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AQWorlds: Female Armors Taking It WAY Too Far

Posted by The Peanut Master on December 26, 2008

Reporting once again from Las Vegas (yes, I had a LOT of free time on the drive here):

AE games appeal to a wide variety of age groups, spanning the generations. The most popular age group is, as expected, the teenagers, although teens do not make up all of the player population. There are also a lot of pre-teens playing AE’s games, and while there is technically a 13+ age “requirement”, we all know that if we are following it, it’s only because we’re already old enough anyways, and it’s plainly obvious, especially in AQWorlds where people can talk, that there are tons of little kids playing AE’s games as well.

AE has usually been very good at making sure their games appeal to players of smaller ages, and it’s something they make very clear in their For Parents pages. It is only unfortunate, then, that AQWorlds has already begun to stray away from the G/PG-rated material, in the form of overly revealing… female armors.

The reason such an issue has really come to the forefront is primarily because of the newly released Jester armor. The male version is nice and covered up, but the same can not be said about the female one. As you can see in the picture below, there is tons of extra cleavage where there certainly doesn’t need to be, and the excess of skin all over the place is just way too much.

Honestly, look at it. You can see half of each of the breasts, and there’s even a faint nipple outline on the left breast. That is incredibly over the top and unnecessary, and can easily be avoided, and I am wholly surprised that AE would do such a thing, and stoop to such lows. Furthermore, not only is the Jester armor too revealing, but many more female outfits are as well, creating an inappropriate and inexcusable trend for AQWorlds. The female witch (upper-body skin, thigh), beast warrior (belly, leg, some cleavage), mage (leg), paladin (thigh, jutted out breasts), healer (thigh/leg), berserker (thigh), and warrior (thigh) all have extra revealing elements of the body that just flat-out don’t need to be there, and in many cases, such as the berserker and warrior, revealing body parts are not only inappropriate, but just don’t make sense with the theme of the armor.

The opposing argument to the one I am presenting here is that because AE requires players to be 13+ to play AQWorlds that revealing skin like this is appropriate and acceptable. Technically, these kinds of armors do not breach a 13+ age requirement. But that’s not the point. We all know that while AE “requires” you to be 13+ play AQWorlds, that no one considers AQWorlds to be a teenager game, and there are tons of little kids who lied about their age playing AQWorlds right now. Therefore, AE should not be presenting these images at all to the little kids who are inevitably playing the game (and really not even the older kids either). Furthermore, players wearing these armors are subject to, and have received, inappropriate and abusive comments from other players, which can be fully avoided if the armors were just covered up. In addition, there is also the obvious fact that for a healthy sum of these armors, open skin just doesn’t even make sense. These three arguments make it a no-brainer that what AE is doing with the female armors should not be condoned.

Yes, we know AQWorlds has done a lot of things early in its development that has us questioning the direction of the company (subscription fee, MMO, etc.). While those issues regarding AQWorlds’s development can be argued both ways, this is clearly a one-way issue. The overly revealing female armors trend is unacceptable behavior from AE, and while it’s fine if a little extra skin is shown here and there, going way over the top multiple times is completely and utterly uncalled for. Something needs to change, and it needs to change now (and not AE’s definition of now).

41 Responses to “AQWorlds: Female Armors Taking It WAY Too Far”

  1. StJason said

    To be fair, some of the armors are themeatically all right. The Beast Warrior is revealing, but so is the male. So is the female and male Assassin armors.

    The issues, as I see it are two:
    1) Impractical armors: Warrior, Paladin, Protosartum, and Berserker armor with legs out in the female versions. There is no real reason for this.
    2) Needless titillation: Mage, Healer, Peasant, Witch and yes, the Jester. There is no reason for them to be the way they are. More, thematically speaking, why is a priestess/healer (or a paladin, for that matter) wearing a skirt that is one sneeze away from showing the world her intimates?

    There are a few armors where it’s somewhat appropriate. The Pirate and Rogue armors spring to mind. Sure, there is some leg, but it’s well in theme, not a glaring lack of protection, and in theory provides some mobility and ability to swim for those outfits. Stretching the point a bit, the Witch might be appropriate, were her skills more about enchanting/seduction.

    But the contrast is quite obvious when you compare the panted and booted males against the (barely) skirted and often just sandalled females. I suppose they aren’t wearing bondage gear, yet.

  2. adam said

    it isnt exatley tomb raider but its still pretty bad for small kids

  3. ZamuelNow said

    To play devil’s advocate here (uh oh), perhaps the way they see themselves clashes with the way we see them. Basing this upon things like Safiria’s visual portrayal of herself in-game, I’m thinking that AE may view themselves as a PG-13 company that happens to be silly and young at heart while we view them as a kid friendly company that occassionally goes into PG-13 territory.

