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Posts with tag female

Drama Mamas: Raiding while female


Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

I love that song and the way it makes me want to join a conga line around New York City. But just because I wanna have fun, doesn't mean I can't get serious as necessary. Duh. There are more male raiders than female, just like there are more male gamers than female. That gap is becoming smaller by the year, however. It's a numbers game; it's not about skill.

Does anyone really think top raiding guilds shouldn't have females anymore? Tell me. I want to know and I want to know why. But first, read about Raider Girl after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

All the World's a Stage: Anonymosity

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

Roleplaying is a journey of trust you take with strangers. You may now and then start out with a group of people you know in real life, but for the most part, the people you roleplay with have no idea who you really are, or why you are sitting here at the computer. You can tell them if you want to, but most people don't ask. Roleplayers tend to keep personal details private, and don't intrude on one another's space.

Besides, other roleplayers don't necessarily care that much about who you "really are" either. They're there to get to know your character, not you as a person, unless your character first makes a very good impression and they decide that they actually want to be friends as real people. Even though you respect each other as people who share the same interest, there's still a distance between you which either (or both) of you may wish to maintain.

And yet, the relationship you have is one of trust. It's not at all at the same level as a best friend of course, but you still have to trust one another in a very creative sense -- you rely on each other to create interesting things for your characters to share with one another. You're not just buying a shirt from a salesperson or holding the door for a passerby -- you're exchanging behavior and language in an unpredictable and totally interconnected way. Any little surprise a stranger brings to an interaction may completely alter the whole game session and stick in your mind as one of your most memorable gaming experiences. Roleplayers have to trust other roleplayers to help make those experiences positive, even without knowing anything at all about one another. Sometimes two characters can even become very close friends, even though the real people behind them do not.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Gender differences in armor

A few readers sent us this post over at Border House that has laid bare (heh) the oft-mentioned differences in armor between the genders in World of Warcraft. While there are some exceptions, in most cases, the exact same set of armor (like this chestplate above) shows up as much more skimpy on female characters than it does on male characters. To the point of absurdity in some places -- even plate leggings, designed to serve as solid protection to the legs, appear to be more like plate thong underwear on the ladies.

As Border House points out, this isn't just WoW's problem. Fantasy and sci-fi in general have been the domain of boys in the past (even if that is changing quickly), and the sexual depictions in the genre have reflected that, for both traditional and financial reasons. As I pointed out the other day, all of Blizzard's luminaries thus far have been men -- is it any surprise that the game is designed from a mostly male perspective? And as BH also says, fortunately, WoW has lots of different gear. If you don't like what your character is wearing, then you can find something else.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

15 Minutes of Fame: Amazon grace, how sweet these guilds

15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Why would players want to play only with others just like themselves? Members of special interest guilds tell us their groups allow them to play away from others who either inadvertently or purposely seek to harass or offend. GLBT guilds, Christian guilds (scroll down to Recruiting) and similar groups offer a haven for players seeking a peaceful place to hang out with like-minded souls. This week, we look at a new group that offers not one, not two, but three special interest guilds. The Goddess guilds of Nesingwary and Winterhoof, along with a brother guild also on Nesingwary, welcomes females - actual, physical females, not female characters - with a friendly, events-focused environment. We visited with long-time gamer and Goddess guilds founder Myredd to find out why so many women appreciate playing in a females-only environment.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Guilds, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Drama Mamas: Time to man up

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we pretend to be a gender we're not. When we discussed boys playing girl characters before, we all pretty much agreed that it was cool as long as there was no deception involved. Roleplaying = yay. Experimentation = good. Hiding your true identity in a non-roleplaying environment = uh oh. Unfortunately, for One Big Liar, what began as experimentation and a wee bit of roleplaying evolved into a full-scale reputation for being a "real girl." Uh oh, indeed.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Drama Mamas

Patch 3.2.2: The clucking draenei (and the levitating tree)


I've talked here before about just how wacky Blizzard's coding is -- they are obviously great programmers (even with all of the 180,000 bugs), but man, when things go wrong in this game, they go wrong in the weirdest, strangest ways. Take the bug above, spotted in patch 3.2.2 by xella over on Livejournal: the female dreanei /train emote is bugged like crazy, but instead of not playing or playing a random sound like you might expect it to do as a software bug, it instead plays a cacophony of the strangest sounds, including a slice of the original sound and then a female blood elf /chicken noise instead. This will surely be fixed soon (and as a few people in the comments over there say, it's probably a bit of file corruption on Blizzard's part), but what a weird bug.

