comments started up.  Then the obligatory “Why do WOMEN get a special day, that’s SEXIST!!”, followed by the “Women have way more rights than men nowadays it’s really unfair”.  I wanted to ask them when the last time someone treated them badly because of their gender was, but I knew if I did that would just make the trolling worse. By this point it had gotten to “In celebration of this day then I’ll allow a female player to heal me in a heroic and won’t get mad when they suck” so I trained and got the hell out of there.  I’ve now fixed my UI.

Now I’m sure a lot of people will say that that was purely trolling and none of it was meant seriously.  Maybe a lot of it WAS, but some of it probably wasn’t.  And even if it is a joke, bear in mind there are young people playing this game that might think that this is the correct way to behave around women in a game.  And I don’t know about other women, but I like to play games to get away from the crap I deal with in real life.  I don’t need more crap in game.

As for why do we need IWD, just look at what’s going on in the US when certain political factions want to ban simple things like birth control so a women can’t have a say over her own body. The world is getting better but it’s still far from equal.  One of my guildies net connection went down before last weekend, and she had a hell of a time trying to get the tech support guy to listen to her, because after all, what would a woman know about it… *sigh*  When I worked as a projectionist at a local cinema I was treated with disdain by film deliverers and even one of the assistant managers because I was female and it was ususally a male dominated post. I did my job just as well as the other two male projectionist, but I was ridiculed because with the longer films I had to sometimes make two trips when carrying the reels upstairs to the projection booth to be made up instead of carrying all the reels at once.

In the context of video games, we need IWD to deal with things like the stuff posted on Fat,Ugly or Slutty, which whilst you may laugh at some of the things posted it’s really quite horrifying.

At the end of the day when I play WoW I don’t want to be treated specially, I just want to be treated the same.