There are certain archetypes of the fantasy gaming world that are the hallmark of the genre. One such example is the studious mage, who has commited his life to study. Generally portrayed as a scholarly old man with a flowing white beard, the mage is a character who has endured the changes of gaming, and transcended each medium of fantasy gaming.
Another popular archetype of fantasy gaming is the female Amazon. Deadly, beautiful, and supple-skinned, she stalks the wilderness killing all who would threaten the balance of nature. Armed with a spear and wearing a chainmail, she is truly a force to be reckoned with.
Fantasy gaming is not always realistic (hence the name), but at least tries to portray its inhabitants in a semi-realistic way. The traditional wizard is a gaunt and pallid individual, a man who has slaved away in a musty room and committed himself to years of exhaustive study. And as for the Amazon archetype, well, I think a lot of gamers are just happy to have her around.
Imagine my surprise when I tried to create my first human mage in World of Warcraft. Traditionally, MMORPGs have given you basic options for changing your character's size and physical appearance. It could be a slider that increases the physical height or bulk of the avatar, or a more complex system that allows you to change your character’s proportions. Regardless of the options, Warcraft has done away with that antiquated system and instead allows players to select from a menu of hair color, facial piercings, and face options. What's left is a character who is the same height, weight, and size as every other character in their race.
While this route has led to a society full of Swedishly-attractive, Aryan superhumans, it creates a false image of how these fantasy characters should look. Warcraft women have child bearing hips, large breasts, and slender legs. They charge into fights with sexist battle-cries and fight with all the passion of Walker Texas Ranger
While it should be noted that these are fantasy
games, it doesn’t give Blizzard the right to be lazy. Mages should be hunchbacked from years of study, Warriors should be horribly scarred from epic fights with bloodthirsty foes, and Druids should be filthy hippies who protest outside of Ironforge.
Warcraft may be bringing sexy back, but at what cost? World of Warcraft paints an unrealistic image of the world to its fanbase and the repercussions are potentially harmful to the players. People should not be led to believe that years of studying will yield taught arms and golden skin. Nor should they believe that anything good comes from communing with nature.
In response to these horrible misrepresentations I would like to show you what the fantasy characters of Warcraft would look like when cast in a more realistic light.
The Female Warrior
The first stop on our exodus is the rarely rolled female warrior. Realistically speaking, if a woman were to pursue the role of melee gladiator, what do you think she would look like? A starry eyed princess or a fugly mangina?
Isn’t it reasonable to assume that a woman would have to be fairly heavily built in order to survive battles against waves of enemies? The Female Warrior portrayed by Blizzard is far too curvaceous and supple to endure the hardships of hand-to-hand combat.
The Studious Mage
Any of you who played Dungeons and Dragons should know that any decent Mage sacrifices all of his strength, agility, constitution, and charisma points for intelligence and wisdom. And WoW should be no exception.
Mages are the scholars of the fantasy world, locking themselves in tiny rooms and reading books all day. The payoff is supreme mastery of the arcane, but the sacrifice is a weakened, unhealthy physique.
The Tree Hugging Druid
Loves nature, hates poachers, and thinks they can turn into animals. For those of you who think that this is the perfect set up for a wise protector of the forest, then I feel sorry for the television shows that raised you.
The Druids of the real world would most likely be filthy, smelly, and completely socially inept. Specifically, they would be hippies.
The Sagely Shaman
The Twisted Warlock
Sold their souls for knowledge of the dark arts or just read too many Anne Rice novels? Either way, Warlocks are known purveyors of the dark side of magic and should be represented as such. Namely, they should live in their parent’s basement with pentagrams and dragon-candleholders adorning their bedrooms.
I hope that you’ve all learned a very valuable lesson about the cost of fantasy adventuring, and the dangers of believing the lies fed to you through online role-playing games.
But please, don’t let this be an ending, but the beginning. Using Photoshop or Mario Paint, I challenge the readers of Notaddicted to dispel some other popular MMORPG fantasies and post their results to this thread. The best entry will be moved into this post with credit to the author.