SWTOR Loading Screen: Skankwear And Dudewear

Over the past few weeks, since the cartel packs have become a thing, something else became a thing and I began wondering why. To date, we’ve had four cartel packs that have commonly dropped orange adaptive gear whose express purpose was to showcase a character’s… attributes. For the men, there was a single item of ‘armor’ that simply revealed the character’s torso. For the ladies, there was a three-piece set of items (hat, top, bottom) whose obvious influence was Slave Leia from Return of the Jedi. Over time, as more cartel packs were offered, the ladies wear items were recolored and reissued under new names, so that there are currently nine pieces of gear for female characters and one for male characters.

For the purposes of this article, I’m going to set aside other pieces of revealing attire, although we all know they exist in the game, they’re just harder to acquire.

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Insert your caption here!

While I might personally be a touch disturbed that BioWare is asking its players to cheerfully use items that harken back to a character who was forced to wear such attire as a means to degrade and humiliate her (i.e. Slave Leia), I also fully acknowledge that the gaming industry itself is a fairly sexist place, and that me rolling my eyes and shaking my head at this isn’t going to do a bit of good. No point about how most women don’t wear bikinis in their daily lives whilst going to school, doing housework, at their job is going to impact on the minds of the straight male gamers who don’t care, they just want to see ta ta’s and booty (or T&A for all you adults out there). The really sad thing is that we can take the arguments about women’s gear in games and pretty much go down a checklist of how the argument will proceed. So, we’re not going there. Let’s take it as the argument took place, I noted my dissatisfaction as a woman, I got dismissively or mockingly replied to by several straight male gamers, nothing ever changes, we all go home and do this again for the next video game that comes down the pike. We’ve all been there, done that.

Instead, I’d like to focus on the disparity of things in Star Wars: the Old Republic. Now, let’s be clear here. I do not object to the reasonable use of such attire in-game (or in real life – I spent last Saturday drumming for several very beautiful and scantily-clad belly dancers who were doing things that would destroy the game’s ESRB rating). However, I do find it a bit ironic that the ‘naked’ avatar (the ‘we’re not allowed to let you see a fully nude character in-game’ look that you get if you take off all your armor) actually has more coverage in the areas that politicians and parents go bananas about than the character wearing the dancer top and bottom.

Pix3

My underoos cover more than that skimpy thing on the right there….

Let’s face it, we all know the old standard about women’s armor in video games following the notion of the metal bikini, the less coverage the better. We all know the stereotypes of male gamers playing female characters and male developers creating ‘armor’ (and I use this term loosely) for female characters that reveals more skin than it allegedly claims to protect (which means its protection per square inch stat must be an insane number!) We’ve seen the same trite stories about what sort of code it would require to allow for a female character’s breasts to jiggle just right, because this ain’t a bowl of Jello son, boobies are serious business! We all know the oft-used idea of T&A and the objectification of women that’s pervasive not only in video games, but in Western culture in general. So what’s the big deal, this isn’t any different from the rest of the industry, right?

Well, I have to ask you this… do we want this game to be a leader or a follower? The rest of the industry are lemmings, and the cliff is not too far away. Do we really want TOR to be the same as everyone else in this respect or be something of an innovator? Before anyone whips out the ‘it’s in the lore!’ argument, yes, yes, I know, we all know. I will remind those pedants in my bored tone of voice that Princess Leia didn’t continue to wear the slave gear beyond the time she was forced to do so, there was no act of ‘owning’ it or subverting it for her own use, no empowerment here.

At the end of the day, I have two main beefs with the items that I not-so-lovingly refer to as ‘skankwear’.

1) It’s presented to us as armor. It ain’t armor.

