September 28, 2009

Question of the Week #2

I've posted this under the previous interview because the question I have for this week actually stems from Cypress' interview.  Again, I would love any discussion to this topic from you all.

Do you think that some of the artwork depicting women in RPG books and other paraphernalia is hurting female participation rates in the RPG community?


  1. YES! It's the same objectification that annoys the crap out of me in the videogame industry. Do I like big breasted women in skimpy outfits? hell yes. Do I think every single female character depicted in artork has to have huge tits that provide AC (since it's obvious their armor itself doesn't), NO.

    It's unrealistic, sets up a bad precedent, and I'm sure it keeps some girls from playing, especially if their only exposure is to guys looking thru books with these impossible chicks on the cover... maybe they think of it as nerd porn or something.

  2. I think it's fine, as long as the women are not shown draping themselves over Conan or Luke Skywalker. If the women are presented as adventurers and "action girls", I think that can be just as escapist for women as men. And not every woman out there has a perfect hourglass figure (and the world is all the better for it) but they can pretend they do in an RPG. (Shallow? Maybe. But then, so are modern female beauty standards.)

  3. No, I don't think its an issue. I've heard people complain about this many times over the years, and here's the thing. How many overweight unathletic ugly guys do you see on those same books? None.

    Just as the women are objectified so are the men. You might see the occasional Gandalf like old wizard, but the vast majority of the artwork shows conan like men armed with swords and kicking ass.

    Most people play RPGs to escape, and often that means playing idealized versions or ourselves. This is true of both men and women.

    Also, every magazine I see has perfect women on it. Every romance novel and video game is the same way. Why would roleplay books be any different? I think you're going to need to change a lot more than just our hobby to erase this mindset.

    People like beauty and like to be surrounded by it. Advertisers know sex sells, and they are going to capitalize on it whenver and however they can.

    Right or wrong, that's the way things are =/

  4. As long as there's some man-candy too, i don't mind at all. Games are fun and escapist in nature--why do they need to be 100% politically correct too? Sure, i'd like to see some badass women in armor that's actually meant for battle, but i don't dwell on the improbability of the outfits and let it ruin my fun.