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The Daily Grind: Are MMOs too over-sexualized?


The other day, a group of us in the Massively office watched the latest TERA demo video in a sort of horrified awe as the skimpily clad character ran with her fanny flying in the wind and gyrated her hips to cast a spell. It sparked an intense discussion among us as to the fine line between sexing a game up and over-sexing it just to draw in stereotypical drooling male gamers.

It's a well-known adage that sex sells, and like it or hate it, attractive characters and skimpy outfits have been a part of MMORPGs for quite some time now. From World of Warcraft's seductive succubus to Age of Conan's topless extravaganza to Star Trek Online's character creation "breast slider," game studios tend to play the sex card first and frequently to pull in customers. This is why, for example, male armor tends to always be practical (if oddly flamboyant) while female armor isn't even big enough to protect one's dignity, never mind one's internal organs.

So granted that sexual visuals are staples of the genre, do you think that MMOs have gone overboard with it all? Have you ever looked at a MMO or game advertisement and declared loudly and to no one in particular, "That isn't sexy, that's just tacky"? Should skimpy armor come in dude versions so that this sexualization isn't as lopsided? Which class is the biggest offender in your eyes?

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