I have an occasional series on depictions of women in gaming. These posts, here and elsewhere, will almost always get a “who cares?” comment. (Because it is worthwhile to post that you did not think something was worthwhile to post.) Chainmail bikinis are either unimportant or perfectly justified.
We could discuss what happens to your customer base and gaming culture when half the population at first glance says, “This is not a place for me.” But why bother when LMFAO has provided some of the most insightful commentary with their video “Sexy And I Know It.” Seriously. A simple gender-flip of a standard music video makes many people “uncomfortable,” “traumatized,” and “deeply scarred.” (In case the preceding failed to warn you, the video is not completely safe for most workplaces.)
To understand what the big deal is, imagine that video being completely serious. Imagine having at least one-third of male characters in your game looking, dressing, and moving like that, including the robot(s). Imagine a world where as much effort is given to lovingly rendering that “wiggle wiggle wiggle, wiggle wiggle yeah” as breast jiggle.
There is a false equivalence in the unrealistic depictions of men and women in gaming. Men designed by men for men will tend to look a bit different from men designed by women for women, and “men designed by men for women” is not the same thing. (It is amazing how many boys call something “gay” when it is perfectly heteronormative but for the other half of the population. The notion that sexualized depictions of men are “gay” is a barometer of how male-centric one’s perspective is.)
You have a vicious circle if you are reducing your female audience through marginalizing depictions and then using that skewed audience to justify the depictions.
Yes, some women like musclebound men in spandex and fantasize about hunting demons in thigh-high stilettoes; outliers do not shift the median. My circle of gamer friends includes a burlesque dancer, but she is not usually in those outfits.
Update: image of mesmer armor, captioned by the poster: “I think this is THE image that sums up the problem with GW2′s armour..”