Playboy’s safe-for-work site, The Smoking Jacket put a list up last week featuring the seven hottest female characters in massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). We are pleased that gaming has long since left the realm of desperate loserdom and entered an era where people not only accept it, but aspire to it. Unfortunately, the only thing could think about as we went over the characters collected by TSJ, was how shitty female armor in gaming continues to be.
Seriously, only one out of the seven female characters had anything resembling reasonable armor. Why do we care? Because we game and as much as we love stilettos and lingerie, when we’re gaming, to suspend disbelief, we need kick ass armor. But that’s our gripe. Take it from Ryan, an armorer who blogged about this very issue not too long ago:
There is a commonly held understanding in the fantasy role-playing community that female armor sucks. That is, it doesn’t really cover any vital organs. [...] To predict a counterpoint: There are men that wear next to nothing in fantasy art as well. Take Conan or He Man, for example. Neither of them are wearing much in the way of protection. This is true, but they aren’t meant to be armored. [A lot of women in this kind of art appear] wearing armor, not barbarian-style loin-cloths. Their metal garments describe access to real armor, but the decision not to wear it.
[ ... ] Plate armor is the way it is largely out of necessity. The layout and articulations of the plates are the best solutions the designers could come up with to balance mobility with protection. Also, note that nobody was naked under their armor. There was a ton of padding between the metal and the flesh that absorbed the energy of the blows. That means the difference between male and female plate armor is relatively trivial because once you’ve padded it out and left space for movement, you’ve all but erased the figure of the person inside.
Read his solutions and the real-life dangers of the “boob-plate” (a breastplate made to accentuate boobs) in his post on Mad Art Lab.
Header image features a female demon hunter from Diablo III as depicted by the incomparable YngvarAsplund.