Now, if the game had an Entertainer class like Star Wars: Galaxies did where your character actually didn’t have to spend his/her days out fighting to gain XP and level up, or they let lead writer Hall Hood and his crew write up some quests or story to go along with why my Sith Warrior is wearing attire that would get you arrested out in public anywhere other than the beach, Vegas, or Dragon*Con, I’d be fine with that. It would be an epic undercover plot line for an Imperial Agent, or a comedic mistaken-identity chaotic adventure for a Smuggler, perhaps a bit more of a stretch for the other classes. But there is no story to explain this gear, why it’s out on the grid, why it exists beyond HEY, LOOK AT MY BOOBIES AND BUTT. Sure, I could make up any number of reasons why my Sith Warrior is running around bare-assed on Hoth, but they’d be stupid reasons that make no sense whatsoever. See this window? My suspension of disbelief’s on the outside of it. Did someone invent a Force power in any of the Star Wars RPG sets that would allow for a character showing that much skin not to swiftly die of hypothermia? Tatooine is also not all that awesomely forgiving to someone who trots around as if it were the beach (pro-tip: the desert ain’t a beach).

By the way this gear is being peddled to us, we’re expected to use it strictly for the cheesecake aspect of things, so let’s accept that and move on to my next point.

2) What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Remember, there are nine orange adaptive bits of gear for female characters, and only one for the male characters that drop from the current Cartel Packs. Through the whole Phantom/Spymaster/Preceptor/Trailblazer debacle, we learned definitively via gold-post that BioWare has tools to know precisely how many people have any item on any server, whether it’s equipped, in a cargo bay, how much it’s selling for on the Galactic Trade Network, whatever. By the way, they could also reasonably figure out the percentage of male players wearing the gear in-game on female characters, just by linking account details to character details. Whether or not BioWare is perpetuating the stereotype of the straight male gamer is almost irrelevant to the situation at this point. As a side note, I acknowledge that such attire might also appeal to lesbian or bisexual players, but I think we can all rest easy in the notion that it’s not very likely that any major mainstream video game company would deliberately increase the number of options to show some skin on its female characters to appeal to them. In my opinion, the gear exists in-game solely for the benefit of the straight male gamer, and there would be yet another hue and cry if they removed it from the game or even just toned it down a bit. So let’s not worry about toning it down, let’s focus on evening the scales, because no video game operates strictly on a basis of pleasing just the majority of players. There are ‘quality of life’ improvements that can be added to appeal to other demographics that won’t take away from the allegedly core demographic (see also: SGRAs.)

We know there’s a rather substantial market for dudewear, gear that will accentuate a male character’s attributes. It may or may not be as much of an easy-mode choice as providing skankwear for the enjoyment of straight male gamers, but there is considerable interest in the matter, judging from this thread on the forums.  Therefore, I propose that BioWare provides us with an equivalent amount of gear that would allow straight female, bisexual, and gay male gamers a similar improved quality of life experience.

I want to be able to cheerfully discuss Force codpieces with my fellow ladies with in-game screenshots. I want to see my bisexual female and gay male friends showing off their male character’s abs, pecs, butt, legs, and entire package in an obviously sexual manner via equivalent numbers of dudewear, equally easy to buy or have drop in-game as the stuff we already have for the ladies. I’m fairly sure that multiple people at BioWare have seen Labyrinth and noted the reactions to David Bowie prancing around in those smashing tights, and he wasn’t even flashing any skin.

TatDancer

“Well hellllloooooooo there sweetheart, I was hoping to see you get up and dance for me.”

If we are going to be reasonably fair in our objectification of the humanoid body, I’d also want to see scantily-clad men dancing in the cantinas in equivalent numbers to the generic Twi’lek girls, not that one fully-clothed drunken male Bith dancing on a table to the enjoyment of a scantily-clad green-skinned woman in the Mos Ila cantina (although there was another guy watching…).  I want to walk into a cantina and envision the voice of Christopher Lee as Saruman gleefully using the word “MANFLESH!” when I see all the dancers there. I want to be able to randomly wander into a building on Tatooine and find a woman watching a male dancer who is nearly naked, rather than only seeing variations on this, which is located in a building near the Bounty Hunter trainer in Mos Ila.

