Game wallpaper sites: for men only?
March 30, 2011 53 Comments
[Brief note: Quickie post today. I have an injury that makes sitting at my computer incredibly painful. Sorry for the relative brevity.]
I’m one of those people who compulsively changes their wallpaper; I think the longest I’ve ever kept a wallpaper is maybe two months. Most of the time I wind up changing it when I stumble across something new that I like when I’ve had my current wallpaper for a while. But sometimes I find myself itching to change my wallpaper with nothing new in mind, and then I’ll go looking – which is how I stumbled across gamewallpapers.com.
Almost immediately, I had to suppress the urge to facepalm when I saw the boobular banner taking up most of the right side of the page. Even better, the very second category in the navbar is “Cyberbabes”, a link which takes you to the following screen:
…yup. About what I expected. Boobs, boobs, boobs, and more boobs. And, oh hey look – it’s Lara Croft’s cleavage. Because, really, what collection of game wallpaper would be complete without the iconic ta-tas of Lara Croft?
I was also completely unsurprised to note that our friends over at Destructoid are partners with gamewallpapers.com, since Destructoid frequently goes out of its way to assert how important boobs are to games and gaming in general. And I suppose I should be glad that the pornular wallpapers on gamewallpapers.com are at least free of overt misogyny like this infamous gem published on Destructoid a few years ago:
Anyhow. I was curious to see how the “Top 100” would compare in boobularity to the Cyberbabes gallery. As it turns out, the results were kind of mixed. Looking at the first screen of the Cyberbabes page, 19 out of 21 featured wallpapers feature boobs. When looking at the Top 100, only 15 of the top 20 feature boobs. However, the boobs featured were more extreme:
And I think it’s especially telling that the top voted wallpaper is the Age of Conan wallpaper (top middle) that features bare breasts and only just baaaarely covers up the poor woman’s bajingo. Also, four of the top 20 are various iterations of Lara Croft, which is yet another discouraging sign.
Lastly, the site features several awful boobular ads that cycle randomly in the sidebar, and none of these ladies would look out of place in an Evony ad.
You know, I love how all of these ladies either have “SIGNING UP” or “ACCESS” either right near or right over their tits. There’s varying degrees of crassness, but the Age of Conan girl is definitely the worst, thanks to strategic cropping. The nipples and the start of her ladybits are juuuust out of frame. And unlike the others, proclaiming that you can get access to a variety of wallpapers, the Age of Conan banner just says “get full access”… Nice and subtle there, guys.
Not that the others are much better. All of them except for Nariko (Heavenly Sword) suffer from outrageous sphere-boob and costumes that they’re on the verge of popping out of. Like, the elf on the far left – what the hell is with those not-pants? And the elf in the middle – did someone seriously photoshop a picture of Liv Tyler? Because that’s what it looks like to me.
Anyhow. I don’t know why any of this should surprise me. After all, this is just yet another example of how our culture assumes that all gamers are (straight) men. Why the hell would a woman be looking for games wallpapers? Everyone knows women gamers don’t count after all.