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12-11-2009 @ 2:40AM
I've read alot of interesting, insightful, embaressing, and hilarious rationalizations of this subject over the course of this post, and I wanted to contibute my $0.02 from the standpoint of a 30 y/o a female Horde player. bear with me while I try to explain:Within the context of gaming in general, specifically MMO's, the stereotypical target demographic would lead you to believe that it leans toward a primarily male audience, aged 15-25. Despite this perception, more recent surveys of player demographics (conducted as little as 11 months ago) have demonstrated the average age of players is in fact over 25 years old, and that more than 40% of the total player population is in fact female, a number which is growing at an exponential rate. However despite the growing female presence in gaming, the presentation of female characters tend to lean toward being portrayed in far less positive light than their male counterparts, at least according said industry pre-conception. This view seems to visually cater more toward the male stereotype of the perfect woman: AKA the so-called 'beauty myth' (google it).I've played alot of online games over the years, and much to my frustration, the majority of them operate along these lines, to the extent which it has almost become a rather sad commentary on the unrealistic expectations of people in general. It is this very reason why certain aspects of gaming are such a huge turn-off for many female players, and for me in general. This was the attitude I generally cultivated toward all MMO's; i.e: one of extreme distaste. I'd be damned before I contributed any of my paycheck toward an industry that wanted me to buy into this conceptualization of the ideal feminine persona. I had zero desire to play a stereotype when I spent my life railing against thats ame stereotype IRL. No humans in dresses, no elves mincing about in the woods. YEAH. No thanks.So it was with no small amount of surprise when I was handed an industry beta key for WoW by one of my co-workers in early 2004. I was like "Wait what? you mean I don't have to play an elf or a human in a bikini? This's Fantastic!"While my experience may be far from typical, for me, the Horde represents a milestone in my overall gaming experience, as it has since colored my future perception & overall enjoyment of gaming as a whole. The Alliance for me represented everything that is wrong with fantasy based games, whereas the Horde represented a step in a very different direction. Playing this game as Horde was the first time I was ever given the opportunity in a game to not only choose characters which appealed to me on an idealogical level, but also to allow me to consciously choose how I would shape my playing experience overall to suit my own personal desires. So within this context, I actually doubt I would have a similar sense of attachment or pride from playing alliance. I can't speak for everyone, but having talked about this to many of my other female friends who play horde, there is a mutual consensus leaning toward that idea. It's the core reason I can stand up and say "yeah, I have alot of pride in playing the game as Horde".
12-11-2009 @ 4:43AM
Thank you for a very intelligent and well written post. While I agree with a majority of it all I have to say is: Roll a Dwarf lass! Then you can make fun of all the human AND Belf pallies whose wrists would break if they held a decent weapon and who are repeatedly given plate-thongs to wear as tanks. :DThe horde has it's fair share of awful female models, not just Belfs. I totally appreciate your reasons as a sister. ;) Try a dwarf though, we have a hell of a lot of fun. ;-pI guess I don't understand though when ideologically what I have seen of the horde, other than Thrall and Cairne, is nothing admirable.I'd rather fight to defend those I love than for any other reason in the world. Conquering, bloodlust or a twisted sense of honor? Sorry, ideologically, that does not fly for me as being in any way progressive. I only write you back because you are exactly the horde player I REALLY want to understand. I don't get it. :) So please, I mean no disrespect at all. I do know the horde lore and a lot about the quests and whatnot so I promise I am not speaking from ignorance. At least two of the factions within the horde are bent on destruction and power.
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