With the inclusion of same-gender romance content and impending Rainbow Apocalypse™ coming with the game’s first expansion, might we even get a whiff of seeing dude-on-dude NPC action in the cantinas? After all, there was that one guy watching the other guy dancing on Tatooine right? I wonder if there’s more in-game that I missed.

At the end of this particular day, we’re left with our own opinions on the matter. Do you think it’s fair the way it is now? Would you like to see a bit less of the lady-flesh showing and/or a bit more of a gentlemen-flesh? Do you think armor should be armor and sexy-wear relegated to roleplaying and an overhauled Social Points system?

Let’s hear your thoughts, TORWarriors! Please be respectful in your comments, because this can be a bit of a touchy subject for folks. Remember, there are real, thinking, feeling human beings on the other end of this bucket of bits.


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37 Responses to “SWTOR Loading Screen: Skankwear And Dudewear”

  1. Force Boobs says:

    1.) It is quite a stretch to say that all bikini’s in game are “based on the slave outfit princess leia wore”.

    2.) It is also social gear. Wearing a bikini to fight is no less ridiculous then wearing the hoth social snowsuit on tatooine.

    3.) Are we really going to complain here about having MORE gear options just because the banana hammock hasnt been added to the game (lets forget shall we that most the male pants in game are skin tight).

    4.) Recolors of the same armor is not 4 pieces of gear vs 1 skanky male topless outfit. You can’t recolor clear.

    5.) I could see princess padme’s nipples for most of episode II with that skin tight white outfit she wore.

    6.) To complain about bikini’s in a video game is to complain about the western culture as a whole. This is the way things are, if you had to wear a burka in game you would just be complaining about the opposite.

    Freedom is good, choices are good. Asking for male skankware is good. Complaining about the reality of the situation in the world today seems like complaining just to be complaining. Saying every bikini that comes out is based of a slave outfit (which was based off a bikini) is flat out ridiculous. I wish bioware would have left out bikini’s so that you could have written this article about bioware “forcing” women to cover themselves. It feels like complaining for complaining’s sake at this point

  2. Jen says:

    Oh look, the first comment is totally justifying the skankware, because hey, women are put in skankware in other places. God, I wish I could say I’m surprised. *headdesk*

    It’s not like the gear for women in game isn’t skin-tight, too, and since most of it is gender-switchable, it’s pretty much full-coverage. My smuggler, you can see her face and her hands, and the rest of her gear is pretty much vacuum-sealed to her butt.

    And if by complaining, we can make people take a look around and realize, hey, maybe we should have equal opportunity skankware and not objectify women *quite* so much, I’m all for it.

    • Force Boobs says:

      discount a majority of what I said and focus on me pointing out reality? I am sorry that the reality of the situation makes you *head desk* but I think removing it all from the game is an impossibility not worth wasting your breath on.

      If you will notice I said I am all for them adding male skankware, but trying to go against the world is an exercise in futility and your article would have done much more for your cause if it was about making more options available to players rather then just complaining the current ones don’t fit your equality standards.

      How about we make things equal by offering opportunity to everyone rather then restricting opportunities for others.

      • Jen says:

        No, dude, I pointed out that you, like the author of the article figured would happen, went merrily on down the same boring road that we always seem to head down when this comes up. “Well, it happens, so why bitch?”

        • Force Boobs says:

          Boringly down the LOGICAL PATH. I am sorry that the answer is so obvious that it has to be deemed “boring” but it is no less the reality of the situation. Also….i think you fail to read over 50% of my posts lol.

          • Jean Prior says:

            Actually, I wrote the whole intro about Western and gaming culture specifically with you in mind, Force Boobs, and your comments here perfectly illustrated my point, thank you! :)

  3. Cleeyah says:

    A very loud YES to more skank couture for male characters. If I have to suffer the eyebleeding horridness of the skankinis on fleet, the menz have to suffer, too!

