comScore
  1. Mediaite
  2. Gossip Cop
  3. Geekosystem
  4. Styleite
  5. SportsGrid
  6. The Mary Sue
  7. The Maude
  8. The Braiser

What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Essay

For Anyone Still Wondering, Yes, Women Can Wear Full Armor, Too


If you go to the “Female Armor” page on the WoW Wiki, you’ll find a very silly statement. To quote:

Female armor tends to cover less than does male armor. Though there are many people who see this as mere fanservice, there are real, practical reasons behind it. First, females are statistically less muscular than males, and depend more on agility and cunning than raw strength in combat, thus lightweight armor makes more sense.

Now, the WoW Wiki knows that this argument is silly. It’s part of a series of satirical articles and says “This is a silly article” at the top. That got a smirk out of me when I saw it, but it also reminded me of the times that I’ve come across people actually trying to use this argument in a non-silly way. It comes up as a justification for why female characters shouldn’t get full armor or big weapons, or even as a counter-argument to those of us who would like to see more equal treatment for female player characters (and NPCs, too). To portray anything otherwise, these people say, is unrealistic.

Rather than dismissing this offhand, I’d like to take this opportunity to break down why this rationale doesn’t fly. It’s time to put a few dents in that idea’s armor. Unravel a few threads. Cut a few holes in the — okay, okay, I’ll stop.

If we’re going to talk about realism, we’ve got to start with biology. It’s true that, on average, men are larger and have more muscle mass than women. Of course, male muscle tissue is no different than female muscle tissue; men just have more of it. So even if a man and a woman engage in the same strength training exercises, the man is still probably going to be able to lift more weight and move faster. Now, this doesn’t mean that men are physically superior to women. That’s an assigned cultural value, which I will come back to later. The muscle mass thing is merely a biological difference, just as women tend to have stronger immune systems and an advantage in long-term resilience. To put it in gaming terms, men have a natural Strength bonus, women have a natural Constitution bonus. And as every gamer knows, there are no base stats that are inherently better than others. It all depends on what things you want your character to be able to do.

To continue the analogy, a character’s base stats don’t matter as much as the skills and abilities you train in — which is how real life works, too. The cool thing about that identical muscle tissue I mentioned is that it reacts to physical exertion in exactly the same way, regardless of gender. Take a look at these awesome images from The Athlete, a photoshoot by Howard Schartz and Beverly Ornstein. The photographers captured Olympic athletes of all sizes and shapes, and the result is a gorgeous look at physical diversity across genders. I don’t see anything here indicating that women somehow have a natural proclivity towards “agility and cunning.” What I see are people who have trained for very specific tasks, and it’s clear from these pictures that Mother Nature doesn’t particularly favor one gender over the other in that regard. There are a few women in there who could handle wearing full plate — and a few men who look like they’d be more comfortable in light, flexible armor.

At heart, I don’t think the Silly Armor Argument is really about biology. I think it’s got everything to do with the sorts of activities that we are culturally comfortable with women participating in. This is why there are so, so many games which only show female characters as healers or ranged classes. We’re totally okay with women acting as caretakers, but if a woman must act violently, we’d rather have her do so from a detached distance. Women, we’re taught, aren’t supposed to brawl. We’re not supposed to get bloody and muddy and bruised. This is why it is more rare, out here in the real world, to find women who are soldiers or professional athletes. It’s not because we can’t learn to rough-and-tumble as the boys do. It’s because we’re not encouraged to do so. I suppose that one could argue that the difference in size and strength might make more women inclined to seek out combat roles that did not involve physical contact. But just because some might doesn’t mean that all will (case in point: the US Army women participating in cage matches).

Let me jump back to physical ability for a moment. I actually know a little bit firsthand about what it takes to wear a suit of armor. Many moons ago, I used to work at a renaissance faire. Because my particular faire was big on historical accuracy, none of the female performers could wear armor. However, most men didn’t either. The men who did wear armor could only do so as a result of lots of practice. One time, I asked an acquaintance if I could try on his chain mail hood — just the hood, mind you, not even a full shirt. I slipped it on, and immediately had difficulty holding my head up normally. Then I took it off and handed it to my male friend. He had the exact same reaction. Even though he was bigger than me, he hadn’t been trained to carry that sort of weight. Now, if we had both trained, it’s highly likely that he’d wear a larger, heavier set of mail in the end. But I’d still be able to wear a set of my own, so long as it was crafted to suit my body.

