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Selling beauty to gamers?


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http://www.gamershell.com/articles/943.html

 

This is a rather interesting albeit somewhat stereotyping article about the other side of T&A in video games. Are the new generation's sexual identities influenced by the games they play? Do the overly beautiful or macho player characters gather more audience than normal looking ones? Are they setting new standards for being attractive? Discuss, cuss the article, tell our opinions.

I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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...Wow. That post leaves very little for me to say, Azarkon.

 

No arguments here on any point, though that could just be because I've developed a slight affinity for T&A, and am biased beyond all comprehension on this topic... :p

 

The real thing is oh so much more pleasing, but ::shrug:: fun to watch when you're bored.

I had thought that some of nature's journeymen had made men and not made them well, for they imitated humanity so abominably. - Book of Counted Sorrows

 

'Cause I won't know the man that kills me

and I don't know these men I kill

but we all wind up on the same side

'cause ain't none of us doin' god's will.

- Everlast

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The "sex sells" argument is actually pretty poorly founded when it comes to videogames. People like attractive characters, at least that's usually the case. However, most of the games with overly sexualized characters actually flop pretty badly or have mediocre sales (BloodRayne, Fear Effect, etc.). Games in which people have the option of making fairly straight laced or hyper-sexualized characters also can do very well. But people have to remember that while sex drive doesn't die at 25, it usually (for men, anyway) isn't the sort of raging fire that it was when they were 16. The average buying age of gamers is in the 20s, not teens.

 

I used this analogy with another game developer recently: I buy ice cream for taste, not color. If you give me crap-flavored ice cream, it doesn't matter if it's my favorite color because it tastes like crap. The same thing applies to games. If a game's good, having an attractive character (or characters) is a nice bonus. But if the game's sucky, it doesn't matter how attractive the character is. Tomb Raider was a ho-hum game made more popular by an attractive character. The Dead or Alive games were great games made even better by attractive characters. P.N. 03? Dead on arrival. Stolen? The same.

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The "sex sells" argument is actually pretty poorly founded when it comes to videogames. People like attractive characters, at least that's usually the case. However, most of the games with overly sexualized characters actually flop pretty badly or have mediocre sales (BloodRayne, Fear Effect, etc.). Games in which people have the option of making fairly straight laced or hyper-sexualized characters also can do very well. But people have to remember that while sex drive doesn't die at 25, it usually (for men, anyway) isn't the sort of raging fire that it was when they were 16. The average buying age of gamers is in the 20s, not teens.

 

I used this analogy with another game developer recently: I buy ice cream for taste, not color. If you give me crap-flavored ice cream, it doesn't matter if it's my favorite color because it tastes like crap. The same thing applies to games. If a game's good, having an attractive character (or characters) is a nice bonus. But if the game's sucky, it doesn't matter how attractive the character is. Tomb Raider was a ho-hum game made more popular by an attractive character. The Dead or Alive games were great games made even better by attractive characters. P.N. 03? Dead on arrival. Stolen? The same.

 

Agreed. Sex-in-video-games by itself certainly doesn't sell as well as an old-fashioned good game, since the former's clientele consists of essentially porn lovers, while the latter has a much larger pbase. However, I think there should be a distinction between the games that really do not need sex appeal (ie board games, strategy games, horror games) and those that really do.

 

Character-based games (ie RP/Adventure/Fighting Games) float or sink with the "attractiveness" of their characters. Now that attractiveness *need* not be physical, but it generally is. That's not to say you can't sell a game without attractive characters, but you'd be penalizing yourself for doing so - enough that most companies opt for the route of lesser resistance.

 

The situation is exacerbated in online games. While there are those who could care less how their characters look like, there's a increasing number of gamers who take a pivotal interest in it. Take WoW for example: Alliance numbers commonly vastly outnumber Horde. While the ease of playing Alliance maybe cited as one factor, it also cannot be denied that the number of "Night Elve females", compared to Troll/Orc females, paint a very different picture as to the dominating factors.