  4. Zeke said

    Directed towards The Peanut Master:

    AE is a pg-13 company, not a “kiddy” company.

    Just because you SAY that they do much “kiddy” stuff doesn’t make them like that. They made the games pg-13 BECAUSE of things like this.

    They MAY be “kiddy,” but they weren’t lying when they said they were pg-13.

    Little kids playing these games isn’t even an argument. Little kids watch R-rated movies, play M-rated games…Why even bring it up? It’s not AE’s fault that kids are (slightly less than legally) playing their games.

    Although, while some of what you said is true, the way you defend it isn’t quite on-the-dot.
    ~Zeke~

  5. alabamapitty said

    Zamuel and Zeke have a point. AE is technically a PG-13 company, and these kind of things are perfectly acceptable for such a company. I’m more concerned that AE seems to feel that they have to do it on the female armors at all. As St. Jason said, it’s more a question of functionality. Why would a female warrior go into battle with half her undercarriage exposed? Not very effective, methinks. However, to stop the harassment that female players face, AE might need to change some stuff. Ultimately, AE runs the company as they always have: Friendly to the 13+ audience.

  6. ZamuelNow said

    Now here’s the other arguement:
    While AE is “officially” a 13+ company, it’s a very plain fact that they attract a younger audience. While some of the outfits could be argued for, Witch and especially Jester seem to step too far. The biggest problem is the usage. AQW, the only AE game with true multiplay, is the one where the female outfits are the least covered. I’m quite sure that it caught most off guard. The fact that some of the female players get harassed over it seems to be enough of a reason to request a change in design choices.

  7. I know I usually respond to comments, but for this one I’m going to keep myself from regurgitating what my opinion already is. It’s very easy to see both sides of the 13+ argument, and we all have opinions on what age group AE truly appeals to. I personally think it’s for all ages and not just those of 13+, and that’s my basis for condemning the overly revealing female armors. Others will disagree and say that AE has a 13+ age requirement for a reason, and that these revealing armors are acceptable. Fortunately, we will see what AE’s ruling on this is soon. :)

  8. Zeke said

    AE shouldn’t have to change anything. It is society’s fault that people a harassed for wearing revealing clothes…in video games. AE shouldn’t have to match up to society’s standards, when they clearly have set their OWN standards. It is the fault of the immature, not the company’s.

    Of course, since AE is good-hearted, they will change anyways…

    For once, I want to see AE go on a ban-fest, and just get rid of the immature >.>
    ~Zeke~

  9. St. Jason said

    Age doesn’t figure into it, really.

    Let’s use our magical imaginations, and picture that AQW is a game made for 18+. Does it change two facts:
    1) There is needless nudity, focusing on one particular gender.
    2) That people are being harassed in part because of said nudity.

    I personally could care less if there were penises and breasts in every page of AQW if it were in theme and appropriate. But it isn’t.

  10. Yggdrasil said

    Well i remember times when i defend the oppressed.i was just horrified when other players just joined instead of defend.

    i would always be defending players who was getting harrased

  11. @Zeke

    We can always hope, and I agree with what you have said. The immaturity of AQW players is what is really doing the damage, not the armors themselves. Imagine one of the people who put 6-9 as their age in the poll (assuming that really IS their age) sees someone harassing someone with female elf armor. Then somebody else decides it’s funny and types “lol”. The child will think that that kind of thing is apparently very funny and it will get them in a world of trouble. Not to mention how people acting drunk might rub off on him.

  12. StJason said

    @GOD: WANT ARE YOU SAYING (Nice name, by the by. Very surreal.)

    Let’s remove the nudity taboo from the equation entirely. Let’s say that AE put a little floating sign above every male armor that read “DUMBFUCK”. Doesn’t change the attributes at all, warriors still swing at the same speed, have the same skills, but if you want to play in boy armor, you have to have a “DUMBFUCK” sign above your head.

    Now, let us further suppose that a group of people without those signs above their heads start bugging you, messing with you, flooding you with group requests, making it hard to chat with any friends you might have, following you to wherever you go… All so they can call you “DUMBFUCK” some more.

    Finally, a bit tired of you, you mention to a friend/on the forums that you are really sick of the ‘DUMBFUCK” signs. Your reply? “are you kidding your dome who cares kids are going to learn sooner or later it dosent matter.”

    Now, are you starting to understand “what the fff[...]fff u c k” yet?

  13. Jade said

    Well, no offense, but I am on the “It really is PG13″ bandwagon. Some of the armours in the other AE games could be considered inappropriate as well. But despite this, AE games are TAME compared to some other games that are also PG13. I think peoples problem with AQworlds is that it is more cartoon-y than the other games. It looks like it SHOULD be kid-friendly, even though in reality, it makes animations easier and does not hinder gameplay. I personally think that there is nothing quite inappropriate with any current armours, content wise, merely context-wise.

