“Their speech is often dark, forthright, and otherworldly, and their sense of humor can border on vicious. Other races find the elins’ manner and behavior off-putting.”

As we prowled through the Arachnaea area yesterday, LFG chat boiled over with a war regarding… well, the P word. And the E word. You know, because anyone who plays Tera is a Pedophile because they’re attracted to Elins. This is coming directly from the fingers of Tera players in the midst of Tera, I should point out. Of course, in the world of a server-wide chat channel, we all know that trolls are just waiting in the wings for the opportunity to escalate chat.

It’s really one of those things we normally pay little mind to since it comes up surprisingly often. Usually Trav and I will throw our own opinions around, aloud since we’re in the same room and would rather avoid typing over public channels, and we come to the same conclusion we always do: Trolls are trolls and Elins are Elins.

We brought up some of the same points that Klepsacovic made today about kids in bikinis. But, some people do think it’s wrong to put kids in bikinis which they feel are just sexualized adult clothing. It’s too little clothing for the sake of too little clothing. While many are concerned about excessive sun exposure, some are truly afraid of leering eyes.

But, are we really at fault for triggering a pedophile if we expose too much of a child’s skin? I’m going to give the same emphatic “no” here that I would give if you’d asked me whether a woman wearing provocative clothing was asking to be raped. It’s not our fault if someone else acts on their impulses, even if, as some of the commenters to an earlier post by Tobold pointed out, pedophiles can be made or built up in stages.

With regard to Tera’s Elins, I think I feel the same way that this commenter does: “However, when I see Elin, I definitely do not see sexualized children. I mean, obviously they look young and tiny, but I just don’t see them in the same light as I would view an actual child. In my mind, they’re just chibi-fied (that is, miniaturized) adult anime characters.” I just don’t see a little girl when I look at them. I don’t equate Elins with humans; their eyes creep me out a little too much to find them like me or human kids.

I’ve already posted about how Elins had their skivvies covered up for Western localization, and it’s still one of my more-popular posts for search results. It floors me how many searches I get for variations of sexy Elins or Elin panties.

Klepsacovic also pointed out that maybe the localization should have been handled differently. Maybe they should have just argued that we were “the sickos for thinking there could possibly be anything wrong with how they dress their childish aliens.” Unfortunately, I wonder if they made the armor changes less for the actual reason of covering the Elins up and more to cover their own heinies. I’ve often wondered if they were originally more worried that their game would receive a lot of negative criticism by having the Elins less-dressed than they are now, but not by Tera players.

Remember all that SWTOR nonsense about “Oh Em Gee gay relationships! Boycott! Boycott!”? Is this the kind of thing that EME and Frogster were afraid of? That some vocal group would do their nutjob thing and possibly harm sales or PR? Or, maybe it was just about tightening up the game’s rating or guaranteeing that these titles could release in certain locales?

I’m currently running around on a female Castanic in Tera. I’ve been cataloging the gear that she acquires through screenshots because I love the graphics of this game. It’s the first game I’ve really taken the time to stop and take screenshots. As a cloth-wearer, it’s mostly lingerie. My husband’s Lancer, the plate-wearer is less lingerie. By which I mean she’s physically wearing less lingerie, not that the gear is less like lingerie. The Lancer’s lingerie just looks a little more metallic, cold, and probably more than a little uncomfortable.

Castanic Sorcerer and Castanic Lancer in Popolion

Looking at that screenshot now, does anyone else see how my Sorcerer (on the left) could easily be a 15 year-old? I don’t see her that way though. Even though I very clearly see the ruffles on her corset and the gap of skin above the top of her stockings, I don’t see her as sexualized.

I haven’t been very good about reading the quest text, I’ll admit, but I don’t think she’s ever once had a quest to do anything remotely sexual. Unless she’s getting some thrill that I don’t know about from taking down Jalmaraks and Ovoliths, she’s not a sexualized being in my mind. She might have skin showing, and her boobs might be animated to jiggle, but I’m not getting any particular thrill from those things either.

It reminds me of the argument that people make to justify their playing of a character of a gender not their own: they’d rather stare at a female rear, rather than a male behind. Feel free to swap in whatever gender pronouns you’d like there, of course.

Speaking for myself here, I didn’t pick a female character to stare at her backside. I’m usually not that bored in game. If I’m not fighting, turning in quests, selling, or banking, I’m looking at the scenery. I’m looking at the world. I’m fascinated by that High Elf’s choice in armor dye. I’m intrigued by the ginormous hat this milliner NPC is wearing. I’m not analyzing whether Caelynn’s rear-end is smaller than mine. Usually.

Finally, I saw a picture of myself last night. I was wearing a swimsuit. At the beach. And I was very small. It seemed perfectly appropriate. I wasn’t trying to cover up my exposed arms, and no pedophiles were carrying me away. Was the difference there the two inches of stomach that was not exposed by my one piece? Or were no pedophiles around to see me? Or maybe my parents were just supervising me rather well that day.

So now my question really becomes: is it okay for an Elin to wear a bikini to the beach, or should we force them to wear a one piece? If it’s okay for a Castanic who might look 15 to wear a corset to fight in, can an Elin wear something similar? Or, is it only okay for an Elin to behave as an adult through their speech but not through their attire?

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About Amanda

Amanda is a 20-something flailing gamer. While she loves MMORPGs, the company in them often triggers flare-ups of her social anxiety. Her all-time favorite games include Everquest Online Adventures, Eternal Sonata, the Animal Crossing series, Katamari Damacy, and Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. She lives on junk food, and her favorite books are equally trashy. She doesn't believe in putting two spaces after a period, but she does strongly believe in the serial comma. Unfortunately, she has a penchant for starting sentences with "and" and "but;" hopefully you won't hold that, or her excessive use of semicolons, against her.

2 responses »

  1. Naomi says:

    The whole censorship did nothing but put this game forever in a black box. It’s a M-rated video-game not an outlet for people with real-life issues but unfortunately it happened from gamers that are inside a click themselves. Star-War fans don’t like anime, WoW-Fans don’t like anime. And with comments like Phil Fish calling anything outside NA made territory “trash” my level of respect for NA game review websites and players went down a lot. Especially seeing how people were personally lashing out and attacking fellow gamers because there are fanbases out there who like asian-artstyles and play games too.

    I really do miss the art-styles of the original game only because i’m use to watching japanese animation and I understand the humor or lingo that goes with it. TERA was blown up by people who probably wouldn’t have even touched the game to began with and those who hate asian games in general.

    The forums are just so dead and cold and filled with arrogant wow-type gamers that I don’t even bother anymore. En-masse isn’t innocent either how they exclusively ignored their own customers just for the sake of putting a section of their own game in a bad light before it even came out. It’s like the publishers themselves hate this game too and just want to turn every game they have into WoW and make as much cash off of it’s shelf life as possible.

    I wanted to play TERA because it was different, but now it’s just been turned into an unnecessary game politics that will make very little sense in the following years other than to please soccer moms and prudes.

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