And that’s where it gets tricky. Because male and female bodies do work a bit differently, they require differently tailored armor. This is the crux of the Silly Armor Argument, but what it ignores are the kinds of differences that make sense. Smaller armor and lighter materials? Good. Easy access to vital organs? Not so good. There’s nothing that says that in order for armor to be lightweight that it has to be drastically different in design. This was recently addressed in an article by Ryan at Mad Art Lab, who is, in fact, an actual armorer.

Plate armor is the way it is largely out of necessity. The layout and articulations of the plates are the best solutions the designers could come up with to balance mobility with protection. Also, note that nobody was naked under their armor. There was a ton of padding between the metal and the flesh that absorbed the energy of the blows. That means the difference between male and female plate armor is relatively trivial because once you’ve padded it out and left space for movement, you’ve all but erased the figure of the person inside…However, artists aren’t always going for practicality or historical relevance. Style will often trump practicality in costume design.

That’s what fantasy armor design ultimately comes down to: artistic choice. In a fantasy setting, a character’s appearance should reflect not just their role in the game, but what culture they’re from and who they are as a person. It’s much more of a costume than a practical piece of equipment. As I mentioned last week, the preview material for Diablo III does a great job of this with the male and female models for the Barbarian class.

In my eyes, this is damn near perfect. I can tell that these two are from the same culture, and that they perform similar tasks. Some of the style differences are obviously inspired by gender, but in such a way that feels both realistic and artistically appropriate. The male Barbarian is carrying more weight than the female, but in terms of realism, that makes sense. These are two characters who can do the same things, just in slightly different ways. Exactly how it should be.

Since some of you are already probably thinking it, no, most male fantasy armor isn’t terribly realistic, either. I highly doubt that anyone dressed like a small piece of artillery would be able to fight for extended periods of time, regardless of what sort of training they have. But when people complain about female armor, it’s not typically a lack of realism that we’re bothered by. It’s the fact that male characters are overwhelmingly portrayed as power fantasies while women are portrayed as sexual fantasies (if you’re not clear on the difference, this comic has you covered). Now, I’d like to stress that I don’t see anything inherently wrong with sexualized characters. There’s a time and a place for that, and hey, if you like dressing up your game characters — of any gender — in sexy clothes, that’s fine by me. But this sort of imposed sexual dimorphism has been the rule rather than the exception for way too long. If we’ve gotten to the point where people are so accustomed to scantily clad women that they argue that women as a whole aren’t suited for anything else, there’s a problem.

So here’s my honest question for anyone who uses the Silly Armor Argument. You, O Hypothetical Person, claim to believe that women wearing full armor in a combat scenario is unrealistic. Okay. I’ll set aside every contrary point I’ve just laid out and let you have that. But let’s look at all of the other stuff that games often ask you to accept at face value:

  • Magic or psychic abilities
  • Fighting while carrying dozens of items, which may include books, large sacks of gold, or rocket launchers
  • Aliens, monsters, and/or zombies
  • Casual resurrection
  • Buster Swords

Out of all of these things, the thing that you can’t accept on grounds of realism is the idea that women aren’t as physically strong as men? Why? No, I’m serious, why? If you’re willing to suspend disbelief for everything else, then I have to conclude that you don’t really care about realism. If you don’t care about realism, then you’re acknowledging that games are a fantasy. And if games are a fantasy…why do the women in them have to be sexy? Why can’t they be powerful, too? Why is it somehow sacrilege to tell more than one kind of story?

If you prefer your female characters to be uniformly sexualized, you have every right to feel that way, even though I don’t share that view. But own it. Call it what it is. Don’t try to pass it off as realistic, and don’t claim that the alternative — fully-covered or even non-gendered armor — makes less sense. And if you find yourself trying to justify skimpy armor in terms of biology even though your real reason for liking it is simply because you find it sexy, then let me ask one more question: Why do you feel the need to hide that viewpoint at all?

Image credit: Sang Han (fluxen), via Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor.

Becky Chambers is a freelance writer and a full-time geek. She blogs over at Other Scribbles.

TAGS: | | |


  • Kath

    What you need to remember for female armour is this:
    Boob armour is a joke. An absolute joke.

    The only difference between male and female armour should be the fit, and by that I mean female armour should be stylistically similar (as the example from Diablo 3 shows), but be made for the more lithe (generally) female build, but ‘standard’ armour can be worn with a bit more padding. Unless the woman is hugely busty, standard armour types should easily accommodate the bust with no issue.