    And to address this! Go for equality! If you are going to give the female characters stupid skirt armours, give them the option of having trousers! And have the men get skirts too! ^^

  14. AE can say they are PG-13 all they want. They can add these armors. But just because they are PG-13 doesn’t mean they should let others be harassed.

  15. Kiari said

    I finally grew tired of the ‘comments’ and the stalking and just stopped playing AQ all together. I play MechQuest which I became a Star Captain of soon after.

    I honestly didn’t know what I was thinking when I joined AQ. Most companies that host mmorpg’s are mostly male dominated development teams, so of course female players will be treated as sex objects because society has programmed many of its members that “Sex Sells”.

    Instead of actually enjoying my experience with AQ, I found myself wishing there was a Potato Sack armor I could wear with the same benefits so I could be left alone to enjoy the game.

    Of course there are some women in AQ that don’t care about the armors, because they receive more attention in AQ than in their real lives. Than there are those gender confused males that play as women, which all mmorpgs seem to be infested with, that don’t care about the armors either.

    So if your a woman in AQ and tired of the harassment just play MQ. You don’t have to worry about the revealing armors there, and the only way they can even see what your character looks like is if you give them your player ID and they look up your profile.

  16. StJason said

    I’m sorry, but the ‘AE is tame compared to other games’ argument doesn’t hold water, either. I could say “Compared to other countries, America is the best! In Rwanda, there are killings in the streets! In Saudi Arabia, they still punish theft by chopping off hands! In Mexico, demonstrators are disappeared!” While all of these things are true, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems in America.

    Likewise, just because there are problems in other games, does not mean that AE is perfect.

    Again, my two main points:
    1) There is a game-based problem with a certain percentage (Who make up a surprisingly big amount of the gaming market, and if AE is smart, they will cater to them more) of players.
    2) AE could fix this problem IF THEY WANTED TO pretty easily. This would change the game in no appreciable way, not speed up/slow down, change statistics, nor make one more desirable then the other.

  17. NecroCrystal said

    AdventureQuest Worlds is ment for people of age 13+ and if they want to play and their parents don’t mind it so then… LET EM PLAY!
    If someone is being harrassed there is an ignore button and you can report them too and not everyone is immature like the people doing the harrasment. I think the armour should stay the same, yes i believe the female jester clothes was going over board but they fixed it and if any other armour goes to showy and out of the theme then they will change it.

    I liked to mention that the choice between trousers or a skirt is a pretty good idea XD

  18. Lemmy said

    Well, I aggre with 13+ thing.

    And plus, seeing your girlfriend in that armour…(drools)

  19. simidorl said

    oh i just thought of something::
    why not make like an “R” server in which you need to be 18+ with verification to go on, and you can choose more revealing armors there if you please (unique to that server; they become peasant armor in appearance when you leave that server). that way little kids arent exposed to naughty material (unless they steal their parent’s PIN), and harassment is avoidable by switching to a server where your clothing is less aparrent.

  20. mike446 said

    Zeke, I respectfully disagree. Yes, they require a 13 or older age requirement, but that’s so they won’t get sued by parents. Furthermore, I’ll make a different argument on TPM’s behalf. It is offensive to women, or is very likely to be. Even if nobody had a problem with it(But many do.), It still doesn’t send the kind of message that agrees with what AE stands for.

  21. StJason said

    Again, people are missing the point.

    It isn’t the skin shown. If it were suitably in character, I could care less if the armor was completely nude.

    This issue is about the unequal treatment of genders. If it were related to the haircut/customization process, where certain skin tones popped a turban on your head, or made the lips big, or eyes slanty, then we wouldn’t have people saying “Hey, little kids will learn it some day…”

    There is no reason whatsoever for the discrepancy between the male and female armors. If you notice, nobody is complaining about the breastplates being different, or the females being slightly smaller and thinner (grassile is the technical term). What is at issue is the simple fact that in otherwise identical classes, one group suddenly has bits and pieces all exposed, while the other is quite sensible.
    More, there is the question of theme. Are jesters known for showing the flesh? While entertaining royalty, did they suddenly flash themselves for a laugh. Well, actually, they probably did… but they aren’t really known for it, as opposed to juggling, tumbling, jokes, characterizations, and the like.

    Now, I could go on a lecture about the evils of enforcing stereotypes, degradation of women, the commercialization of sex, and so on. But I think we’ve all heard it.

    Out of theme. Unnecessary. Causes problems. Adds little if anything to the game. Can anyone come up with a real reason to keep it?

  22. StJason said

    Klaatu, Barata, Cthuhlu f’thagin! Thread Necromancy!

