Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dear WOW Players

Dear WOW Players,

Sometimes you say great stuff on the general forums.  Sometimes you say insightful, witty stuff about the game.  Sometimes you say absolute garbage.

"Why can't they make female orcs sexy?" is light, as far as your usual harmful nonsense goes, but as it's part of a larger pattern, I thought that I'd address it.

This question assumes that the orc women already in the game aren't sexy.  Perhaps you're unaware that different people find different traits sexy.  Orc women are sexy, to some people.  Maybe not to you, but since WOW is an MMORPG with millions of players and not a porn video shot exclusively for you, what you find sexy is, to be honest, irrelevant.

Why are you asking about orc women?  Are orc men already as sexy as they could be?  When you look at Thrall, do you admire how hot he is?  Do you think that Blizzard should come up with a new character model for Garrosh and prove who puts the G in g-string?

There's an idea that women should be sexually appealing at all times.  There's an idea that women are decorative.  There's an idea that women's worth is tied up in their appeal to men.  Those ideas are destructive, misogynistic bullshit, and furthering them makes you sound like a harmful ass.

I understand that you like to look at women you find sexy.  You might enjoy playing orc women more if you found them hot.  It would be great, though, if you could relax and enjoy playing your characters as they are.  You can play a tauren man you don't find sexy, and you can play a tauren woman you don't find sexy, and you can have equal amounts of fun with each.

WOW is an RPG, so think of your characters as bold and brave or smart and witty or foolish and forgetful.  Think of your characters as sexy or boastful or prim.  Like men, women don't have to be sexually appealing to be interesting or fun or worthwhile, inside or outside of the game.

See you in Pandaland!

With love,
Frank Lee


  1. Excellent post. I'm trying to compose a longer follow-up on my own blog; I'll link to it if I come up with something worthwhile.

    Slightly tangentially from this, it's hard if you want to play a sexy male character in WoW. The assumption that players of male characters could only want to look like walking main battle tanks is baked in pretty deep.

    I think a lot of the people that come up with these complaints don't play the game as a RPG, though. They don't really come up with a character. They don't appreciate others.

    'twould be nice if there was a bit more variance in character customization, though. That every character of a race/gender combination has exactly the same body is a bit limiting on being the character you want to play. What if you want to play a bookish male Orc who's dedicated the last 20 years of his life to studying musty tomes of arcane magic? A female blood elf warrior who's actually built up some muscle, and some battle scars to boot?

    "I want to play a sexy female orc!" isn't necessarily problematic. It can be, but it doesn't have to be. It's when it turns into "I want everyone else's female orc characters to be sexy by my standards" is problematic, deeply so.

    Huh, this did get big. A bit unfinished, though. I'll see if I can make more coherence for my blog!

  2. 'twould be nice if there was a bit more variance in character customization, though.

    I agree with you 100% on that point. I'd love to see more options for height, shape, and so on.

    Thanks for your thoughts!