    Other than that, any difference is completely and utterly unnecessary, even taking other aspects into question – magic, extreme swords and so forth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=607464418 Rusty Patti

    Excellent post. I can’t wait for a certain “maid” to make her appearance on Game of Thrones. And I hope she gets to keep her morningstar – about as “non-rangey” a weapon as you can get.

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    I used to be in SCA, and there are a few women fighters there. Once in armor, you can’t tell the gender, and they hit just as hard (or harder!) as the guys. No one in SCA would ever wear armor that didn’t protect everything as well as it could, and that means it mostly looks genderless. 

    Here’s a great example: http://her-sca-blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/lamellar-armor.jpg

  • Anonymous

    While I may agree or disagree with the points made in the bulk of this article, it doesn’t matter because the final point is dead on. If we can believe in magic and elves and dwarves why not believe that women can wear heavier armor? I understand that men make up the vast majority of players of these games and that means they will always be catered to, but I don’t think that it would be technically or financially difficult to add some more options for women who don’t want to run into battle dressed as Slave Leia. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R6ODYVHCB23JAQC33NPS5RLUN4 Kifre

    You know, as a woman who’s done some re-enactment and worn full armor (or as close to it as I can scrounge b/c let’s be serious, real armor ain’t cheap)…I can’t deal with mansplainers who insist that women just can’t wear full armor.  Not only can it be worn, but it can be worn functionally.  The only reason to hold otherwise is, I agree, to have a lot of preconceived notions about the subject.

    Also, hello desktop picture of redhead in full plate! 

  • Anonymous

    Here here! Great article, now if only more people would listen could have a Wonder Woman who wouldn’t be prone to wardrobe malfunctions.

  • Feklar Fourtytwo

    Actually, there are significant differences in male and female musculature. The simple way to put it is women have more slow-twitch, fatigue resistant muscles, while men have more fast-twitch, higher power muscles. http://ajpendo.physiology.org/content/287/6/E1125.full.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1590008675 Wolf SilverOak

    Dear WoW creators- Skyrim did it right, female armor that covers EVERYTHING, looks good (I’m partial to the ebony myself) and is still functional as well. So. Next excuse?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1232957605 Leah Nardo

    I’m 6’0″ and 180 lbs of mostly muscle.  I can bench more than most men, and I could certainly wear full plate and carry a sword if I wanted to.  Used to be in the military, and can honestly say the men were terrified to face me in combatives.  I can do anything and more that a man can, physically, so I’ll always call bullshit on the ‘women can’t be as strong or fast as men’ argument.  I think a lot of military women would agree with me.  Should like to wear full armor and see how I did. 

  • Kath

    Actually, Blizzard generally aren’t as bad as some. In marketing and pre-WotLK stuff, yeah, some of it’s really questionable, but WotLK had a lot of decent looking stuff.

    Skyrim isn’t 100% perfect, though. That… uh… Falmer Armour? That’s horrible. Steel armour is a bit boob-platey, too.

  • http://twitter.com/zaewen Zaewen

    WoW’s gotten a LOT better about chainkinis as of late, but many of the new generation of MMOs coming out have taken the idea and run off with it. Rift, TERRA, Firefall, and Guild Wars 2 all have huge fascinations with bikini armor. Even SW:TOR has a couple of pieces that magically turn from full robes on men to sports bras on women. 

  • http://twitter.com/clockworkfaerie Avalon

    Oh, hey, because we totally didn’t go all of like four days without an article like this. I’m sure if they’re written enough I might let it be drummed into my head that I’m not allowed to like sexy, flashy armor in fantasy right alongside my full plate, whatever fits the character. Keep on fighting that good fight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=563223409 Vic Horsham

     YES!

    And as this woman shows, even large-breasted women can negate a lot of shape issues with the right padding.

    http://misspixnmix.tumblr.com/post/20113619370/so-i-got-my-new-binder

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think the equivalence is quite as false as Shortpacked suggests: for a lot of boys, the massively muscular physique is seen as the way to get the girls’ attention much in the same way that the buxom hourglass figure is seen by girls as the way to get boys’ attention.  Just look at all the ’70s ads for the Charles Atlas program, where big muscles equates to getting the girls – i.e., being sexually desireable.  Shortpacked turns Batman into Justin Bieber, but isn’t the beefy, brooding Taylor Lautner also highly sought-after man-flesh?