    Throwing a bit of fuel on the fire, the old Jester is back…

  23. Chocolamancer said

    Pretty much half of the female armors scream “Slut!” The reason for this (which you all seem to be missing)…AE’s art is done by men.

  24. ZamuelNow said

    @Chocolamancer: That’s the odd thing. A sizable number of AE’s staff including artists is female.

  25. Chocolamancer said

    Really? 0_o Then…I don’t have an explanation for that. Hmm…

    Nope. Nothing.

  26. StJason said

    Huzzah! It’s a ‘glitch’ and should be fixed soon!

    http://forums2.battleon.com/f/fb.asp?m=15437407

  27. simidorl said

    one last thing:
    there’s still “twilly safe server” without ANY chat.

    LOL

  28. Lemmy said

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm
    Oh well, IT IS PG 13

  29. Biomeister said

    Grr. Get over it. AE IS PG-13. NOT PG. It may seem like it is, but any game that says YOU MUST BE 13+ TO PLAY is a PG-13 game. These armors are clearly PG-13.

  30. SL said

    1.) Revealing armours have been a mainstay of most fantasy games for years. Look at old Games Workshop Dark Eldar and Dark Elf models. Even in modern games you’ll see it.(WoW’s Night Elves spring to mind….)
    Sex sells and in the end AE is business like any other and therefore out to make money.

    2.) What the hell are you on about with the “nipple outline”? Maybe is you switched off low quality you’d see that it’s shading.

  31. simidorl said

    Actually to sum it up, I am disappointed in AE, but not just because they released revealing armors. althoug its the path they seem to have to take, it’s gone from being a Adam Bohn, JD Adams and [insert Galanoth's real name here] snarpy, funny-in-a-lame-way production to some megacorporation venture. Artix is probably a MILLIONAIRE now. I remember their money woes early on in AQ’s history…

  32. Seriyu said

    Since it’s already been changed I don’t see the point of keeping comments on but people sure seem to be throwing a fit about such a minor change. I didn’t like the armor, I thought it was way beyond anything AE had released up to that point but I did not play AQW so I just kinda dealt with it. I was glad to see it changed, and when it is changed, people throw a hissy fit. This is, unfortunatly, a staple of the battleon forums I’ve found.

    It’s been changed, to anyone throwin a fit about this, it’s most likely not coming back.

  33. Chocolamancer said

    Actually, it’s already back.
    :P

  34. mystravian said

    u are all over reacting it does not even inslt women because ther e are many girl playrs god u all need to calm down

  35. StJason said

    Again, Lemmy, Seriyu, Mystravian, it isn’t about the children. It isn’t about the bewbs. It does NOT add anything to the game, but DOES add problems.

    Let me put it yet another way: Let’s say that they made a okay-looking sword, but because of some coding issues, it caused lots of lags and/or crashes. Adds problems without adding to the game, right?

    Let’s say they made a new class that caused random palate shifts. Doesn’t really further the game, causes a big problem, right?

    Let’s say they made a sword that when you used the /use command, it looked slightly phallic. Would you say “but almost all the players are boys, and they know what a thingy looks like!”? Yet again, doesn’t add much to the game, causes problems.

    Let’s say for St. Paddys, they released a boy armor with a kilt. Now let’s say that on certain hits the kilt flips up to show a little too much. Is it still no big issue?

    Let’s say that for the next underwater adventure, they release a perfectly normal wetsuit for the girls, but the boys get a speedo. No problem there, right? Just a bit of eye-candy for the ladies, right?

    Now, just to flip the issue a little: Let’s say they revisit the Witch class, make it an ‘enchantress’ with stunning/charming/”seduction” abilities. NOW, suddenly we have a debate. As the Witch is quite showy, but in that theme of things, is actually in character. But as for the Jester, there is absolutely no reason for it. There isn’t even a ‘jester-y’ release. It simply came out for the heck of it, and while they were at it, let’s put her in a bikini. Unneeded, doesn’t add anything. Causes problems. So explain why it is even there?

  36. Silver said

    This is crazy nonsense. Its a game nothing more. So what its a little skin? im sure you children are going to see more at school. There is nothing wrong with the derection AE is taking the game.

  37. Chocolamancer said

    Umm…no. Kids don’t dress like that at school. At least not where I live.

  38. StJason said

    @Silver: I’d debate you, but I’ve done it already. Go back and read my last post. And the post before that. And the one… well, you get the idea.

    Doesn’t add anything. Causes problems. Would take moments to fix.

    Hrm… I should make that a .sig…

  39. billy said

    you know ther maybe skin…but lok atpirate 4 male it has no sleeves or mask just covers torso and legs!!!!!!!!!

  40. Matt The Paladin said

    i do not care man and peanut master there is no 13+ age requirment

  41. lemmy7003 said

    We need to close this…

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