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Dreamer's log

Hey guess what? This is a gamers blog, I know shocking! I also take part in vlogging which is like blogging but with a webcam. :)

Author: Cynthe

Vidcast 6: West vs Eastern Art in MMOs

Posted by Cynthe Wednesday April 29 2009 at 5:52PM
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While the internet was down this morning I felt like making a video about why I prefer eastern or Asian over western or American graphics, specifically character models.

If you are wondering why I keep switching over video hosts it's because both Vloggerheads and Wegame have a 10 minute limit of video length allowed and my vlogs are usually 23 minutes long or so. Viddler was far better but it often gives me errors when I try to upload so I got fed up and just went with Vimeo which is what I should have gone with the first place... *cough*

**Also to note the volume should be better in this cast, let me know otherwise**


Click me to view video

A.Blackloch writes:

To me the visual side in games is one of the most important aspects when trying to decide if I like the game or not. If the game looks awful, I have hard time putting myself inside it, even though the gameplay might be honed to near perfect.

And I don't know why, but the asian style has always been a huge turn off. I literally forced myself to try Lineage II but quit it since the art and animation was just awful. (Not awful, perhaps just something I haven't used to.) And so far I think I'm not even going to bother with Aion. I know it might actually be a good game and people say so, but so far the videos and screenshots tell me to stay away. I don't like the asian, weird spiky armors and weapons you don't even know which point to grab.

Guess I'm just looking for some sort of visual realism in my games. I have no trouble with games having magic and so on but if the world is made with pastel colours, people have angel wings and my equipment looks pretty awkward to use, I can't do it!

How silly is that. :D

Anyways, a good vid!

Thu Apr 30 2009 12:52AM Report
DopSillypant writes:


I'm very interested in understanding the cause behind the wide gap in liking or disliking asian style cartoon art, people rarely take a neutral stance.

If you don't mind answering a question I have; one of my theories is early exposure, the first art style that captivated our child imagination is the one that sticks with us for the rest of our lives, and carries into gaming.  Were you first exposed to western cartoons and comics prior to exposure to asian ones?


Well.  That topic was literally one of my planned blog posts, so I'm erasing that one from my list :)  It's rather ironic that most female players I know much prefer the idealistic, exaggerated body proportions in their games, while most people that are disturbed by those unrealistic images are male players.

I would assume the reverse, but my experiences tell a different story.

Thu Apr 30 2009 1:18AM Report
klinika writes:

To me it's a conscious decision to avoid the kind of visuals that seem to promote the fact that pretty much everything is sold on sex these days, and being a man I realise the sneaky and subtle effects it has on me and my tastes, and I actively try to fight to become a "victim" of the objectification of, well, sex, as used on advertising these days. I guess men are more conscious to it in some way, as the pressure to conform to that image is not as great as it is with women.

Thu Apr 30 2009 4:33AM Report
Cynthe writes:

Hey great stuff guys!

I'm comforted in a way that I'm not the only one who is very much influenced by looks, I often feel guitly because I have a hard getting past the character screen or the first 4 levels because the characters, animation and general looks doesn't appeal to me. :)

@Scorpchen I think you should still write that blog you may have perspectives I didn't cover. :D  And I do think it's odd and funny more men don't like the idealized overly sexy toons, while many women prefer them. Exposure is a good point, I grew up with cartoons like "Mini Fee", "Demetane La Petite Grenouille", "Captain Harlock", "Goldorak", and my favorite 'cause I'm such a girl : "Candy, Candy"

Sex in advertising, I have to say I never really understood that one. As long as there isn't full frontal in a shampoo commercial can't say any of it bothers me, but I view sexuality in a very hmmm earthy way, not sure how to explain other then skin is a beautiful natural thing to me and so is sensualism. The one thing in media that does piss me off is how annorexic and fake people are, you have to go under the knife to be perfect nowadays, that to me is more damaging then any art. A cover of Cosmopolitan is sure to make me feel uncomfortable. I guess the difference to me is that I know anime or cartoon representations are not real and not meant to be, the same with video game avatars, but actresses, singers, models ect... Are real women (and men) and they should not be traumatizing themselves the way they are.

And going off topic! :P


Thu Apr 30 2009 10:51AM Report
Umbral writes:


I disagree about the "generic" aspect.

Western and Asian can be generic.

You mentined Everquest 2 models,  Elves, Dark Elfes, Iksars and Trolls in EQ2 are very unique if we compare to other games we can't call them "generic". I agree some old EQ2 armors look generic, but the models are unique, so unique, some people will love, some will hate them.

EQ2 Soga models on the other hand are just an expression of a generic asian anime style.

Games like AION, Guild Wars and Final Fantasy have a pretty well done, expressive and unique "anime like" artstyle on their characters.

Most FTP asian games have the generic anime artstyle.

I do like the dramatic side of good "anime like" games and to me it feels more  expressive than the stiff dolls of Lotro for example.

But we can label as generic any artstyle withour originality and expressivity... not every anime is expressive like "Tenshi no Tamago".

Thu Apr 30 2009 11:47PM Report writes:
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