Fortunately, as granular and strange as Blizzard's bugs are, their fixes are just as minute: tree druids will be happy to see that, since patch 3.2, their treeform now actually moves correctly after Levitate is cast on it. It's a small change, sure, but every little bit helps with immersion. Maybe someday we'll see mounts do it, too.

Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor

Drama Mamas: Don't feed the trolls


Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

When is a troll not a troll? We can't answer that one for you (when he's a Goblin, instead? /shrug) – but we can definitely tell you when a non-troll actually is a troll: more often than you may oh-so-righteously imagine. Only two weeks ago, the Drama Mamas were reminding readers that you cannot "fix" other people. This week, we must add on to this principle: You may neither "fix" your fellow players, nor may you "beat" them. In fact, when you try to beat 'em, you join 'em. The Drama Mamas explain why.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Nielsen: WoW is most played core game by 25-54 females


Here's an interesting bit of info from the Nielsen folks: over 400,000 women are playing World of Warcraft in the US, which means it's the most-played "core" game for that gender. And even more interesting, females 25 years or older make up the largest block of PC game players overall, and they account for 54.6% of all gameplay minutes in December of last year. Girls don't just play WoW -- they're quickly becoming one of it's main demographics.

You can read the report in PDF form over here -- the chart above might be the most interesting piece of information, as it shows that though males still make up a huge part of the PC gaming audience, many of them have now moved on to consoles, and women (especially older women, over 25), during the last month of last year, are making up a huge audience for PC games. Later in the report, you can see what kinds of games women are really playing: Solitare, Freecell, Minesweeper, and all of those other little attention grabbers on every PC. But among those widespread casual games is our own World of Warcraft. And while the 25-52 male audience of 675, 713 for that game still remains larger than the female audience in the same demo, the ladies aren't far behind.

Neilsen also calculated some base stats for WoW, including the fact that 1.8 million unique people played the game, and the average time of gameplay per week was 744 minutes, just over 12 hours (slightly up from last year's average). Additionally, of those who play World of Warcraft, their second most-played game was Solitaire, followed by Warcraft III. Fascinating stuff. Remember that these are statistics, so they are more general trends than anything else, but it's definitely true World of Warcraft and PC gaming in general is no longer only the domain of the male demographic.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items

Breakfast Topic: To re-customize or not

Paid customization has come to the game, and with it, some big decisions for a lot of players. We've asked for a long time to be able to change our gender or look in the game, and now that we can, we have to decide if we will or not.

Personally, I'm torn -- way back when I first started the game, I created a female Night Elf Hunter, thinking along the old classic lines of "if I'm going to stare at someone's backside for hours and hours, it might as well be a woman." But since then, I've gotten a lot of flak for being a dude playing a female character, and since I've played all male characters since then, I think I better identify with male characters anyway, even if the view isn't as good.

But on the other hand, I'm used to my Hunter now -- she's looked the same for almost 80 levels, and it would be weird to suddenly see a Night Elf guy on the screen in her place. So I'm torn -- change my character to a male and make being social in game much easier, or stay the same and keep my character familiar to me?

What do you all think? Are you facing the same situation or is the choice easier (or even harder) for you?

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

UC Irvine studies differences between Chinese and US players

Our good friends at the OC (don't call it that) Register have an article up about how the University of California at Irvine has received a grant to study the differences between US and Chinese players of World of Warcraft. And the differences are fairly interesting: apparently US players use many more UI mods and addons than Chinese players do. Additionally, more Chinese players play the "more challenging version of the game" (seems like they mean PvP servers to us, though that may change with yesterday's big news), and Chinese players, say the researcher, tend to talk more about color schemes and architecture than American players. Finally, the demographics are fairly different -- here in the states, women make up 20 percent of the playing audience, and in China that number is almost halved. And while people here may play with parents or even grandparents, in China, the older generation isn't interested in the game at all.

These observations seem more to be based on anecdotal evidence of Chinese players in cafes more than anything else, but the study is just getting started, so maybe with some more research they can come up with some more solid numbers (or even more reasons) showing why this is the case. But it's interesting that inspecting how people play this game in two different countries can reveal something about the cultural differences between each.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Looking for the ladies in Outland

Reader Thiago asked a good question today: Why do so many NPC races not have female models? I admit, it's something I and a lot of other fellow lore nerds in my guild have noticed and discussed before. Why have all the females gone?

