The release of Tera is right around the corner, and one of the most discussed issues surrounding Tera has been the sexualized nature of the player models and clothing. One of the greatest risks to Tera is rejection by the North American gaming community due to this subject matter.
North Americans take pride in enlightenment of sexual equality, demeaning acts or speech towards women can result in the loss of money, respect, and employment. When players were exposed to the highly sexualized female clothing designs in Tera, disgust and ridicule poured out in protest against depicting women in such ways. “The armors do not cover enough to be protective,” we said. “Fighting in high heels and lingerie is impractical,” we said. “The women’s figures were impossible,” we said.
Yet for all of this touting of equality, women in North America still make less money than men, still sit at lower levels of the corporate ladder, and are expected to tend to their appearance and figure much more than men are.
The real problem here is not Tera’s depiction of women. The real problem is our delusional sense of sexual equality; Tera smacks us in the face with an overstated, hyperbolic representation of our real sexual dimorphism, and we, believing ourselves to be well past that, are stunned that we are not.