Bald, Fat Old Men With Beards
Spinks posted an interesting article about the way male and female characters are portrayed in games. It’s a good read – I’d urge you to check it out – but I won’t repeat it all. Essentially she reckons character models are rendered the way they are so they can maintain recognisable silhouettes. This may very well may be true but my take on it is a lot more basic that than: I think people just plain like seeing perfect males and females. It’s everywhere in our society and online games are no exception.
Want proof? Log into any MMORPG that offers fully customisable avatars (there aren’t actually all that many) and see how many fat old men or women you can spot. I mean, you’d have to be some kind of a freak to actually want to play an obese hairy person, right?
Yup, I have another confession to make – I have a thing for bald, fat old men with beards.
And you thought my Ogre fetish was bad.
The main reason I pick these styles of character is because I hate the stereotypical portrayal of sexy female rogues or muscular male warriors. I like being unique and different to everyone else. Plus, they give me great roleplaying back stories for my characters. I’d much rather play the seasoned old lecherous brawler who comes out of retirement to hunt down his treacherous son than the gallant and bland Paladin who is adventureing just to pass time until his next work out session.
All of these are definitely a good reason to have properly customisable body types in MMORPGs. Screw the muscle slider, give me a fat slider any day.