It seems we disappointed a blogger out there in regards to how we handled our recent podcast on the issues of the "Bunny Ear" debacle in WoW.
What started as a statement by Tobold, became a disagreement on Raph Koster's website.
We took it upon ourselves to discuss how we felt about avatars on SUWT this past weekend, and it may even have come off that we thought it had something to do with maturity..at least this is what Anjin at Bullet Points wrote..
"Dismissing points of view as immature because they differ from yours is counterproductive and potentially dangerous."
First, I do wish to state, that as bloggers, podcasters, gamers...this is what we do all the time anyways. Have different viewpoints. I do not believe we pushed off those beliefs as immature. But, maybe as we have aged and played these games, we have moved beyond these feelings of the avatar being more than a playing piece. We just may not have the time to delve into it (at least I do not anymore...).
I had stated how I wished we could get beyond "stereotypes" though and just play the game for the game. Maybe we RP sometimes, and want more from those characters..but we cannot expect the developers to want the same.
Before MMO's, were we ever worried in our single player games what our character did or looked like or was represented? Stereotypes were quite rampant at those times, and as we have progressed in our world, so have the games.
But, here we are with Blizzard offering an achievement that may "objectify" women (if they feel this is what it does to them. My wife for example finds it "awesome" and wants a pair)..thus, should the game be allowed to even do this.
We can go back to my previous post about support though and see it in writing on the wall, plain as day "Warranty is implied as such..."
You as a player give up all rights to those avatars as soon as you log into that game. The warranty states as much. Blizzard is allowed to do what they wish, whenever they wish.
If they wish to objectify women? They do not care. Cut off Gay and Lesbians from advertising their guilds? GONE!...
Stereotypes are rampant in the MMO world. Look at Age of Conan as a fine example. (but I digress, there are ugly people in that game as well as beautiful people..). But guess what? Our rights are thrown out the window upon the first step into that world.
This is what it boils down to. No matter how much we want the avatar to mean something more, the developers stop that all from happening due to THEIR control, their DICTATORSHIP of these games.
Heck we can't even get good support, yet we are worried our avatars are being treated unfairly? Gee, our human selves are being treated worse.
In all honesty, I wish it was a place that we had more control of...but we do not. We pay to access those game servers, and the developer controls the rest of that world. No shouting or screaming will fix it either (well, maybe...like in my case with the support issues in Conan).
But, let me say this. Do we not play these games to enter another reality, to leave our real world behind? Should we be dragging real world rules into those games? Should we be jailed every time we kill those small creatures of those worlds? Every time we use "herbs" should we be under suspicion from the guards?
Just some food for thought...