Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I should be mad but I’m not

I should be mad. I really should.

When I think about it I must agree with Green Armadillo at Player versus Developer. The concept of the “Shake your Bunny-Maker” achievement IS an example of objectification of women. You can’t come around the association to Playboy ears – even though the tail is missing – and this is emphasised by the “age limit” put at level 18.

But no matter how I try I can’t work up any real rage. Probably I’m too used to it. This is how society looks like; it’s just how things are. So I’ll let Green Armadillo stand for the serious side of this and throw myself into the play, ignoring what it represents. Because to be honest: I think those ears are just adorable! At least on a pink pigtailed gnome – they look absolutely natural and adds some more cuteness to her. (I didn’t think it was possible, but it is.)

Clicking until nausea
I can’t say that I adored the egg-hunt as an achievement. I switched between the methods. Sometimes I camped a strategic spot with several spawn points within reach. Sometimes I grew too bored and ran around in circles, constantly spamming my rush buff to speed it up. That was a little bit more fun, even though it didn't give as many eggs. But no matter of method this event was most of all about clicking and clicking and clicking until nausea. Winner was the one who didn’t get cramp in the mouse arm. You didn’t just have to collect the eggs. You also had to loot them and to some extent eat what was inside.

Some players tried to make it a bit more convenient, making up a script to do it automatically. That could be treacherous though. I spoke to one of the readers of PPI who plays at the same server as me. Suddenly there was a bitter exclaim from him. He had just realized that he had kept eating every chocolate egg he looted for the last half hour, even though he already had completed the eat-100-chocolates-achivement. He had forgotten about the script he had made….

Bunny ear hunt
In that perspective, the bunny-ear-thing felt like a blessing, something else but eggs to worry about. And it requested you to leave your chosen egg camp for a while. Since people didn’t bother about clicking away the buff, it was quite impossible to tell which race and gender all of those pink bunnies were. It was better to head to one of the capital cities for that part.

But one player actually did something about it. He sent out a question in general, asking if there was any female gnome around that he could put bunny ears on. And I was happy to answer him: “Yes, catch me if you can!” Then I took off my rabbit costume, used my egg rush ability and started to run around all over the place, sometimes crouching in a bush (they’re perfect hiding places for a gnome and you can giggle at all the people who try to loot you, thinking that your pigtails are eggs) .

A minute later there came a happy exclamation: “Got’ya!” and I found myself wearing another couple of extra ears. I smiled happily at him before I took up the hunt for my last few treasures.

Teasing the raid leader
Now I’m so done and over with this event. I don’t want to see another egg. Ever. I’ve got my title and I gathered the extra 100 eggs to get the new polymorph. It’s not necessary to have in any way, it is all about vanity, but I as a gnome mage I just feel the urge to learn whatever spell I may come across. It’s in our nature.

In a few days the eggs will despawn and a new mad rush will start for The Children's Week. We’ll see as many orphans around as we saw bunnies before.
But I don’t think Noblegarden is quite over yet. We’ll live with those ears for a little bit longer. The Spring flowers won’t despawn, as far as I know. While we were setting the best strategy for the rather difficult Auriaya pull in Ulduar, people started to amuse themselves by putting bunny ears on the bald head of our gnomish raid leader. That wasn’t a pretty sight, to put it mildly. But it surely annoyed the hell out of him, which of course made it a lot more fun. The question is: how many ears can you put on a rl before he kicks you from the raid? Who will be the one to cross the limit? That remains to be seen.

All I know is that I don’t mind wearing those bunny ears. I see the problem, but I love them too much to care. Feel free to use your spring flowers whenever you see me. I look great in them.


Tessy said...

A lot of the seasonal activities in WoW is pretty objectifying, just look at the difference in the Winter Veil outfits for example, the male one is decent cover-all body suit, while the female one is a red fur-lined bikini.

A tip if you want to have amuse yourself while strategising without risking a kick from the raid is to use Baby Spice on the boss, many of the huge evil-looking ones look absolutely adorable when small :-)

Carra said...

Someone gave me bunny ears when I was walking in Dalaran yesterday. I looked sooo cute I just had to take a screenshot. And yes, any adult can see that "putting bunny ears on a level 18+" is a sexual innuendo. Children won't notice it though. And I look soo cute!

And I feel the need to rectify your post a bit. I think getting eggs at nausea isn't much fun. Because I could just write a script that lets my mouse move and right click when the cursor changes. I didn't write that script however, I just think that any activity that can be automated with a hundred lines of code is too simple to be fun. Fishing would be another example.

As for the chocolates, I just logged in and started getting eggs and eating chocolates. Because I was sure I still had to eat about 30 eggs to get my achievement. When I didn't get it after a while, I checked my achievements and I already did it the day before and forgot about it.

Not that it all matters much, it just makes me wonder about the things we actually say and the things that others hear.

@Tessy. "without risking a kick from the raid". The last time one of our members used baby spice on Patchwork the offtanks weren't in range anymore. Melee DPS got hammered and a wipe was caused.

*vlad* said...

There's nothing better than turning your raid leader into a bat, shrinking them, throwing a snowball at them, and 'bunnying' them.
Throwing rocks and balls or haunted mementoes, also works a treat!

Green Armadillo said...

The concern with the ears is that not all participants are going to be as happy to participate. The ones who are can have a ton of fun with it. The problem is that there's no way to tell which ones don't care and which ones are actually hurt or offended. I'm glad that you at least had a good time with it. :)

Arcsis said...

