Beauty is skin-deep, Ugliness goes to the bone

In the wake of the EAFAIL advertising campaign, there’s been some discussion about the use of sex to sell games. Muckbeast points out that both men and women like looking at boobs and that people like their characters to look hot.

But, there are also people who like their characters not to look conventionally pretty. To me, there’s a kind of balance between looking hot and looking badass. I like that Mrs Spinks can turn round to people and say ‘Har Har, I may not be a looker but it’s my skinny undead arse that’s standing between you and horrible fiery death.’ (We had this conversation in last night’s raid which is why it’s in my head at the moment.)

It’s not that pretty characters can’t also be badass but that online avatars can reflect different ways to see ourselves. And a ‘Oh I’m so pretty’ fantasy isn’t the same as a ‘kneel before Zod‘ fantasy. So I’m not really happy with playing a badass fighter that looks like Paris Hilton in a thong, because it lacks a certain element of badass-fighterness. Ugly has other appeal also, because less conventionally pretty races are always going to be rarer in game. So if you like to be unusual, that’s one way to do it.

And beyond that, playing an ugly character (especially if you play it well) is a way of forcing other players not to judge you on your virtual looks. It’s quite anarchic in a way.

Do you like to play ugly characters? If so, what’s the appeal?