July 20, 2010

Re-Enacting Ancient Roman Empire Glory

Good old internet advertising. Never fails to baffle.

From what I’ve gathered, Caesary is a browser-based RTS game in the vein of, perhaps, the Settlers-series. Action-oriented and thematically lighter historical strategy games that is. Its setting is based on the Roman Empire, though not having tried the game, it’s impossible to say how the game treats its historical subject matter. From what I managed to glean with a quick glance, the gameplay revolves around managing your resources, building an army and then, assumedly, using force to expand your empire.

I’m not terribly interested in the game, but I have noticed its ads on some gaming sites and webcomics. The first ad I saw was this.


Your typical muscleman with lots of armour and minimal amount of skin showing. Very warlike and bulging.

But there’s, of course, a female version of the same picture that seems to alternate with the male version each time you reload the ad. It depicts a scantily clad woman whose actual purpose in your army or government is not as immediately obvious as the male warrior’s.


She has some sort of breast armour (emphasis on breast, not armour), a leather(?) belt and star-patterned blue, uh, would those be thongs or just very very small underpants? Her upper thighs are exposed but she does have some armour around her knee and upper shin and calf, and a pair of red high-heeled boots, which must be exceptionally useful, whatever her occupation is.

The real jewel is her pose. Whereas the male warrior is very gaunt and brooding, she’s (funny how you can speak of the male via his assumed occupation, yet the female remains just “she” because she hasn’t been endowed with any tools or outside signs of a profession) twisted into the most submissive-looking, uncomfortable crouch. The look is complete with what seems to be makeup and an expression more commonly found on blow-up dolls. I am not impressed. Not with the stereotypical male war-brute, but especially not with the dolly no-purpose, all-show female. Whereas the male version of the ad seems to hint action and empire-building, the female version seems to rely solely on gamers checking out the game because “it had a hot chick in it”.

I’m not being fair, I know. This is just my reading of the ads, and maybe this tells more about me than the ads, but by gods, am I annoyed by that helpless-looking gal.

Edit: Now that I look at the pictures some more, there actually seems to be a blade in the female-version too. Instead of just portraying her carrying it, the sword is used to cast reflected light on her features. Maybe she’s holding the sword herself, or maybe some menacing Other is threatening her with it. If it was indeed her holding the sword, I can’t imagine the situation would be a lot more better than her being threatened by the blade, though. In both cases she is most obviously in a very vulnerable position.

She reminds me of Wonder Woman, actually. And not in a good way.

...

... waaait a minute! Having looked up that superdickery-link, I realized the likeness goes way beyond “kind of reminds”. That’s an obvious rip-off. Urgh, what a failure on so many levels.

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