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I know you’re expecting the news today, but I just had to get this out.  I’ll go back to the news again next week. ❤ Cimmy

Dear Computer game developers,

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the computer fantasy role playing game (FRPG) industry is filled with pictures of scantily clad women.  After all, they originate from a time when acne-riddled adolescent boys supposedly played Dungeons and Dragons (first published in 1974) in their mothers’ basements with other similarly acne-riddled boys and the only dates said adolescent boys were ever likely to get was with their hands.

Back then, male player characters (PCs) often wore large amounts of heavy armor or stylized clothing while female PCs tended to be so scantily clad they could conceivably have been called hookers instead of adventurers.  Since this was Fantasy Role Playing, again, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at this development.  After all, sometimes players were known to get their male PCs to attempt to “hook up” with female non-player characters (NPCs) to try and get some virtual nookie (I don’t envy the Dungeon Master who had to put up with that).

Now, the RPG has moved more or less away from the tabletop and onto the computer and the audience has graduated from adolescent boys to people of all ages and genders. Why, then, do so many FRPGs still feature women wearing outfits whose purpose would be better served in the bedroom than on the battlefield.  The whole purpose of armor and clothing, after all, is to protect the body.

Women who fight in some of these ridiculous outfits have more or less painted a large bulls-eye right in the middle of their chests and, in some cases, on their legs and torsos.  For an adventurer just starting out, this woman must be feeling extremely confident in her fighting abilities or else she just got conned by the armorer or her tailor and someone needs to talk to her, preferably before she goes into battle for the first time.

I know these stereotypes have been around for a long time and I know why, too.  Because that’s what sells.  However, companies who
do this are losing more than half of today’s audience, many of whom are females who know perfectly well that wearing a chain-mail bikini should probably only be done after writing out your suicide note.

If teenage boys want to see adventurous women dressed in what basically amounts to nothing more than stripper outfits, let them look elsewhere for them.  In the meantime, can’t you please show the rest of us that you respect our intelligence by not making the female PCs look like a medieval version of Barb Wire?  Please?  I promise you, your sales will jump and so will your self-respect.


Julie Pratt

Wife, Mother, and Gamer Goddess.