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Fantasy video games have always been a genre where developers have taken liberties with how they are going to go about having the female characters in their games look. As I talked about Lara Croft from Tomb Raider in my last post, it’s important to realize that while Lara Croft’s outfit has always been pretty shocking, it was an actual outfit that you may see some women wearing in real life today. Fantasy games on the other hand, such as World of Warcraft, Dragon Age, or Skyrim portray women in these far away lands in outfits that would never in a million years be seen in real life let alone stay in place during battle if they did become reality. On the website borderhouseblog.com , the author gives 8 examples of different outfits on male characters and on female characters in “World of Warcraft” and some of the differences are shocking. While some of the outfits are relatively the same on both genders for example “The Raptor Hide Harness” and the “Cobalt Leg Guards”, the differences in the others are pretty drastic. The “Carapace of Tutan’Kash” is a full stomach and chest protector on a male and only a bra on a female. The “Lofty Leg Guards” on a male cover everything from his shins to his waist, however on a female, they only cover from the knee to the mid-thigh, and include a bikini bottom at the waist. “Normal looking clothing or armor on the guys. Thongs, thigh-highs, and bras on the girls” (borderhouseblog.com).

For years developers were able to get away with such things because there just were no girls playing these games to complain about such things. But now, with social media driving more and more women to play games, they are starting to speak out and call attention to these disparities between male and female characters in gaming. Given that women in gaming is a relatively new trend, these calls to action are going largely unheard except on the blogosphere simply because it is men who are making the games and they have decades of scantily clad female characters in their memories with no other points of reference.

Sources:

http://borderhouseblog.com/?p=541

http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2010/07/28/why-video-game-designers-are-missing-the-mark-with-women/

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