    In all seriousness, though, that thread you linked to has some amazing stuff in it that I really would love to see on my male toons / companions. Why the Cartel Shop guys haven’t totally cannibalized it yet is absolutely beyond me, because I would buy the crap out of this stuff.

    Bonus kudos for mentioning Labyrinth. :D

    Counting down to the “but-but-but men are objectified too!!!!eleven1″ whiners hitting the comments section….
    Protip: no, they are not.

  4. Kaylen says:

    That thread Jean referred to does feature male skankware, but I will point out that a lot of it is done in a tasteful way that lets you appreciate the view without actually being skanky. I wouldn’t mind the loads of skankwear you see in the game so much if the skank was done with some creativity and some taste, like a lot of the stuff in that thread. You don’t have to let it all hang out to be sexy, there were a lot of great ideas in that thread that I hope the artists at Bioware sit up and take notice of! Or just hire the artist in that thread. Removing one or two panels can take armor from meh to ‘ooo, me likey’ in a flash and would be attractive to both men and women!

    I will even speak up for the few guys I know who have Sith warriors and would LOVE to punish Quinn by putting him in one of the skank outfits. But it’s ‘female only’. UNFAIR! It’s also nearly impossible to find female-wearable pants for a Sith Inquisitor outside of Cartel gear. Social points can be hard to come by for a solo-leveling character to get, too. The easily-acquired formal or elegant pants (whatever they are called) from DK or Coruscant are labeled ‘male only’. WHY??? Are women not allowed to wear pants for some unknown and stupid reason?

    Bioware, I hope you guys read AND act on this!!

    • Force Boobs says:

      Kaylen, the current tier of inquisitor gear (both PVP and PVE) is all pants and they are pretty badarse, you should check them out

      • Kaylen says:

        I dont even want to address you as Force Boobs… but that’s how you label youself.. =) Boobs, this was specifically for a new character. I had a very specific look in mind for her, originally utilizing the black moddable top with the hood down (I dont remember the name) and a pair of black pants. The pants proved impossible to find at a low level. VERY disappointing, especially when a male character could acquire a set with great ease. Well, eventually I got around that thanks to a wonderfully generous guildie who gave me a pair of spymaster pants that color-matched great. But pants should be easily available to both male and female characters, I think we can all agree on that. End game gear is fine, but you have to level the character first.

  5. Thross says:

    I’m older-married-straight-male gamer, and it mildly bothers me how many female characters ingame are wearing the revealing clothes. I very much appreciate the female form and enjoy seeing the dancing Twis in the cantinas, but I feel it is disrespectful (and silly) to my female characters and female companion characters to have them walk around and fight in revealing clothes (btw most of my characters are male). It’s a good point that it sure doesn’t look like armor. However, I wouldn’t want to force my view on other players enjoying the game.

    I think females wearing revealing clothes in video games is part of the video game genre—right or wrong. It is kind of along the lines of how most female characters in video games have ample breasts. I just shake my head and chuckle at the whole thing and try not to take it too seriously. I wouldn’t object to seeing male characters dancing in the cantinas and more options for revealing male clothing. That only seems fair, especially with the announcement of SGRs being in the expansion. I guess if more women designed and played video games that there would be more reality and fairness in all of this.

  6. Rinth says:

    I’m also an older gamer and I do think it says a lot about the player when the character and especially when their compaion is as scantily clad as possible. Mostly I just roll my eyes about it beacuse, like Thross said above, it’s a gaming standard.

    However, I did make a few Pureblood Sith characters after the introduction of the invisible shirt. My male Sith Jedi wears armored gloves, pants and boots but goes bare chested. Armed with two Gammorean Axes he looks nicely barbaric. The Sith Purblood is especially good for this since his torso and arms have additional textures on them. Also, I think the darker skin coloring looks better when shirtless.

