As our MMOs get more immersive in regards to graphical environments and especially character models, it is an inevitable progression to introduce fan-driven beauty contests into the mix. Fansites and forums are always finding new ways to boost the community in our MMOs, and competition is a natural element of our favorite games anyway, so why not combine the two? This type of community-based event showcasing the beauty of in-game graphics tends to be something that can most effectively be done in an MMO, and works quite well as a distraction from the typical killing, looting and questing.
So are these in-game character beauty contests an extension of roleplaying, or are they focused more on the competitive aspect? Do you think they're trying to over-compensate for real-world qualities as a form of escapism? Are they simply good-natured fun, and a way to pass the time? Regardless of the reason, they're becoming more popular with each new MMO. In fact, we anticipate one of these in Age of Conan very soon.
What becomes even more fascinating though is the conversion from in-game character beauty contests to real-world costume contests. Many players are willing to take it that extra mile for the love of their game, and this certainly isn't a new phenomenon. We've seen this for decades with Star Trek and Star Wars conventions, but are MMOs replacing this type of event?
Check out the gallery below for a walk down the runway of MMO fashion shows.