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Comments and WOW!

2009 March 29
by Cat Durante

I just wanted to start by stating an opinion I’ve had since Monday when we discussed the genre of A Handmaid’s Tale. I believe it was Maddie who said she thought the novel really didn’t place an emphasis on giving the reader a “warning” of sorts. She did mention the fact that environmental rights were talked about but nothing more to a greater degree (I’m sorry if I’m misquoting here but I believe this was the idea). I disagree with this. I found A Handmaid’s Tale inundated with messages of caution for women from Offred thinking about “the way it was” to the in-depth conversations that take place with Offred’s mother. I saw Atwood telling us to not take our freedom for granted. The smallest liberty such as nail polish is dwelled upon with Atwood letting us know that this type of environment is not completely fabricated. I could be alone in feeling this theme but I believe this lynchpin is an essential topic in the book.

As for what I really want to talk about, I think this is pretty cool. One of my best friends is an avid WOW player, or for those of you not familiar, World Of Warcraft. It’s a computer game in which you design a character from the available wizards, warlocks, shamans and other mythical creatures available and your goal is to fulfill a number of quests to gain levelship. I spoke to him the other day when I saw him playing a female character. I asked him why he chose to do so. He went on to discuss how he was so excited that the geniuses at WOW decided to create a “gender-change” program where you’re character can remain exactly the same but is either changed to male or female depending on preference. I thought this was so fascinating and relevant to the blog that I asked him to express his views on why he had his character changed to female. He stated that he felt the female characters were given more “style” with the outfits chosen showing more skin so men would like to see their characters move around on screen. He said the change had nothing to do with ability, female characters really aren’t stronger in any way, it’s just for eye candy. I’d like to know what other men think whose characters have undergone gender surgery. I think the answer is deeper than my friend provided.

2 Responses
  1. March 30, 2009

    Many more men I know who play WoW choose female characters than women choose male characters. I do think that the female characters are just more interesting looking in general that the male ones. Some are fairly stereotypically female, but not all, while I think the male characters tend to look very much the same and very stereotypically male. I think we’ll be seeing some discussion about this phenomena later in the course. I can’t remember if it comes up in the reading, but if it doesn’t, we should definitely explore it.

  2. Baibh Cathba permalink
    March 31, 2009

    I have a lot of interest in this topic. Personally I know a few women who game as men. It’s cool ^_^ (Although, two women who game as men are gay… wonder if that means anything)

    (I have a male priest… they have a standard priest uniform, and so he’s shoulderless dressed. Seen here)

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