July 26, 2010

Play for free!

Oh, hey! I found a horizontal version of the ad I mentioned in my previous post. The Mystery of the Sword has been solved!

(Click for a larger picture)

She is indeed holding a sword of her own, and is not being threatened by someone else! Yay, go Independent and Strong Wonder Woman Ripoff!

The independence and strength are of course blown to bits with her grip on the sword, but what the hell. Everyone knows really badass fighters extend their pinky fingers whenever holding a sword! Swordfighting 101, really.

While I was at it ("it" being "disabling adblocker and paying attention to ads for once") I noticed a few other browser RPG ads. And then I started wondering, what would happen if I took 20 minutes and searched the web for all browser RPG/strategy game advertisements I could find. Turns out there is a surprisingly hefty amount of dingy sites that cater to people looking for free online games, and while most of the sites I found were horrible and not particularly helpful, all of them contained plenty of awful ads. So, if anything, at least I have a hefty stock of advertisements to draw on.

Apparently browser games in general and browers RPGs specifically really do get advertised a lot with scantily clad women. Not having tried any of the games I saw advertised, I wonder how much of the "sexy" content shows up in the actual games. If a game is about medievally influenced resource gathering and micromanagement, I'm not entirely convinced the game would have a lot of skimpy outfits and balloon breasts. Who knows.

Anyway. Onwards! To the land of bad fantasy art!
Here's another Caesary ad I found. It's the other half of a screen-spanning background ad. The content of the website was sandwiched between this picture and a bigger version of the muscular male warrior shown in my previous post.

How nice. I wonder how the artist imagined her bosom could actually stay like that... Surely the girdle around her waist (or stomach, really) has to have some magical abilities. Bonus wtf for the dress which seems to be open all the way up to the aforementioned girdle. Must make walking outside during windy days a difficult endeavour.

I also dig the frolicking soldier in the background. It's so utterly random.

That cleavage is quite something, and she even has the weird staple trope of "sexy fantasy" imagery: the v-shaped hip thingomabob, the only function of which seems to be to deliver painful sensations every time the wearer tries to bend, stretch, or in any way do anything that involves something other than standing upright and still.

Ok. Now, say with me: Designing female characters is cool. Adding female characters to your game is cool. Advertising your game with female characters is cool. Advertising your game with slabs of meat is not cool!

Sure, there are two heads there, so it's not only tits and arse. But come, ad-makers, was it honestly the best you came up with? Disembodied parts of female anatomy and a cheesy condescending adphrase. Didn't want to bother with whole women so you cut off the non-essential parts, eh? How nice of you. Besides, I'm not a little creeped out by two heads, an ass and a breast trying to lure me to play with them.

Scantily clad women advertising a free browser RPG. News at 11. At least she's not doing that pinky-extending grip of sword mastery, so yay for that. And I do have to say that out of all the ads I encountered, this was probably the least annoying.

Choice indeed. And all mine, no less!

She does have more clothes than the rest of the women in this entry, so I guess it's an improvement. Still, exposed midriff and pink-ish to boot. The flower on her head is kind of rad. But still, it's a boring picture of a woman, supposed to lure in the male gaze. *yawn*

Just so you don't get the wrong impression, there actually are men in these ads. It seems to be rarer, though, and they usually look like this:

It's a jump to the other end of the spectrum. Gone are the skimpy, wafty clothes and passive attitude. Here comes Lord RAAARGH and his ironclad horse! Extremely little bare skin, and the face is nicely obscured by a voluptous beard. Protip: imagine the horse's mane as a Hitler haircut. The poor animal starts to look really disturbing that way.

I managed to find one exception to the "men don't show skin" rule though!

Interesting how his armour looks essentially very similar to that worn by many female warriors in these ads. His is a lot bulkier but basically the same sort of barely nipple-hiding variety. It's rare to see a female warrior with a helmet, btw. Which is a shame. Muscles and testosterone and WAARGH aside, I actually rather like this advertisement. It stood out from the rest at least.

And then it's back to scantily clad women. This is from Castle of Heroes. It's great how so many of these games are called Noun of Noun, as if calling your game something resembling World of Warcraft would somehow make it magically more desirable.

Sturdy armour on the male, iron bikini on the female. Can't imagine much use for a piece of equipment that protects breasts only from below. Maybe the Heroes of the Castle fight angry Hobbits or something? (Edit: There's of course the possibility that both of the characters are women. I made assumptions based on the prevalent character stereotypes found in these ads. Boo, me. So, I stand corrected! And would love it if the armored person were a female too. Alas, the other graphics of the Castle of Heroes do seem to portray the armoured person as a male... Still, shouldn't assume too much.)

Next up, a real jewel. This is the second half of a background ad, similar to the aforementioned Caesary one. The other half of this ad was a feral female orc in skimpy fur-clothing. The basic stereotypical barbarian get-up, that is. The other half was this:

Doesn't get much more vanilla than this. Nice use of the v-shaped waist thingomabob again. Clicking this ad took me directly to the login page of...

The World of LordCraft. And oh my good riddance. What has happened here? I think this screenshot wins the skimpiest outfit award, out of all the ads I've seen in a while. The picture is just so completely absurd. It's like one of those Wolf shirts. Just a bunch of "cool" crammed together. You'd think slapping heaps of "cool" would produce something nice. But it doesn't. String-bra-thong, whip, mountains, mist, flaming sword-thing. Just... no.

And seriously: World of LordCraft? What is LordCraft anyway? Is that even a word? Do you have to remove you clothes for it? And for heaven's sake, what's with that capital c? WoW called and told they don't care.


1100 AD? I have read enough history to proclaim that this picture has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with 1100 AD. (Anyone else read the title "hooAD"?)

The dress does not cease to boggle me. What is happening with the chest piece? Not to mention that crotch flap thing. And why do all these women have some kind of a headband? As an added bonus, this picture had a glitter effect. So, a sparkling scantily clad archer advertising, what was it again... oh yes, a strategy game about castles and medieval politics and mining!

There. 20 minutes, 11 advertisements. Out of 11 I kind of liked one, and even that was solely because it was a bit different than the rest.

I'd love to see more creative ads. I have no idea what the games advertised on the aforementioned items are like, and frankly I don't care enough to find out. If the advertising is as skullnumbingly monotonous as in the above examples, then I'm sceptical the game could offer me anything of interest. That's not good advertising.

Start making ads I don't cringe at and maybe I'll get interested in the product, too. I have seen interesting banner ads, and there are some sites where I click on ads quite often simply because I find the ads themselves interesting and the products relevant. It's only a matter of content creators making decent ads and content dealers (the advertisement aggregates and site owners) keeping the bar of acceptance high enough. If I regard advertisements more as a part of a site – as content, basically – then I am hugely more likely to get interested in the products advertised.

I might enjoy breasts and behinds in the context of copulation but that doesn't mean I'd become interested in a (potentially) crummy little browser game just because an insipidly drawn lady wears her armour like lingerie.


  1. ....

    At least the ladies look sexy! <:3

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