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Casual Thoughts from a Semi-Retired Philosopher

I play MMOs as an alternative to TV. Sometimes it even turns into quality time with the girlfriend. Most of the time it's a distraction from doing something productive or meaningful.

Author: Hluill

There's a Slider for that?

Posted by Hluill Monday October 11 2010 at 10:23AM
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One of the selling points of an MMO is avatar customization.  We want our toons to look just so, different, individualized.  I remember the old days when the choices were limited to five faces, a handful of hairstyles and coloring.  Now there are sliders for everything.

AoC was my first MMO that had a slider for bust size.  Yeah, I slid that  knob back and forth a few times...

I have since experienced a few games with similar sliders and they always bring a few topics to mind.

First I remember a past roommate, who became addicted to old EQ (yeah, I helped with that).  She would complain that the female avatars were all top heavy, sporting generous cleavage while all the male avatars looked like whimps.  Many of the female avatars ran around in thongs and bustiers while male avatars, even "naked", wore pants and long sleeves.  She upset quite a few posters on the forums when she posted that male avatars should fill their codpieces as mightily as the female avatars filled their bras.

I have yet to see a slider for penis size.  Yet, according to much of the spam I receive, it's pretty important.

I also remember all the forum posts concerning female dwarves in LotRO.  Tolkien fans know that dwarven gender can only be determined by other dwarves.  Many MMO players complained that they wanted to play a more feminine dwarf.  One even went so far as to post that mammary glands need to be visible in order to nurse young.

Huh, all those moms with A-cups would beg to differ.

Then I have the issue with armor.  The reality is that it is NOT flattering.  Combat uniforms do not accentuate the female figure.  Armorsmiths make a lot of unnecessary room for boobs in breatsplates.  Some armor even sports cleavage -- watch out for hot brass, ma'am.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  This is fantasy.  Kudos to Frazetta and Corbin et al.  I have no problem with people wanting to play their fantasy avatar.  It's all about choices.

So why isn't it a choice to run the slider down to an A-cup?  Or make an avatar that's grossly overweight?  What if I want to play some horse-hung body-builder?  Where are those choices?  It's a given that we are judged by the the choices we make.  Are we ready to judge MMOs by the choices they give us?