MMORPG’s are known for one thing: Substance.
Since so many MMORPG’s rely on the subscription model (or at least, are designed with subscriptions in mind), it’s a developers job to keep players entertained for months upon months on end, keeping their game updated with new things to do so players don’t get bored. But there comes a point, inevitably, where any devoted player of a MMORPG finds themselves short on things to do: when you've done all the quests and leveled five different characters to max level, got on the leaderboards in PvP, know all the raids backwards and forwards…
But they can’t leave; all their friends are on this game, and that new update will be here ANY DAY NOW, so what are they supposed to do? Make their own fun! And that generally means dancing naked in front of other players.
Ah, yes, naked avatars — from the naked dungeon runs of Ultima Online…
…to the exposed behinds of those bootylicious Granok in WildStar, the only pictures I found of which were decidedly not appropriate for this website.
Indeed, as long as there has been boredom and armor in MMO’s, there have been people stripping out of their armor to run about in their skivvies, hooting like some coked-out barn owl. Let’s take a moment, now, to appreciate some of the finer examples of naked avatars and the underwear they employ in the long, fascinating history of MMORPG stripping.
World of Warcraft: Tauren are not hung like horses
Whether you’re in an RP Server loitering around Goldshire or you’ve got your hands on some X-Ray specs, you’ve probably had the opportunity at some point in your World of Warcraft career to see just about every race naked. But of all the Night Elf panties and Goblin boxers you’ve seen, there’s one race that stands head and shoulders above the rest: the Tauren.
Just look at that.
Really let it sink in. Burn the image into your mind until you see it in your dreams.
We’ve got this hulking cow creature, with arms the size of totem poles and horns so phallic they might be the only reason the game has a T rating, a chest so broad it could be hollowed out and be used as a preschool… with absolutely no Netherwyrms in his Great Dark. No Great Destroyer in his Deepholm. No… Malfurion in his Emerald Dream? Whatever, point is, he has nothing downstairs.Seriously, either war-bound Taruen cut off their own wangs to prevent Gnomes from exploiting the one weak spot they could conceivably reach, or they’re so poorly endowed they’re studied by physicists as the only two-dimensional objects in the known universe.
Look, I get why Blizzard couldn't go around giving the Tauren a cow-penis appropriately sized compared to their species of reference, but to just remove it entirely strikes me as a bit of an overreaction. A bit like worrying your baby’s first word might be a swear, so you remedy that by sewing their mouth shut.Yeah, it solves the problem, but it also cruel, painful to look at, and will result in outside intervention by concerned third parties.
Yeah, wishful thinking, buddy.
Age of Conan: Boobies!
Look, if there’s one dependable, reoccurring theme of the entire Conan mythos, it’s boobs.
It’s an element they preserved admirably in Age of Conan, where both men and woman alike make a point of covering the organs actually used in sex and very little else. Heck, with as flat and thin as her bikini bottom is, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just painted on… or, alternatively, she was just very creative about how she shaved her pubes. Point is, in the hyper-sexualized world of bloodshed and sex of Age of Conan, it should be no surprise that their approach to underwear is “none”.
So one can hardly fault the team at Funcom for half-assing it. But hey, speaking of half-assing…
Firefall: Are you kidding me?
Enough said. I guess Firefall's philosophy is all about one-ness of self: when that mine you stepped on goes off, you’ll have one leg, one arm… just, one side of your entire body left.That’s one way to achieve balance, I guess.
The Secret World: Nipple Tassels
So you join a secret society in The Secret World and after becoming one of the world’s most elite operatives, dedicate yourself to fighting the great, evil unknowns of the world, and the ancient, mysterious organization with world-changing agendas that spans through generations who hired you hands you a weapon, a suit, a tie, and two smiley-face stickers.
“What are the stickers for?” You ask, trying to remain as professional as possible in front of your superiors, who have faced down abominable horrors beyond the scope of human imagination.
“They’re for your nipples.” They stoically reply, waiting expectantly for you to slap them on. And what are you supposed to do, refuse?
After all, what’s the point of shooting Cthulhu in the face if you can’t do it looking as ridiculous as possible?
Guild Wars 2: Completely Pointless Censorship
Now, there’s actually an in-game reason why the Sylvari, the Guild Wars 2 plant race, have sex organs: they quite literally copied humans, which is why a race that doesn’t reproduce and doesn’t have children have breasts, but I want to take a moment to appreciate how worthless their version of underwear is.
For one thing: they’re covering themselves with more plants. That’s the Buffalo Bill school of body shame right there, if you think about it.But secondly, why do they feel the need to cover their chests up in the FIRST place?Because unless they’re also producing milk, they shouldn't have nipples. And without nipples those boobs are just two lumps of wood on the chest, no more or less offensive than this:
Thirdly: what’s keeping the leaves on their crotch and butt in-place? The way I see it, there are two possibilities. Either A) They’re using tree sap or some equivalent, which is way more sexual than a plant is supposed to be, or B) the leaves are actually their version of pubic hair. Which makes the leaves covering their chest all the more creepy.
The Elder Scrolls Online: “The Boring”
Look at this.
Yep, that’s a perfectly functional set of underwear on a respectfully proportioned character. Nothing wrong or spectacular about this, right? Right. And that’s the problem. Look, we go to MMORPG’s to escape the mundane, boring, everyday reality of our lives. We go to visit fantastical worlds with monsters and magic that feel alive and vibrant and full of wonder: and here we strip down our Elder Scrolls Online characters to find, what, they’re wearing NORMAL underwear? I have to wear NORMAL underwear in real life, and from 22 years of underwear-wearing experience I can say with authority it is not an enchanting, enriching experience at all! Damn RIGHT this is an error!
These people should be wearing underwear out of dragon skin and sewn together with bear fur. They should be wearing underwear that improves their sneak skill by cradling their balls so comfortably they never have to shift positions to adjust the boys. They should be wearing underwear that could double as a two-handed weapon if you were to wrap it around a nicely-sized stick. But instead all we get is this—they should have a word with some secret societies, I’m sure they have some stickers that would spice this up nicely.
Second Life: Pay Per Genitals
And what kind of article about underwear in MMORPG’s would this be without a nod for Second Life? Now, second life is a lot of things: virtual playground, hentai reenactment simulator, subject of a hilariously bad CSI episode… but of all the things it is, one of the most profound is its ability to take just about anything (ANYTHING) and take it to the most logical extreme, as imagined in the wet dreams of Adam Smith.
There is literally nothing you cannot buy in Second Life… which is startlingly similar to First Life, actually. You can buy underwear…
…and even penis. Yes, any penis you could possibly dream.
And really, once you buy that collection of high-definition underwear, what CHOICE do you have but to drop L$ 175 on a virtual wang to hide behind it? You’re in too deep, man, there’s no backing out when you get to this end of the abyss. So either go big or go home — and incidentally, for an extra 50 bucks, you could probably make your penis so big it could double as your home.
Oh, and don’t worry, ladies — there’s nothing sexist about these virtual penises. You, too, can get the dick of your dreams if you’re willing to pay enough. Heck, you can even bring your childhood fantasy of becoming a unicorn to life if you’re unorthodox with your placement. Then, you’ll have the opportunity to wear underwear on your head, and your entire body will be one step closer to perfect horizontal symmetry.
I’m pretty sure that’s the latest fashion trend, right?