    Awhile back I found some screenshots of companion characters wearing Bowdarr’s harnesses (due to some bug I think). A few looked pretty cool and it would be interesting if combat harnesses like that were availible for player characters.

  7. Brian Waggoner says:

    I think the logic of the following is a bit tough for me to swallow:

    1. Bikinis are only in game to objectify women
    2. Objectifying women is horrible
    3. Lets put scantily clad males in game to objectify them
    4. Lets put male skankwear(your term, not mine) but its not objectifying men

    It seems a bit cyclical to me. If we are against objectifying people, we should be against it no matter the gender. If we are against “skankwear” we should be against it no matter what gender.

    Personally, the only issue i have with this stuff is that its constantly placed in cartel packs as filler instead of new armor types and looks. I think there are more than enough bikini options in the game for anyone looking to wear them right now.

    The major point that seemed to be missed as well is the fact that, like it or not, the majority of those who play video games are male. Appealing to younger males is a way to strengthen your core user retention. Just as we continue to tell the SGR community that just because SGRA aren’t in the game NOW doesn’t mean it wont EVER be in, but the same can be said for things like this. While no disrespect is met, items like this that only a very small portion of the user base are interested in have to take back seat to things that will bring much more bang for the development buck.

    That being said, i tend to agree that having things like bikinis in game giving folks different options in game for their character looks is a good thing. It doesn’t mean they objectify women or anything, it just means they want to tailor a look for their character. I have an imperial dancer top on my Jaesa because as a Dark Side character, because i feel like it fits her character in the experiences i had with romancing her. I actually struggled with this a lot trying to find a top that was somewhat revealing to fit her sexy, playful demeanor without wearing something like a bikini top. Im not doing it to objectify or demean her, i do it because its how i RP with her.

    There are also plenty of instances in Star Wars of characters wearing skimpy/sexy clothing(see padme, non slave leia and many chars in the Clone Wars) even into battle(see ashoka tano, asajj ventress, etc). It also doesnt really survive the “OMG BIKINIS OFFER NO PROTECTION IN BATTLE” argument since Jedi/Sith don’t rely on armor to protect them in battle, they use the force, like magic users in the fantasy genre. Star Wars has never been science fiction. It is science fantasy. So to see this aspect of the fantasy genre shouldn’t come as a big surprise.

    ALLL of that being said, TL:DR.

    • Brian Waggoner says:

      By TLDR, i mean my long, self absorbed, rambly comment, not the article. I enjoyed reading it! Keep up the good work, jean!

    • Kaylen says:

      Well, if there is going to be objectification (is that really a word??), at least let it be on an equal basis! =)

      Honestly, I’d love to see Bioware’s artists run with the concepts in that thread Jean linked. The concept of ‘sexy’ embodied there can be used for both sexes and enjoyed by both as well. A lot of it also has some class to it, which I do appreciate… Sexy AND Classy is a great thing. =)

      • Brian Waggoner says:

        Thats my point. It makes no sense to say that bikinis are objectification of women and horrible but then say the opposite should be ok for men. Its a pretty bad double standard to me.

        • DarthJosef says:

          I don’t think it’s so much of a double standard as it is that there are two separate points being made. The first acknowledges the presence of sexism in the gaming industry specifically and in western culture as a whole and illustrates that it’s present in SWTOR. The second point is that these kind of outfits are clearly slanted in one direction, and that’s not fair to anyone. So perhaps SWTOR could become a leader in this regard by evening out these scales.

          • Brian says:

            Again, not how its presented. If you think these outfits are bad and objectify women, arguing to have them put in for the opposite sex is just propagating a double standard.

        • Jae Onasi says:

          It depends on whether you think women in bikinis is objectification or just plain sexy. If we’re going to have skimpy female outfits (as we clearly do in game), then we should be ‘equal opportunity sexeh’ and have skimpy male outfits, too. Whoever designed and approved the skimpy female outfits apparently doesn’t think they objectify women, or if they think it objectifies women, they don’t think objectification is bad.

