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Archive for the ‘tinhats’ Category

I think GuildMag has the take I agree most with regarding the very much talked about PvP armor post, which was supposed to be about PvP armor and somehow became a thousand-word dissertation on the place of women and their clothing in video games.

I’ve found the response to this very interesting, especially since most of the outcry seems to be coming from either people who feel everyone’s making too big a deal out of the matter (but are throwing in their two cents anyway) or those who are in defense of the right of women everywhere to have virtual avatars wear as little as the the game will let them. This, despite the fact that these two groups are the ones whose positions are being represented by default.

As someone who has written blog posts only semi-mocking the initial deluge of innocent questions newcomers have regarding Guild Wars 2, I’m familiar with the notion that someone can come across an article or picture and not know the history behind it; the famous (among GW2 fans) “six or none!” quote by Kristen Perry, the article in which ANet’s armor design philosophy is laid out, the examples of variety among even Elementalist armor art in Guild Wars 1. With TERA looming on the MMO landscape and the controversies regarding its portrayals of Castanic armor and caster gyrations, I’m not surprised when someone happens by late in the game and wonders if Guild Wars 2 is any different. It’s really no different from when someone asks if they can still be a healer, what the raiding endgame is like, or if, indeed, you can jump.

But this matter, this matter was somehow so different. Unlike the many fans of GW2 who remain confident that raids as we know them won’t be added to console the gear treadmill junkies (no offense, some of my best friends are gear treadmill junkies and they told me it was okay to call them that), or who confidently create Youtube videos explaining how GW2 can exist without dedicated healers, the responses to concerns expressed about the featured PvP armor seemed to take the position that any concern was an attempt to lobby for the removal of that and any other armor that exposed the delectable female form.

Oh, there were informative links posted about how transmutation stones can be used to customize armor looks as well, but while inquiries about raids are occasionally peppered with a suggestion to “go back to WoW (or insert MMO here),” an alarming number of these responses just wanted the concerned parties to go away entirely (because there really aren’t MMOs where female avatars don’t have skimpy armor at all. Not that anyone was really asking for that, of course – it was a strawman to be knocked down – but it’s worth noting that there isn’t an MMO for such proponents to go to, if those people existed).

And therein lay the amusement for me. So many people were so worried that their option to clothe their female avatars (person behind the screen’s gender not relevant) as skimpily as they like would be taken away, that the fact that there is no alternative vision made their arguments all the more absurd. In what universe has anyone ever successfully lobbied to have skimpy armors removed from a game? None? Then why so serious? Really, look at the percentage of arguments out there in favor and defense of the featured PvP armor (especially the ones accusing others of being sex-negative or white knights) and tell me the vehemence of that response is warranted.

So, yes, check out the article. I really can’t recommend it enough.

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Every so often a blogger or poster on an MMO forum will take it upon themselves to let those of us anticipating GW2 know that it won’t be all it’s cracked up to be. There is no way it can deliver on its claims, they say, and then proceed to list claims that have never been made by ArenaNet in order to prove their point. GW2 will turn out just like [insert list of previous, less successful depending on your point of view, MMOs], they say.

We’ll see, they say. In fact, the only reason GW1 has managed to be different in several of the ways GW2 is promising is because GW1 isn’t really an MMO. But since GW2 is an MMO, it won’t be that different after all. It can’t. There are certain characteristics that make up an MMO, you see, whether this is the presence of a subscription fee or some other factor – it depends on whom you’re speaking to just which list of defining factors you’re quoted – but it seems the amount of persistence in the world isn’t it.

I’m sure that these fellow gamers, our internet neighbors, only do this out of the goodness of their hearts, like good internet citizens. They just don’t want us to be disappointed! They would have no use for our tasty tears should what they predict come to fruition, and there’s certainly no room for schadenfreude here. We’re all gamers, remember. Our loss is their loss.

Well, I, for one, appreciate their concern. I look forward to having their internet shoulders to cry on when GW2’s endgame turns out to be a gear treadmill completely different from the leveling game, when the best content is locked behind raids, when I find that crafting isn’t a viable method of advancement, when I’m beat to the hundredth tin node by someone riding a faster mount than I, when I can’t roll an alt because there’s only one starting area, when I can’t play with my guild or other bloggers because they’re 20, 30, 70 levels above me.

After all, I’ve been warned, and I take that as seriously as they do.

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