the banality of fantasy

(from Idealizing Fantasy Bodies, at the Iris Network)

i hate to admit it, but i play a fair amount of world of warcraft. i’m not ashamed that i enjoy the game – it really is a great way to connect with friends across the country – its just… i feel like i fell in with the wrong crowd. wow gamers are notoriously sexist. and homophobic (not only by player behavior – even game design and blizzard’s treatment of LBGT guilds plays a role).

i find it ironic that fantasy is often a conservative genre, playing with narrow concepts of history and tradition. history, to me, is a robust place, filled with forgotten possibilities. even supposedly simple traditions are the product of diversity that was pruned as a narrow approach won out. it is honestly a shame that these carryover stereotypes go unchallenged.

take the bodies of characters in world of warcraft. it is fairly clear that the designers chose to make models that fit ‘idealized’ human forms. bulky men. hourglass women. even the non-human fantasy races follow these roles – completely ignoring the diversity of body forms between males and females in the animal kingdom, or even the varying gender roles of men and women in human history.

if even our dreams and fantasies are so constrained, what hope is there for our lives?

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One Response to “the banality of fantasy”

  1. Lola Lyndon Says:

    So these are like “before and after” shots of re-vamped characters?

    Man… they’re really trying to sex it up, aren’t they?

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