    The problem isn’t design, so much as actions.  Having a curvaceous Wonder Woman is one thing, but having her do a “sexy pose” is another.  That’s why you never get Batman posing like an Abercrombie & Finch model, and Black Widow’s the only character on that Avengers poster that was cocking her hips and posing.  What a character looks like is not nearly as important as how a character acts.

  • Anonymous

    Women can and do fight in full armor all the time in a variety of medieval reenactment groups. I am an sca fighter and i wear 14th century european armor with the same weight and design as my male counterparts.
    I am also a firefighter. The gear worn for structural firefighting is more cumbersome than my armor and weighs about as much but somehow i still manage to do my job. Guys who write bullsh– articles about women’s armor, and the guys who design fantasy armor, have never worn it themselves and probably know very little about how it works in the first place.

  • sheila porter

    I’m a (soon to graduate) game design student, and I have a huge folder of bookmarked articles on games that I keep both for my own reference and to share with friends. Becky, I’ve gotten into the habit of bookmarking your articles before I even read them. You do a wonderful job of eloquently explaining why certain things are a good or bad idea, and I use your stuff all the time to explain problems in the industry to friends when all I can do is rant and splutter incoherently. Thanks so much, and keep up the great work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/derrick.alba Derrick R Alba

    In the game Skyrim, I find most of the armors equally un-sexy across both genders. The Heavy Armor types particularly offer the same look of protection. There are a couple of exceptions, the Daedric Armor set will make both genders look demonic and badass, sort of like Sauron, while the Studded Leather (the armor shown in the trailers, posters and promos) shows mostly equal skin across both genders.

  • Anonymous

    There are types of functional armor that don’t require any breast binding. Coats of Plates and Lamellar are pretty popular with women fighters in the SCA who have larger breasts. 

  • Anonymous

    There are absolutely differences between men and women physically, but to build armor for individuals you can have just as much variance among people of the same gender. You can’t build armor the same way for a guy with a beer gut vs. a tall skinny guy. A full suit of armor is best made tailored to the individual. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-Fitzgerald/100000045257462 Michelle Fitzgerald

    Your argument about it not just being a power fantasy would fly a bit better if comics weren’t so blatantly designed for a narrow view of male sexuality. The reason why so many female characters wear so little is because they’re made to be sex objects first, which is why they are then posed so sexually without a second thought.

    Frankly the vast overwhelming majority of the women I come across don’t like the ultra buff muscle type that you see in comics. Actually, it seems that statistically speaking you’re more likely to find gay men who find it sexually arousing then straight women.

    What a character looks like is still important. Look at the new Starfire. Even if she wasn’t constantly posing and giving me her best porn face she still is dressed in a blatantly sexualized fashion, the posing adds almost nothing to it. Yes the pose makes it worse when the character isn’t dressed as revealingly (though the broken zipper syndrome messes up poor Catwoman all the time).

    You can’t divorce the image the character presents with how the creator chooses to dress them and say it’s not as important as how they pose. The two are tightly connected and both part of the issue The pose is just icing on an already very sexist cake.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-Fitzgerald/100000045257462 Michelle Fitzgerald

    At least in Rift you could choose how to dress your character. I find the people who tend to dress their characters up in chainmail bikinis are either men playing women or women looking for attention. Hey, if that’s what they want, more power to them. What I hate is when a game forces you to wear the bikinis because of the stats and not having the option to wear something that looks different.

    TERRA is easily one of the most sexist things I’ve seen in a looooooooooooong time.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NG643V65ZDLUIAUVI3KFLCJ6WU Jerilyn

    As long as there are longbows, the full plate armor is useless for men and women.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NG643V65ZDLUIAUVI3KFLCJ6WU Jerilyn

    A Celtic-esque society could very well have warriors, male and female, nude in battle.  The Romans said that the male and female Celts they encountered didn’t wear tops, in summer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kalynn-Osburn/100000209378615 Kalynn Osburn

     While I approve of your comment in general, as a woman with 44DDD breasts…yeah boob armor makes sense to me. But that being said, I could also see how a woman with larger breasts might have difficulty with archery or getting in good swings with a great sword.