I figured it might be fun to do a little bit of an analysis, and see what might have happened to all these ladies. This is by no means a complete list of the femaleless races in game, of course, or I'd have to spend a couple days on this article. But here's a few select ones to discuss.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Lore, RP, NPCs

Jennicide: Male players "need to be more accepting of women ingame"

Allakazaham has posted an interview with "Jennicide," who, as we reported previously, is not only a poker player and Playboy poser, but plays World of Warcraft as well. Unfortunately, she doesn't sound all that into the game (she does claim to have raided during a poker match, which is pretty awesome if true), but she does make an excellent point about Blizzard's marketing: as cool as William Shatner and Mr. T are, their ads could use a little more feminine touch, and they could certainly acknowledge all the women playing this game a little better.

She also says that "guys need to be more accepting of women in game," and unfortunately she doesn't offer any solutions on how to make that happen, but it's good to hear someone say it -- just ask any girl who's been afraid to come on Ventrilo for fear that creepy guys will come out of the woodwork.

All in all, Jennicide sounds like she's got a good head on her shoulders (and she does actually win a few nerd points for playing The Realm). Maybe she's right -- more high profile female players might help turn the image of gender in game a little more close to equal.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Does my human female look psycho to you?

Apparently Blizzard spent some time rebuilding all the player models for Patch 2.4 in order to increase performance. What exactly does this mean to us players who loves the way our characters look? Absolutely nothing. You won't notice any differences in the models at all -- except, that is, if you happen to play a human female. Then you might look deep into your characters eyes and notice a certain "Stepford-wife" look, like a "2000-yard stare," as if her "irises are popping out of her head."

Asariah noticed this and posted his concerns in the Bug Report Forum (did you know there was a Bug Report Forum? neat huh?). Hortus spotted this report and informed us that the human female was the only one of the multiple races to receive a minor alteration from this, and that "it was decided that this was an acceptable change." Apparently someone up there at Blizzard is a big fan of 2000-yard, iris-popping, stepford-wife eyes in women!

For my part, though, I have to get up really close to my human female character to notice the difference -- and then when I do it makes me giggle uncontrollably. It's really no worse, in my opinion, than all those glowy reflections you see in anime girls' eyes. And to be honest, human women have always been a bit vacant-looking in WoW; they're better than human men, of course, but still don't usually look like paragons of profound intelligence. At least they don't bounce up and down like night-elf girls do.

[Via World of Raids]

Filed under: Human, Patches, Humor

All the World's a Stage: If looks could kill

All the World's a Stage is a column for inquisitive minds, playing with roles every Sunday evening.

The media usually portrays WoW as a "boy's game." That's not to say girls don't play too, of course -- just that the game is basically about qualities such as aggressiveness and violence, and our culture expects males to be interested in that sort of thing.

Whether such a designation is true or not, the "masculine equals violent" stereotype is very pervasive, and it is natural for many male players to begin the game with a powerful and intimidating character in mind. The player may imagine that his avatar is warm and kind-hearted inside, but outwardly, his character looks as though he could rip out your throat with a flick of his pinky finger.

But there are many men out there who don't like such exaggerated manliness in their characters, just as there are many women who don't want their character to look like a dainty barbie doll. Being a person isn't just about just one gender attribute, after all. Indeed, female characters in WoW can achieve a full range of human attributes in their appearance; they can look friendly and intelligent, yet lightning quick and deadly at the same time. However, the appearance of male characters is often so filled to the brim with "strength and honor" that there's not much room left for any other human quality.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: It's not just about sexy butts

All the World's a Stage is a weekly column by David Bowers, investigating the explorative performance art of roleplaying in the World of Warcraft.

Roleplaying the opposite sex happens. It is alluring to some, and repulsive to others -- a lot of people do it, while a lot of other people very openly proclaim (as if they know these things) that anyone who does this weird, manipulative, deceitful, and so on.

People also tend to come up with various excuses for why they play a character of the opposite sex, as if they need to justify themselves according to their own gender's traditional expectations. Some men say, "if I'm going to have to stare at a characters butt for hours while I play, I'd rather it be a hot and sexy butt," while some women say, "I get all kinds of unwanted attention if I play a girl, and the only way I can get away from it is to play a boy." All that may be true in some cases, but it's hardly the whole story behind opposite-gender roleplaying.

First of all, let me just say it here and now: you have every right to create whatever character you want, particularly in an actual roleplaying environment, and particularly if you intend to be faithful to the character you're creating.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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