There was some hullabaloo this week over various changes that some thought had been made to the female avatars in patch 2.1. These changes made me think about who makes decisions regarding what female avatars should look like, and if these decisions tell us anything about ourselves as gamers.
First of these alleged changes came to light when somehow some people got it in their minds that the... um... well... that uh... their... um... human and other Azerothian females wouldn't have to buy such large bras if they made a trip to the department store, because the two relevant glands had been reduced in size.
Well, this time it was Death and Taxes to the rescue! Xaviera took up the supposed change with dedication, comparing "old" and "new" screenshots with the utmost precision, and proved for all to see that in fact NO change had taken place! As Xaviera says at the end of her conclusive argument, "you can sleep safely, take it easy."
Stay tuned for more female avatar-change headline news and expert analysis after the jump.
In other news, the female draenei just arrived on Azeroth seem to be swaying a bit more as they stand, and lifting one hoof higher than the other as they jump! This outrage has caused a petition demanding that their standing idle animation, jump, (and a couple other things) be changed back. One signer to the petition claimed that the new animations were "unnatural." But another replied, speaking of previously unmentioned changes, "Shutup, I have hoofprints now." Also... seeing as how the petition only has 6 replies at the time of this writing, perhaps the general populace of draenei females haven't noticed the changes to their standing sway motions yet.
Nonetheless, these changes (or... non-changes) and the attention they got (or... didn't get), raise a number of interesting questions: Do both Azerothian genders convey the same degree of "kick-buttocks" attitude? or do the females look decidedly more gentle and nurturing, and/or "pretty?" on their way to a prom perhaps? Do you think a major difference between the sexes is appropriate, or does it reinforce outdated gender stereotypes?
From my own point of view, the females of Azeroth are generally the only really sympathetic characters in the game, visually speaking. The vast majority of males just look ready to chop heads and maybe grunt various manly noises, whereas the females look ready to chop heads one minute and have a fun chat the next. The only problem is that they also look too ready to take all their clothes off, sometimes, depending on the gear they just happen to be wearing, (or... not wearing). Still, with a bit of care, you can choose an appearance and an outfit for any character, male or female, and still look dignified, full of self-respect.
Finally, one last question for your discussing pleasure: if you could change the male or female avatars in one way or another, how would you do so? I know for my part, I really can't bring myself to play any of the original horde males very much because of their horrible posture. I agree some of them look very intimidating and cool, but it makes my back hurt just looking at them. I'd like to at least have the option of an orc that can stand up straight.