Size Matters?

Posted: May 5, 2006 by Kendricke in General Game Concepts

I was reading Saavedra's blog recently and he'd made some pretty good observations about the latest Tomb Raider title.  In the process, he noted that several reviews of the game concentrated on how Lara Croft looked, rather than on the gameplay or level design.  This got me to thinking…

 Before every MMOG launch I've ever participated in, there's a huge discussion on…well, size.

Both Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft had hundreds, if not thousands of posts on various message boards dedicated to the analysis of breast size. Seems that the latest indications are that Vanguard will introduce a slider that allows players to adjust their cup size however they want.

Now, this really piqued my interest. Recent polls have indicated that while 85% of all players in Everquest 2 are male, 51% of all characters are female. Yes, I'm aware that females are an increasing demographic of the playerbase, but even so, that's a whole lotta virtual cross-dressing right there.

Obviously, with a market saturated by male players, you have to wonder who's really going to "benefit" from Sigil's chest choices.

I'm suddenly struck by images of 1985's Wierd Science, where a couple of hapless and nerdy outcasts set out to create the perfect woman. Obviously, time was spent deciding the perfect chest size…just as Arnold Schwarzenegger did before his mind trip in 1990's Total Recall. To be fair, none of those protagonists chose the largest size possible on the scales they were presented, but that fact was likely due to casting choices for leading ladies as opposed to actual desires of the characters involved. After all, when designing movies for the masses, you don't want to go too far out of your way to outrage a chunk of your demographic.

So, why is it that gamers are so different in their thinking? The relative anonymous comfort of the internet? Backlash against the political correctness of the late 80's and 90's?

Whatever it is, this focus on "bewbs" will likely make it easier to pick out the real guys. Honestly, I'm going to be inclined to believe that the average uberbusty female character I encounter in those games where you can choose chest size are likely to be owned by male players.

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