  • Anonymous

    I have big breasts and do fine in restrictive/protective clothing with a bow/gun/sword. That is not an argument at all my friend. Its somatic patterning and adaptive reasoning with movement. Training is key here and anyone of any build can swing a sword or shoot a bow

  • Anonymous

    Boobs just give more padding between the assailant and the heart

  • Anonymous

    Agreed

  • Anonymous

    Overmuscled men usually shows an over abundance in testosterone which makes for short temper and bad parenting skills. Longer men with a strong yet leaner physique show attributes of estrogen which makes for a more patient and reasonable parent. So acording to biology says big unintelligent man:no, leaner more intellectually stimulating and physically capable man:yes

  • Anonymous

    Overmuscled men usually shows an over abundance in testosterone which makes for short temper and bad parenting skills. Longer men with a strong yet leaner physique show attributes of estrogen which makes for a more patient and reasonable parent. So according to biology: big unintelligent man-no, leaner more intellectually stimulating and physically capable man-yes

  • Kath

    No, armour that accommodates boobs makes sense.

    Boob armour itself is absolutely, positively, undoubtedly the most dangerous thing you can wear in close-combat. If you fall wearing it, and you fall chest first, it can crack your ribcage open, and if someone hits you with a bladed weapon on the boob, it directs the blade (and thus the force) into the centre of your chest.

    I *highly* recommend you read this post, by a blacksmith, on fantasy armour and boobs:
    http://madartlab.com/2011/12/14/fantasy-armor-and-lady-bits/

  • Kath

    There’s also chainmail, which is practical and doesn’t require any change in clothing or undergarments.

  • Kath

    There’s a difference between deconstructing arguments and saying you can’t like something.

    It’s entirely possible to like Frazetta-esque fantasy depictions whilst at the same time realising it’s complete and utter rubbish on any practical level. The argument with most fantasy, however, is that male armour tends to be depicted as reasonable, sensible and above all, practical, whereas women are often shown *in the same armour set* (to use games as the continuing and most prominent example) to wear barely more than Red Sonya.

    You’re allowed to like it, yes, and no-one will deny you that right, *but* its very existence and popularity is a huge issue in fantasy, especially fantasy games.

  • Kath

    Hi Sheila,
    Not sure if you have this article bookmarked, but it may be of some use to you:
    http://madartlab.com/2011/12/14/fantasy-armor-and-lady-bits/

    If you do, it’s always worth a re-read.

  • Kath

    I think with RIFT and TER(R)A in particular is this fascination with JRPG art styles (well, East Asian art styles – can’t forget China & Korea). Final Fantasy tends to be… okay for it, but it’s games like Lineage and a whole host of others go for bikini armour quite a lot.

    As for Guild Wars 2 – really? I have to admit I’ve not been paying much attention to it, but I’ve seen some concept art and it seemed respectful – has that changed in the transition from concept to reality?

    And Firefall is partially written by Orson Scott Card, so we can now completely discount it as a game with any possible redeeming features.

  • http://otherscribbles.com Becky Chambers

    Thank you, Sheila. I really appreciate that. :)

  • sheila porter

    Thanks, Kath!  I’m definitely throwing this in the file.

  • killjoii

    THAAAAAANK YOOOOOU!
    “If you prefer your female characters to be uniformly sexualized, you have every right to feel that way, even though I don’t share that view. But own it. Call it what it is…And if you find yourself trying to justify skimpy armor in terms of biology even though your real reason for liking it is simply because you find it sexy, then let me ask one more question: Why do you feel the need to hide that viewpoint at all?”  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Waggle/656305084 Eric Waggle

    I’m 5’8″ 160lbs with not too much muscle on there.  I’m quick though.  My armor would be lightweight and flexible, yes, but no way in hell would it have a single square inch of exposed skin.  Flexible armor for smaller fighters still needs to have at least some protection for all of a fighters surface area.  A full-body leather/cloth set is miles more protective than a sports-bra of plate.

  • Lettice Peyton

    I was scrolling down to say almost exactly the same thing. Wore full leather/cuir bouilli armor for a couple years in the SCA. Armor that was originally made for a man. Had few mobility issues and agree that it seems that not a lot of research goes into fantasy armor

  • sheila porter

    You’re quite welcome :D

  • Nevaeh Jones

    then let me ask one more question: Why do you feel the need to hide that viewpoint at all?

    http://www.premierclaimsplus.co.uk/

  • http://www.spaceunicorn.net Jayme

    Two things.

    Nowhere in the post does the author say it is not okay to like sexy armor. She is saying that you should just man up and admit that the reason you like it is because it is sexy and not because you mistakenly think women can’t physically wear armor.