          Either way, I’d still like a sexy social outfit for my handsome, beefy Dougal.

          *tinfoil hat on*
          Clearly, this is a conspiracy by someone at BioWare to see more half-nekkid women on the fleet stations.
          *tinfoil hat off*

    • Charlie says:

      I did think it was odd that one big objection to SGRs was that sexuality has no place in the Star Wars universe when nearly every cantina in the game has dancing women in it.

      I would like to see additional sexy clothing for women that doesn’t fall into the bikini category. Zam Wessell looked very fetching in her garb and Asajj has shown a hint of skin. It need not always be the lowest common denominator (hello Darth Talon).

      The invisible torso armor was a move in the right direction for folks who want to have their guys dress sexy but it is a very, very small move and I would like to see more in that direction. There is even precedence for this: Anakin sprots a very sexy sheer top while standing guard on a balcony in Attack of the Clones.

  8. WonkoTheSane says:

    There are several women in my guild who might fall over and die of laughter if my giant sith warrior were to tank ops in a Conan-esqe codpiece and boots. I’d do it in a heart beat! My Jaesa is in a bikini, cause she’s my toons wifey, it makes sense.

    My female merc is in BH armor cause i cant justify “the force” keeping her alive, its the armor plates. Altho, if it fits the story, she and mako slip into bikinis to negotiate with clients. THAT makes more sense distracting NPCs for a betterdeal.

    And my female agent and kailyo ran around liek a pair of stripper assasins, cause, well, bikini assasins sounds like a bad b-movie!

  9. WonkoTheSane says:

    also, i would like the red republic bikini available on the imp side.

    And i agree with Brian, at no time in my 5 years in WoW, did any of my toons armor realy protect them from the massive fireballs they were hit with…. Frost Mages = WoW’s Firemen :)

  10. Sebby says:

    There are some lesbian female gamers out there that love these drops… honestly it is sexist for non lesbians to automatically assume that it’s only men that find the idea of the bikinis being a turn on or sexually appealing. I have several other girl and guy friends who all find it appealing. Now there should be an equal amount of love for the guys who want to show off some stuff, but I am just saying :) (((PPS, I want to see muh hunk!))

    • Finally a commenter I can agree with. I don’t always think that females are being objectified, not that they never have been, because we clearly see that they are everyday here in America. Look on every male-focused magazine cover (ehem, Maxim anyone?). However, is it a crime to admire the female form (or male form if you will) scantily clad in tiny pieces of clothing? No, it’s not. I do agree with Jean though, we need more sexy gear for the men folk, not that I’ll be looking…. >.>

    • groovyhedgehog says:

      To Sebby: It isn’t assuming that lesbians don’t enjoy them. I enjoy them and I’m a lady. What the problem is, is that men are developing them not thinking of anyone else in mind. It just so happens that sometimes someone who is not a straight male also really enjoys it. I don’t want the sexy lady outfits gone; I just want some stuff that will give equal opportunity for the male companions/avatars to be clothed or unclothed just like we are able to do with female companions/avatars. If women are to be objectified in an extremely diverse universe it only stands to reason that they should do the same with men, otherwise the game is inherently sexist. Not that some societies won’t be sexist, but there is a huge galaxy and it doesn’t make any sense that only women would be objectified.

      Personally, I would love to have some same sex romances because the female companions tend to have way more chemistry with the female avatars than the male ones. I’d love to get Mako and my lady Bounty Hunter together. My roommie is obsessed with her Sith Warrior lady and Vette.

  11. Mr-Tom says:

    Excellent article. I agree that it doesn’t make sense to QQ about the presence of revealing female gear in game, and that the focus is rightly on the disparity between male and female gear.

    I am struggling, though, to think of an example from canon where males are scantily clad, but it does seem fair that something appropriate be done.

    Not sure i am optimistic about that happening though.

