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.

Bruticus, my AoC Conqueror

Bruticus, my Age of Conan Conqueror. Chubby yet deadly.

Grayson, my EQ2 Bruiser

Grayson, my EQ2 Bruiser. Old and cranky but still popular with the ladies.

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.

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  1. JC says:

    I don’t particularly care for the grotesquely oversized/exaggerated hips and breasts in most mmo’s either. Back in SWG I made my female toon a bit thicker than the typical “as small as it goes” most people seemed to use on the thin/fat slider. And I made my breast size proportionate to the body. I got a lot of comments that I must be a girl IRL since I didn’t have max-sized boobs on it, but actually looked like a real person, though I am in reality a male. My male toons were all “normal-sized” also, and one of them I made an old guy with white hair and the aged skin and all that jazz. I liked the idea of an experienced, grizzled old veteran being out and about showing the young whippersnappers what’s up.

    I did the same in Vanguard. No need to be grotesque.

    In EQ2 where there’s no slider to adjust that, I’ve gone mostly with elves for the female toons that I have. They’re disproportionately large, sadly, but they aren’t grotesquely oversized like the humans, ogres, and barbarians are either. My male elf looks strong, but he’s a bit thin since he’s an elf. My ogre is a pasty white, and since he’s a monk he’s always showing off his flabby torso in a gi. The male sarnak I have is all hunched over so it’s not like he’s looking all ripped either.

    And in response to your question about how many obese people you saw in SWG that you posted over at Spinks’ — I saw a lot. Maybe it was because I had a dancer in an entertainer’s guild and as a result saw a lot of the more “colorful” personalities as people came ot our events or we were invited to entertain at theirs or as they ran through the cantinas to heal the battle fatigue, but… I saw a lot of them.

  2. Andrew says:

    Apparently Aion will have a very involved character customization system that lets you control pretty much every aspect of your avatar, including weight and height.

  3. Jeremy S. says:

    Good point. I tried Perfect World last year(it has a more advanced character customization section that most MMO’s). It didn’t take long to notice that regardless of the hundreds of options and limitless color palette, it only looked like about 4 basic female “looks” so I went in and made a freaky green cone-headed, bug-eyed babe, lol

  4. [...] wonders why people always choose beautiful looking avatars in their games when they could be fat, balding old men with beards? Because, why the hell [...]

  5. [...] focused on them, I decided to roll a Guardian. Not just any Guardian mind, but one of my usual fat, old, bald men. And hot damn, does that man look sexy in DX10. The way the sweat glistens of his bald head is [...]

  6. [...] Feel free to look me up either to say hello or engage me in brutal, manly combat. In line with my fetish for fat old men, I tried to make my avatar as old and grumpy as possible. Not bald this time but his beard is truly [...]

  7. [...] I like playing characters are a little odd and unique. Regular readers of my blog will know that I have a thing for bald, fat old men with beards but unfortunately the limited customization options in World of Warcraft make that kinda hard to [...]

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