essay 5 - Kevin Phipps Mickey Casad Essay 5 Gender in World...

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Kevin Phipps Mickey Casad April 13, 2009 Essay 5 Gender in World of Warcraft As I glide majestically over the scourged plains of Azeroth on my blood-red dragon, whilst casting spells on all that dare to cross me, I am struck by the implications that World of Warcraft has pertaining to gender. Scantily clothed night elfin women sway lustily in the warm city air as muscle clad males stare longingly, wishing to deflower their very being. Whether I was battling the spider monsters of Lethon or the humanoid bear beasts of Tichondrius, gender remained a persistent and important theme. From the time that picks up the game to the epic time that one reaches a level eighty, gender plays basically the same role. In order to discover the way in which World of Warcraft represents gender, I conducted an especially thorough investigation of the character customization allowed by the game, as well as the visual depictions of characters in the city of Iron Forge. The character creation screen at the beginning of the game presented the various options encountered when creating a character. Being a diverse area with many experienced players, Iron Forge was the perfect place to inspect the variety of character’s appearances. By comparing the possibilities of characters with the actual choices that players made when creating their avatars, insight was given as to where the majority of the gender representations result from. Many argue that World of Warcraft creates a gender neutral world where anyone can play without any pressures put on them due to their gender, while some others claim that the world is highly sexist and possibly furthers the gender gap in videogames. After performing a systematic
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investigation of the character customization and visual appearance of the characters, it became clear that the game presents the opportunity for a gender-free world where people can escape; however, many players in the game use the character customization in ways that cause the world to become sexualized, implying that players are the cause of sexualized images and not the game designers. Logically, it makes the most sense to begin the investigation of World of Warcraft in the beginning with the first item seen: the box. The cover for the game depicts two characters: a male dwarf is offset to the bottom-right of the cover while a larger, female elf is in the center. This very first image of the game proves that the game does not conform to standard videogame
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This note was uploaded on 09/18/2010 for the course COM L 1126 taught by Professor Casad during the Spring '09 term at Cornell.

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essay 5 - Kevin Phipps Mickey Casad Essay 5 Gender in World...

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