Zaewen

Feminist gaming blog with a heaping dash of science and politics

Category Archives: Zee Explains It All

Depicting Gender: Character design in MMOs – Part 1

With the announcement of Everquest Next this weekend, I have been thinking a lot about how MMOs handle gender presentation in their character designs. Not that I don’t think a lot about this anyways, but I have been thinking about it in the context of how I really want to see a next gen MMO handle character design and customization. Character customization in games has always run the gamut from single player games like God of War with a single protagonist with a defined appearance and personality playing through a predetermined story line to games like SPORE where the player literally creates the character by taking them through the evolutionary path from single celled organisms to inter stellar system civilizations. For MMOs though, it’s all about creating you, or at least an avatar or character you dreamt up, and playing them within the world the game designers have built. That’s their bread and butter. All the raids, gear drops, quests, and class balancing that they’re always going on about are all just in service to that one idea: getting you, or the character you want to play, into their game world.

Everquest Next Concept Art

They said they were going to give you the choice between bikini armor and full coverage armor and maybe they will. But experience from every other game says this will not end well.

But what happens when the game design limits the player on who they’re allowed to be?

Read more of this post

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It’s been over a year since my last real post

And let me tell ya, it’s been a bit of a wild year.

Up until about May of last year I was unemployed, and had been for quite a while. I really enjoy blogging and getting my thoughts down on (virtual) paper and my extended period of nothing-else-to-do let me have a fun time of it even though being a female blogger, and a female feminist blogger at that, can be very stressful and tiresome. Which would be why my writing was never really consistent, but my year long absence had more to do with my employment than anything else. Trust me there are still a bunch of things I have to say and I plan on saying them, but this year has been absolutely exhausting. Read more of this post

So I get comments on two year old posts…

Ethergeist June 12, 2013 at 8:41 am

I cannot understand why there is always a complaint about how there is a lack of female protagonists – Here’s why: When game companies make female protagonists (as evidenced by your article above) there are complaints about how “sexist” or “scantily-clad” they are – are you “slut shaming?” – I doubt it – my point is this: EVEN MALE PROTAGONISTS look NOTHING like the males who play the games – their “best features” are also exaggerated – If we wanted to see things in video games that mirrored real life, we just wouldn’t play them. So, get over it, and if you think that there are not enough female protagonists, or that they are “over-sexualized” or whatever – Make some games with female protagonists that you want to see – it is easier, and more possible today than ever before. And above all, stop complaining.

*slow clap*

Well done, Ethergeist, well done. You sure told me. And on a two year old post, too! Woo boy, let me tell you, past-me is so getting over it right now. Hot damn.

In all seriousness though, who got your boxers all in a bunch? Was it this tweet by Feminist Frequency? I bet it was. Otherwise it’s kinda hard to imagine that someone of your estimable critical thinking skills would google “lack of female representation at E3” or the more likely and ever so classy “women bitching about bitches at E3” and go back the however many pages it took to get to my lil corner of the backlog woods. Read more of this post

Women’s Day 2012: “It is a horror, a cruel design, that makes it criminal a right that is mine”

The last few days I have been nigh on obsessively watching this. It’s an amazing, pitch perfect parody of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance that celebrates the Woman’s Suffrage movement and its perfectly timed for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Frankly, though, I think the reason I keep coming back to it, aside from it’s catchy lyrics (“I wanna wear pants!”), is that during this horrific political zeitgeist we’ve got right now, I really do need to see something that is joyously and wholeheartedly celebrating women’s fight for their rights and freedoms.

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Americans Elect: Just More Politics As Usual

Let’s face it, the US political system is a little shoddy. Shady, even. Especially when it comes to electing presidents. Really, when it comes down to it, the Presidential elections turn into pissing contests between only two nominees that may or may not have been chosen by their constituents to represent their party and who are elected to lead our country by some shadowy, not-well-understood group who may or may not follow the will of the people and elect the rightful winner of the popular vote. It can, at times, honestly seem like these elections aren’t about the weighing of the pros and cons of individual candidates but are instead a forced choice to put in charge the lesser of the two evils the nebulous entities known as the Republican and Democratic Parties have foisted onto us through the magic of politics.

Unsurprisingly, the citizenry is getting a little sick of all of this politicking and out of this zietigiest Americans Elect was born. They say they’re a new way to do politics. Vote for a canidate not a party is their battle cry, but is this organization really that revolutionary? Are they really shaking up the political scene as much as they claim to be or is it the same ol’ same ol’ just under different management?

Judging from that ad alone, it definitely seems to be the later. If Americans Elect was really trying to change the way we do politics, they might’ve thought to show some women as potential candidates in the ad.  Read more of this post
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