    Pure blood sith warrior in a mankini anybody? :P

  12. dude says:

    It’s all down to where the power resides really.

    In your typical sword and sorcery RPG I’m normally all for chainmail bikinis,diaphanous sorceress outfits, and barbarians just wearing a loincloth and a scowl, because I love how over the top high fantasy can be. And you’re out to save the world usually anyway, so I figure if it’s going to be fantasy, have fun with it, if somebody disagrees with the way you look you can cleave them in two/roast them with a fireball, you have the power.

    But I’ve never liked it in swtor, because as the author said, when you see a skimpy outfit in star wars, what first springs to mind is that that person is a slave/dancer/property, and that character has no power. So the first time I saw my wife and constant companion Mako in a slave outfit on the fleet, I was a little perturbed to say the least.
    The conflict was in my mind of course, my respect/admiration/affection for my 2nd in command, who saves my life on a daily basis, conflicting with the image of her standing there decked out in a slave costume being paraded around in a public space (other player had the exact same Mako look as I did).

    To use an example, if I take the sorceress from orcs must die 2, she’s smart, powerful, witty, confident and sexy to top it all off. She kills everybody she meets and laughs while she does it, her outfit doesn’t define who she is, her power does.
    In Star Wars however, the slave outfit identifies a slave, it defines their existence as a lesser being.

    My philosophy for the TLDR crowd: if a lady wants to wear something in particular, that’s cool with me, if she’s being forced to wear something in particular, that’s not cool with me.

  13. The_Dark_Lord says:

    I just want to see the other Dark Councilors’ faces when I sit down for a meeting wearing nothing but a codpiece, Kallig’s Countenance, and a pair of ginormous shoulder pads.

  14. AbnerDoon says:

    I hate seeing tanks, troopers, bounty hunters wearing this crap. So many people are wearing it now it is just sad. Not too mention it is just ugly as sin if they want to do an outfit like this get an artist to design something that looks well done with some armoring.

    Point two stop with the repaints of this outfit I have a bay full of this that I just can’t get rid of and that I will never use on my characters or companions.

    I have a female assassin her gear comes out closer to a tanks in appearance as I have her setup as a tank. I have a female juggernaut same thing full armor looking ready to hand someone their ass. They both look completely bad-ass in armor it’s not like it is not form fitting already.

    So yes I am all for banana hammocks so other players have to feel my pain. Because that will be no less ridiculous to me as the slave/dancer gear.

  15. Jae Onasi says:

    BioWare needs to add spring-loaded codpieces to the game. That is all.

  16. [...] In many ways, the cartel market is the main way that both EA and BioWare market to the players. My sense of it is that this is more of an EA-led initiative than BioWare itself instigating how the market is run. This is where the marriage between the two companies goes from Leave It to Beaver to The Osbournes. Players growl about how the market has recycled various bits of gear and offered overly-expensive items for sale for only a single character. Despite arguments that other games do things almost exactly the same way, there are major differences with how other games present their cash shops. EA also has the problem of dealing with a general public perception of being more interested in acquiring money than servicing their customers, even more so than a regular company that is also equally in the business of making money for their shareholders. The current SimCity crisis is pretty much a case in point. We’ve been told by BioWare that the cartel packs we’ve seen so far were just round one, and that they’ve been listening to player complaints and will release the next wave of packs with a wider variety of different items. Personally, I’m deeply amused that it seems as if they’re going to add more male sexy gear in response to the complaints about the plethora of female sexy gear. [...]

  17. groovyhedgehog says:

    I agree. I don’t mind at all that ladies are running around scantily clad, but I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with the fact that I never get to see any man butt when I am constantly forced to see the lady butt. I have no problem with the lady butt. I just don’t understand why we can’t have some man butt, too.