    I like it both ways. There’s a time and a place for sexy and I like my high fantasy with some crazy, impossible armor. I also appreciate more “realistic” fantasy. Being for women’s rights and equality doesn’t mean I can’t like a character who likes to go to battle dressed like a tramp as long as she has some personality.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BJ65LLJI6OOKT7NR4SLMWO2XZA Dazee

    I just want the options. I’m playing a game.. it’s pretend… it’s not real. I don’t like it when the female armor equivlant makes my toon look more like a D&D inspired cheerleader.. or worse. But sometimes I do like armor that has a more attractive cut on my toon. On PWI I sometimes love running around in a bikini (they give you clothes options) and beating stuff up, because I find it funny.

    So I always feel like I’m on the fence. Yeah, I want more realistic armor and yeah I still want ‘skimpy’ armor and yeah.. sometimes I even want boob armor I’m just greedy, I want it all. XD

  • Dutch Barracuda

    I’d like to take the opportunity to mention my favourite character in fantasy literature; Captain Angua, who does wear roughly the same armour as her male cohorts in the City Watch, had to have her breastplate hammered out ‘here and here’. Also, when Cheery Littlebottom decides to declare herself female, she visits the same amourer and has her breastplate altered in the same way.
    And while we’re at it, I loved that the TV adaptation of Going Postal had Angua appear in the same battered armour as her fellow Watch officers (rust and everything!), but she was still beautiful, without having to resort to more ‘revealing’ armour (the only thing I object to in Josh Kirby’s illustrations).

  • Anonymous

    “Your argument about it not just being a power fantasy would fly a bit
    better if comics weren’t so blatantly designed for a narrow view of male
    sexuality.”

    That’s exactly what I’m arguing, actually: that the muscular male physique is tied into a narrow view of male sexuality.  Only in this case, the muscular male is being portrayed as the ideal physique all girls are interested in. You bring up the idea that most women you talk to don’t find the hugely muscular physiques attracted – that just cements how narrow that view is, as surely as the depiction of female physiques is exceedingly narrow.  Indeed, the fact that you argue it would be homosexual males who find the physique more appealing suggests this to be a male-centered phenomenon even more.

    Even so, if we’re going by anecdotes, most of the female comic fans *I* know do, in fact, love the hugely buff muscular type.  They aren’t, so far as I know, straight men.  But in any case, this is besides my point, which is that the muscular physique is not purely a power fantasy, but has an element of sexual fantasy too.

    “What a character looks like is still important. Look at the new
    Starfire. Even if she wasn’t constantly posing and giving me her best
    porn face she still is dressed in a blatantly sexualized fashion”

    I’m not denying it isn’t important, just that I think context is more important.  After all, what’s really the difference between a girl in her underwear, and a girl in a bikini?  The same amount of flesh is being displayed, yet only one is only considered appropriate a special public place (the beach/swimming pool) while the other is inappropriate in any public place.

  • Anonymous

    Except studies have shown that the link between testosterone and aggression has been refuted:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091208132241.htm

    I also wasn’t aware that muscular development hinders intellectual stimulation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/windwalkeroldwolf Windwalker Oldwolf

     First if your going to claim equality of gender in combat (which I do believe in),dont use an example that allows women 10lbs over the weight class to fight in a lower weight class. Thats as bad as the step we see in GI Jane for the wall. Ive known several women who fight in armor and depending on materials fit and style do just fin in the same grouping as guys their mass do. Point a good set of plate (horsemans plate mind you) is 70lbs for HEAVY plate. What about half armor for foot (half-plate),the samurai armor of the early period when women such as Tomoe Gozen actually fought on battlefields or the simple breast and back of light infantry? All of which women can wear with no problems and all of which you didnt mention. A good sword that is hand and a half or more likely two handed weghs in at about 3.2lbs to 3.8lbs tops. I know because the guy I get mine from does about 80% of the blades used in the British Civil War Society (their version of renfaire and about as accurate as american civil war folks…and they are insane about accuracy sometimes down to thread pattern) and he says virtually every sword he has seen made or sold here in the US is too heavy. The shortened hand and a half I have from him (H1/2 grip 28 inch to 30 inch blade) is barely 2lbs and about 2 inches wide.It also has a nearly katana sized tang and is peened rather than screw on. My wifes blade is 26 inches of blade with a 1 3/4 inch wide blade and is about a pound and a half maybe a pound and three quarters. Its a common one hander with a mushroom or stopper pommell that she can put a second hand on and has no problem going through cutting mats used as either. A good brigandine or coat of plates can weigh as little as 15 lbs and with splinted bracers and greaves you can be as little as 25lbs of weight. Easily for a female and actually have better coverage than the “barbarian” pics from Diablo III. Sad isnt it?