I'm with Larisa, At first I was thinking "Wow, Blizz way to be subtle..." but once I saw how cute the ears are, it was ok with it. (I too, am a pink pigtailed gnome mage ^_^) I didn't get the lvl 18 requirement at first, I was so wrapped up in reading all the achievements & such. Now that I have my new poly & bunny pet, all is well. :)

Carra said...

@Green Armadillo.

Judging by this three men sample we can safely assume that all pink pigtailed gnomes love to have those ears. Just those them on us and you won't offend anyone :)

Kimberly said...

I was disappointed in the objectification, too. I think there's not more outcry because we're just used to it. We shrug and say, "What do you's a man's game?" even though it's our game too.

What upsets me most is that one moment you're a hero & the next moment you're a sexual punchline. Without opting in, I might add. I wonder how the RP servers played it.

I hope this part of Noblegarden fades away by next year.

Larísa said...

@Tessy: oh yes. I've never found any plesure in running around in that outfit. Only did it for the achievement

@Carra: ah... thank you for the clarification! Blame my bad knowledge in English :)

@Vlad: I wouldn't dare use any stuff on our rl. not just because things may screw up unexpectedly (as Carra pointed out), but also because I think he deserves to be able to focus on his leading assignment.

@Green Armadillo: yeah, there's a bit of that piccolo trinket over the whole thing. I DO have a problem with it from one point of view. But not enough to feel true rage.

@Arcsis: yep, I got the full set too! Pet, poly and achievement. Only thing I never got was the dress, but tbh I'm not sad about that, it would only take space in my bags.

: I wonder if they'll be smart enough to make it even, making up something similar involving men..? Probably not.

Rosin said...

I expect one of the reasons for having a level requirement for the achievement was to prevent people from making level 1 alts of the needed race/class and parking them in Dalaran, as has been done for previous events.

Fitz said...

Noblegarden was a nice diversion for a couple hours on Sunday when I was reviewing documents offline and could sit in front of the computer and click every once in a while. However, as an achievement-hunter and a full participant in every holiday event since I hit 80 (Winter's Veil), I have to say this was not all that enjoyable. I don't even care about competing for eggs and the whining that comes with such activities, but the sheer fact is the best part of the holiday was traveling around to 5 deserts. Yuck. Children's Week looks a lot more engaging and challenging.

Of course the timing was unavoidable with the patch, but it annoys me that there's only 8 holiday events and yet Noblegarden and children's Week overlap just as Love In The Air and Lunar Festival overlapped. Is it that hard to space these things out?

As for the main point of this entry, I'm a guy so I guess I have little voice in the IRL females being offended. However, I feel that by playing a MMORPG you already sort of "opt-in" to whatever happens in it. If you really would be offended by the bunny ears, then you have alternatives: don't play this one week, play on male alts, etc. I know these solutions are not perfect, but the worst thing that has ever happened to our society is the enforced political correctness. I'm not for being crude, but there's a limit where being PC becomes ridiculous.

Blizzard made a not-so-subtle joke or jab with this achievement text. I laughed a little when I read the achievement text and I appreciate the efforts to make most of us laugh, because you'll risk offending someone no matter what you do.

Oh and one more note, has anybody figured out exactly what Old Spice is good for? Baby Spice is fun to play around with on bosses and DK's walking on the Dalaran fountain when I'm fishing, but I cannot seem to figure out Old Spice.

applecaked said...

I will admit that I sighed and rolled my eyes when I saw the "level 18" on the achievement. But also like you, I just had to rain and bear it, because we have gotten used to things like this, sadly.

However, even though the bunny ears are very Playboy bunny, I feel as if I have skipped right over the innuendo into cute, because as a gnome wearing the Elegant dress with the ears? I really do look like a bunny.

Kiryn said...

"The question is: how many ears can you put on a rl before he kicks you from the raid? Who will be the one to cross the limit? That remains to be seen."

After the Lunar Festival, so many people had those lunar stones left over that it became something of a tradition in my weekly raid for three or four people to put spotlights in the center of Kel'Thuzad's circle right as we ran in. I happily contributed, and as the weeks went by, my raid leader became more and more annoyed. Luckily, we all ran out of lunar stones before he really started kicking people for it.

@Rosin: That's what I assumed too. I would totally have my BF make level 1 alts just so that I can finish up the achievement, so they picked a higher number that would take enough time to get to that you'd be better off just finding someone else. I don't see the fact that they made it level 18 to be objectifying, I even giggled a little bit at the reference myself. I just don't see what's so bad about it, I guess.

Tristan said...

I don't think Blizzard is being specifically malicious >_>

candy said...

If I got mad about the achievement then I'd have to be outraged about the chain mail lingerie too...ersonally, I think the bunny ears are darn adorable on my undead lady. And I liked running around as a shadow bunny.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

@Fitz: I use Old Spices to tell people the stink .....

@being mad or not: The only way you can objectify a woman is to treat her as an object. (therefore the term).

Thing is there are plenty of women who think their toons look "hot" and LIKE the armor.

The deal is, if you like people looking at you or you don't.

I enjoy being looked at, and I like the sexy outfits. I even love the warpaint armor (the one that looks like booty shorts) on my orc warrior alt, especially cause of how it makes him look.

So is the bunny ears objectifying women ... no, you can use it on all people.

Is the achievement objectifying women, yes, because it says to put bunny ears on girls, but it's NOT because of the 18th level limit. That's a joke the could have been used if it was males as well.

@Larisa: Maybe they'll make a sexy guy only thing for Summer Festival?

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