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AnimeWill MMO Reviews and Opinions

Whether you care what I think or not. Here is my view on the world of MMORPG's.

Author: gom276

Beauty over Brains?

Posted by gom276 Tuesday April 1 2008 at 4:50PM
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After thinking in another blog post I decided to take my question and present it in a blog.  In todays MMO market there often seems we are forced to make decisions based on taste.  And poses an interesting dilemma one that I myself have succumb to.  Beauty over Brains.  As a guy this may have more meaning that it would to a woman who often make choices more based on content than looks but as the marketing ads will attest to often men are the subject of this moral dilemma.  We are bombarded with pictures of scantily clad women who are by all means ideals to most men the world over.  Images of sexy women doing great wonderful things fighting beasts in nothing but a g-string and bra.  And as guys we can't help but click that link and ask the question.  "what's this?"  Suddenly we are on a hunt to delve into this world and see if the ads live up with in-game content.  And generally there is always one sexy race that just has to be super endowed. (or gifted as my wife says.)

The best examples of this are asian MMO's, with some of the most revealing ads and content to date.  But all MMO's target us with this human instinct, some marketing companies probably even push to make sure that there is at least one "sexy" race in the game.  Look at blizzard and those wonderful bloodelves on launch day I think the amount of women toons on all servers exploded as men all over were drawn to the idea of looking at those sexy behinds all day long.

But this goes beyond just our need to look at sexy women its also the game world and over all graphical feel.  I have noticed this even in myself.  The desire to play games that are severly lacking in content simply because "it looks so damn nice."  I know I am not alone in this.  As is shown by the number of subs for some of these asian MMO's and various other crappy games with gorgeous graphics.  The industry as a whole focuses on the visual appeal of their products probably slightly more than they do about the gameplay.  I know that most companies lay out their art design and look and feel way before they even start looking at mechanics.  Our need for constant flow of screen shots and videos attest to our need to see what it looks like.

We focus not as much about what is going on as what it looks like.  Many a great game has faded away due to dated graphics even though the gameplay is top notch. 

We all would rather choose the beauty queen as our date to the prom then the brainy fashion challenged girl in our D&D club.  We are victims to our own instincts as men.  And the marketing moguls love us for it.  We are simple creatures and lets be honest most of us are proud of it.  *grunt, grunt* 

But most of us would admit that when it comes to commitment our life long dream is the beauty queen who plays D&D.  When the marketing world and MMO world finally understands that and can actually produce that.  I think most guys would marry that one for life.

One other thought around this is why can't the brainy girls with no fashion sense hire someone to do a makover and improve on the look.  You know the whole hollywood geek to beauty queen thing.  I wish more older MMO companies instead of releasing more content patches to try to bring customers back would realize spending the same effort updating your dated graphics engine would save you more money then trying to redesign your game.  Most of us would love to play UO again but it would need some serious face lift and implants but that fundamentals of its gameplay were top notch.  Many other older titles are still great they just need a facelift to draw in the newer MMO crowd and please us lustful men.

Opinions? Critique? Complaints?

Tatum writes:

Nice graphics can really grab your attention, just like a beautiful woman.  However, once you stick around for a little while and figure out that theres no depth there, the game and the women both seem much less interesting.

In an MMO, I'll take depth over graphics and day.  If you could remake UO and give it graphics in the range of say, DAOC, I'd be all over it.  But, there is a limit to how far back you can go, just not sure where that is for me.  Also, the art style really factors into the equation for me.

Tue Apr 01 2008 7:35PM Report
zergwatch writes:

If you are patient enough, you will eventually find a good looking girl who is very smart and pretty good in bed.    Just don't settle for the first cute trailer girl who says yes to you and have to be stuck with it for the rest of your life. (WoW).

Also be wary of taking home strippers (AoC).

Tue Apr 01 2008 8:54PM Report
gom276 writes:

Great reference Zerg, you have captured exactly what I was going for with my analogies.

The idea is that we are often tempted by these sexy shallow games that are fun for a while but after you spend enough time with her you realize she doesn't have what you need.  The idea that we as men are targeted like this kind of offends me and yet I still fall into those stereo types.

so the question is are men (not all just us shallow types...  most of us in other words.) responsible for this trend of sexy shallow games flooding the market or are the marketers and game companies who take advantage of this character flaw in most of us?

Ahem...  or maybe I am just justifying my own shallowness.

Tue Apr 01 2008 9:35PM Report
soulwynd writes:

You see, the thing is, who are you to judge someone else? People are already pressured enough by the hideous american standards of beauty of today. The same thing can be said about success. Is some rich ceo more successful than a guy who doesn't have a penny, but does voluntary work, is a loving father, and has never hurt anyone's feelings?

I'd love to smack some sense and self awareness down into some people's head, maybe make them think for themselves and make them find their own goals and tastes. But I'd end up being an hypocrite, so I only smack those into people when they try to force their standards on me.

The same thing happens in games. they have to sell. But the nicest things in life aren't for sale.

Wed Apr 02 2008 1:25PM Report
gom276 writes:

I don't think its about judging anyone but about taking a casual look at the state of games today and the often focus in most forms of media of bombarding the primary demographic of men ages 18 to 35.  We are the primary income generators and as such are the primary focus of marketing in general.  So when marketers pull 20 guys off the street for research show them 3 videos and one has sexy (by western & some eastern standards.) they will inevitably react more positively towards the one with more female content.  It how our brains are wired.

It's what makes us men.  But when the focus of the product is to draw me in through looks and then deliver me a plate of crap.  I get offended.  When i see a rose I think its gonna smell nice, when I see something beautiful i think quality, yet I am marketed a rose that upon closer inspection smells like 3 week old rotten eggs.  I feel ripped off.

eventually when I see a rose I think it stinks and don't even bother smelling.  Until they offer me a nice shiny apple that looks delicious... you see where this is going right?

Wed Apr 02 2008 3:43PM Report
Shot5000 writes:

In all honesty, this marketing works on me initially. I like seeing sexy women and nice graphics. When reading articles like this you always have that 'knee-jerk' thought process of saying, 'It looks good, that'll get me playing but it's the gameplay that counts.'

I think that looks, especially in the fantasy role-playing genre can (and is) as important in these games as gameplay. With the caliber of games out now, you can't have one without the other and do well. Guys can have the sexy girls and girls can have guys that look ascetically pleasing.(Which from my experience girls like being sexy/pretty in game as long as they aren't mutants with double-Ds. And guys love looking at them as much as girls like guy models that have style. But guys and girls don't enjoy a high-fantasy game that feels more like a medieval ghetto.)

I might be a pig for saying I love the sight of a sexy elf fighting but that's just the way people are. Unlike text muds, mushes, and moos having graphics forces your imagination to take a back seat and your left with what the artists present in game.

Now-a-days it's not a choice between the ugly girl that's smart and the cheerleader that's shallow... It's become who can offer you the most cause there are many 'girls' out there with alot to offer, even to the point of making a choice on your tastes.

Tue Apr 08 2008 6:19PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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