  • Anonymous

    Bravo!

  • Sabrina

    Guild Wars 2 has a wide spectrum regarding its armour design. You can basically have everything from fully covered practical armour to bikini variants. It’s kinda like they want to make everyone happy or something. I’ve collected a few examples here: http://splinteredshard.tumblr.com/post/18245004268/just-one-of-the-troubles-with-gaming-as-a-girl

  • Kath

    Had a quick flick through.

    Huh. I’d put most of the good in “passable” as they femmed up even the better sets, so there’s a lot of “boob plate” (i.e. plate shaped like a pair of breasts) and corsets going on rather than, well, shaped plate armour.

    Won’t be buying that, then.

    :D

  • Sabrina

    (can’t reply to your other post so I post his here)

    Yeah, the designs are certainly not stellar.
    When I made the post I sorted them with regards to equal cover up not functionality. So yes, if you look for functional armour the “good” category shrinks down to very few examples. :C

    All in all I still think that GW2 is better than other games but then again TERA and the like set the bar so low, it’s ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

    asassaas

  • Anonymous

    Latest Monk Video Preview
    Latest monk video is unlocked?

    Check it out on d3guyz.com/?q=node/1472          

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. It’s the cleavage that’s the problem, directing all the force of a blow to the sternum. If you need room to accommodate boobage, I’ve seen SCA armor with a “uniboob” design, kinda like a sturdy sports bra, that provides real protection without the dangerous cleavage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mdmagnusson Magnus David Magnusson

    Scottish Canoe Association?

  • Anonymous

    this may be slightly off topic but in the Iron Man comics Pepper Potts has (or had, I’m way behind in comics) her own armor called Rescue. She was covered head to toe like Tony but you can still tell it was a woman wearing the armor

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Fisher/1365235779 Jeff Fisher

    These are soldiers not professional athletes, so given the difference in average body composition between men and women that seems like a pretty reasonable way to get competitors with similar muscle mass.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scarletyum Tracy Penner

    You’re link for “the athlete” is broken.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206912113 Carina Erk

    Are there seriously still people honestly asking that question? As a larper, I can only laugh about that – here in Germany, every male and female ‘knight’ will proudly wear his or her (metal) plate armour – and function well in fights, some are even good runners. In whatever style they please.

    I do not begrudge viedeo games offering sexualized options (much), as long as they remain options, without making more realistic/ less nude equipment the exception. Which is, sadly, more of a norm than it should be…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cathy-Burkholder/694910882 Cathy Burkholder

    I like the article in general, but that last paragraph is perfect.  Thank you for so perfectly wording the thought.

  • http://twitter.com/janetlun Janet Lunde

    Here’s a link that works: http://ninamatsumoto.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/athletic-body-diversity-reference-for-artists/#jp-carousel-1862

  • http://www.facebook.com/windwalkeroldwolf Windwalker Oldwolf

    The article is mostly talking about armor but yes it does briefly talk about MMA. Ok lets look at this. Weight classes are just that. If you set one weight for men and one weight for women it opens up a discrimination suit. Bad for business. This is the main reason most legal combat sports with weight limits have it set for different genders. Though to be honest I think Ronda Rousey could probably hold her own in her weight division against either men or women.

  • http://www.facebook.com/windwalkeroldwolf Windwalker Oldwolf

    Lets be brutally honest…its because most guys playing the games want to see T&A. Is it sad…yes. Will it be changed anytime soon? I doubt it sadly. Whats your gear made out of out of curiosity? Ive seen some amazing tempered aircraft aluminum stuff at one point as well as steel.But fear the pickle buckets!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve met a lady who’s probably the smallest adult fighter in the SCA, at 4 feet 7 inches, and maybe 80 pounds. She wears full plate. If it’s well-designed and well-fitted, it doesn’t slow you down that much. Women of all sizes wear (and successfully fight in) all sorts of armor — mail hauberk, lamellar, various Eastern designs, brigandines, and of course articulated plate. It’s much more about the individual than about the gender.