 

I think this is a trend that we'll see deepened in the coming years, as we move closer to more "realistic" representations of virtual worlds. When it comes to characters, attractiveness in a NPC is a plus (or a necessity for games trying to sell their romances), but attractiveness in a PC, in a online world, might very well be a defining factor of how well it sells.

There are doors

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Lets see if I'm going to be staring at something for 25-30 hours then I'd rather it be something I like to look at. :huh:

In RPGs I always try to pick an avatar that reflects the characters stats.

 

As graphics improved then it was only natural that games would focus on ideals , much like movies. Cant say I've bought a game just because of how a character looked. Although with me advertising is more about awareness, since I'm away a lot and tend to exist in a bubble of my own reality where I dont get subjected to outside influences like TV and newspapers for months at time, quite often I will miss things ,which I will purchase as soon as I am made aware of them.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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Sex sells 'cause men are weak :p

 

Admit it. You bought RE4 because of that dude on the cover's tight pants.

 

 

Actually I bought it hoping there'd be Shotgun Decapitations like in previous REs :)

 

Well, I don't know what is worse, Darque= serial killer :p

 

Sex sells, but not only sex and not only in the videogames, is in all, and not only because we are weak milady :thumbsup:"

PRIUS FLAMMIS COMBUSTA QUAM ARMIS NUMANCIA VICTA

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Off topic: Tyranthraxus! Oh, how I miss thee! I remember how you hid behind that fake wall in the last area of them all.. And you had the nerve to send out a weak minion with your own name misspelt (Tyranithraxus) too! I was so young at the time, I didn't know better, and thought it was the most anticlimactic ending of a game ever.. Then, a few years later, someone told me you had a doppelganger! My rage knew no limits as I had lost my avatars and had to start all over just to be able to once and for all put my boot in your %#&! The satisfaction of finally finding you is undescribable, even though the force in you was stronger than I could have imagined, as I could only watch my evil party members turn against me in the heat of the final battle. Anyhow, those were the days..

 

2E D&D rulez!!1!one

 

Oh, and this stupid rant was inspired by J.E. Sawyers signature, in case you're wondering where the hell that came from.

Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

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Where ever this thread might end up, I predict that Azarkon will have a great future here, if he ever chooses to take a more active role in the community. Welcome.

I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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Movies have been around for a century, and they have affected our own self identies of sexuality.  The same can be said for magazines, tv shows, and comic books.  Video games merely follow the same trends.

 

You know what, that's true. Why does the video game industry seem to take more flack for always portraying "beautiful" characters as the stars, when movies have been doing it since way back when.

"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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I agree with JE's post - I wouldn't buy a game just because of the beautiful characters in them if it sucked.

 

Speaking strictly for myself, I play the games I play because I want to visit the worlds I've read about for so long. I remember reading one of the Sunrunner series books (can't remember which one, exactly), and "coming up for air" and wondering where all the dragons went! I actually LOOKED UP AT THE SKY to check for them! THAT'S what I want from my games - to be immersed in a fantasy world. And in my fantasy, I am NOT old(ish) and out of shape - I'm young, in shape, and beautiful. And really, if you think about it, the characters in games would have to be in good shape to even begin to be able to stand up the rigors of the journeys they take. They basically work out every day, whether it's practicing their sword skills or walking from one place to another, so of course they're in good shape.

 

Now, do the women really have to have "hernia inducing breasts"? (Loved that line, by the way) No, they don't. But that's some peoples' fantasy. If you're the person creating the avatar/game, and it's your fantasy, wouldn't you do it? To each his own.

 

No, I don't think video games are influencing our ideas of beauty. And I don't think the appearance of the characters are the main selling point of games by a long shot. The appearance of characters in sf/f have ALWAYS been above average in the looks department - check out some of the covers of the early sf/f paper backs. Heck, popular art has rarely, if ever, depicted the average - why should video games be any different?

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