I Want Pecs!

by Lori Ann Curley

"I want games that have more to offer than breasts. I have my own, thanks." -Hilary Doda from her "The Head of Vecna" columns on RPG.net.1

In the Exhibition Hall at Gen Con last summer, I was perusing a new card game from a Nameless Game Company. The game had a mob theme, and molls were a-plenty, especially their cleavage. Men, as usual, were presented fully clothed. Granted, when I complained to the staff of the Nameless Game Company about their lack of beefcake, they pointed to the one male in the booth who would be skinny enough to be model material (the staff of the Nameless Game Company did all the modeling for the card game), and he was about as attractive as Francis Ottoman from PVP.2 I'm not asking for Fabio 3; well, okay, I'm asking for Fabio, but I don't expect him in the next edition of D&D. He would, however, be a major step in the right direction.

I truly believe that if the RPG industry really wants to tap a vast potential market, attention must be paid to Lady Gamers. Yes, the "typical" gamer is male; so is the typical football fan, but even the National Football League (NFL) has started marketing to women. Consider last year's NFL ad during the Superbowl: various coaches, players, and even an owner sang a rousing (if off-key) version of "Tomorrow" from the musical Annie.4 Hilarious and definitely not directed at those with Y-chromosomes. However, my husband will tell you that all of these men sang better than I ever have.

Notice I am not asking for a ban on breasts in RPG materials. I'm not going to take the eye-candy away from the boys. I just want some eye candy, too. Ms. Doda did a semi- scientific study of the images of women vs. the images of men in RPG books, and discovered that while the imagery of women in the RPG industry is improving, it still has a way to go.5 As Doda said, "If I...pick up a new game, the first thing I see is the cover. If I see a massively-breasted woman with impossible proportions... I'm going to put it back without ever reading it." I have to wonder how a man would feel if the cover of the next RPG looked like the cover of a romance novel?

Let's "remember the ladies" and install more beefcake into RPGs.

1: http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/collists/vecna.html

2: http://www.pvponline.com/

3: http://www.fabioifc.com/

4: http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/story/7043746

5: http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/columns/vecna22may01.html

Copyright 2004-2005 The Lady Gamer. All rights reserved.