    The only reason this has been happening thus far is that the straight male gamers and developers are uncomfortable with objectifying their own gender, when as women we have had to live with scantily clad ladies shoved in our faces our whole lives. Every time I see someone bring up wanting to see a man in a nice little flowy slinky thing, all the men cry out “I don’t want to see that!” or “My eyes burn!” They obviously either a) are not understanding how women have to live with being objectified on a daily basis and are now used to it or b) just simply don’t care. I’m so sick of the “it makes me uncomfortable” argument, because any woman who made that argument would be laughed out of the game.

    I understand that the developers still have a very straight white male mentality, but they need to get with the times. SWTOR would be much more popular if they pushed boundaries. I don’t understand what the problem is, because Bioware produced Dragon Age, which gave us both scantily clad male armor and same-sex romance options. The argument that the Star Wars universe is generally sexist is not valid. The Star Wars UNIVERSE is just that–a UNIVERSE! There are so many different kinds of species, cultures, and societies that you cannot reasonably argue that the entire universe is this way. You cannot expect me to believe that there are no male slaves, no scantily clad male dancers for the entertainment of powerful women or female soldiers, that despite the diversity of races, species, planets, and cultures there are no scantily glad men or queer characters at all. I understand that probably certain cultures are very patriarchal and sexist, but there would also be matriarchal societies and cultures that embrace gender/sexual equality etc. Not every single culture/society is exactly the same.

    Anyways, aside from the butt hurt straight male gamers who complain about having to see man butt, there are female players who often complain about the need to have scantily clad anyone on the game. Look, scantily clad and sexual are not mutually exclusive. Someone on the forums was arguing that she would like the freedom to dress her characters how she wants. You can dress female characters however you want. They can wear sexy flimsy things, they can wear power armor, they can wear armor that shows a lot of skin but still covers the essentials, they can wear normal dresses that cover everything, etc. It continually frustrates me that I cannot put a man in a sexy flimsy thing, for whatever reasons. It just isn’t fair. We should have the same options as straight females, gay men, and bisexuals to aesthetically enjoy our avatars or companions in the same way they are pushing for straight males (and lesbians and bisexuals just happen to benefit from it too, let’s face it, they aren’t doing it for anyone outside of the straight male).

    It’s frustrating because in every other sense the game seems to be fairly good with gender equality (although not sexuality equality). The NPCs are about half and half, even in military situations. Most of the NPCs are a bit intellectually challenged and it’s equal for both genders. There are equal amounts of men and women who shine for their talents. Both men and women have straight romances, good and bad, for their companions, and also flirt options. The biggest issues at this point are balancing out the objectification and creating equality with romance options. The easiest one to be fixed would be balancing out the objectification. And all right, they’ve added a handful of bare chested numbers for the men recently, but those are still largely developed for men (they completely cover the legs and only expose a chiseled chest). Look guys, sometimes ladies want to see man butt. We appreciate the man butt. Yes, I like my men clothed too and they can be quite sexy very clothed, but sometimes I want to see some flesh. The issue here is that you have given men the opportunity to clothe or unclothe their female avatars/companions but you have not sufficiently done the same for the male avatars/companions. I want to have my male avatar run around in a flimsy little thing, strappy around the waist and draped just over and barely enough to cover the essentials. We have quite a few “sexy man” outfits that are tight leather pants and uncovered chests, but hello, do you really think that it’s unreasonable to think that the same sexy slave girl outfits would also be on the men in that universe?

    So in conclusion, no I am not telling people to clothe their female characters. I am telling them to open their eyes and realize that their “no one wants to see that” arguments are invalid and that they are uncomfortable because straight men are being forced to feel objectification despite them forcing the same on women since the dawn of time. If we are not going to create a fairly gender equal environment that lacks overt objectification (WoW is a prime example of this), then we should be objectifying both genders equally.

  18. groovyhedgehog says:

    Sorry guys, just realized I had some typos. I mean mutually INCLUSIVE, not exclusive. Some other typos like glad instead of clad but I hope you’ll forgive those.

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