What do we know about the Pandaren?
We know that, until our arrival, they had successfully created a society that was devoid of all hatred, all anger, all fear. Their culture is one with absolutely no negativity, a utopia of sorts. However this utopia was born out of necessity. The Sha that infested the lands sprang up whenever negativity was nearby. Utopia or death… the choice was simple.
But what does it really mean to live in a land with no negativity? And how does that relate to sexuality?
Think for a moment about your own life and all of the negativity associated with modern relationships. Fear, jealousy, rejection, disappointment. Every single one of you has felt one of those emotions at some point in your life as a result of a relationship. Of course, there are plenty of positive things that we can associate with them, but in this case it’s not the amount of positive that matters, it’s the simple existence of any negativity whatsoever.
If the Sha existed in our world, we’d be dead from gender and sexuality before you started factoring in any other source of negativity.
So what do the Pandaren do? They completely redefine relationships. There is no marriage. No courting process. Everyone just loves everyone. They’re all willing and able to have sexual relations with another at any given moment.
This is the only way they know how to do things. It’s just been passed on from generation to generation to generation and it’s all ingrained into their systems at this point.
Perhaps we can imagine Pandaria to be much like Huxley’s Brave New World. A world in which people are not reprimanded for open sexuality, but instead they are praised for it. Take this passage from the book for example:
Nodding, “He patted me on the behind this afternoon,” said Lenina.
“There, you see!” Fanny was triumphant. “That shows what he stands for. The strictest conventionality.”
You can see from the way Lenina and Fanny speak about a male’s actions shows us how people would be expected to behave in a utopia such as Pandaria. People would be upset if you didn’t compliment them on their beauty at every turn.
This is why I am very upset about a certain character named Ji Firepaw that currently exists on the beta.
Currently he says to male players: “You’ve got a strong look to you! I bet you’re all the rage with the ladies!” To female players he says: “You’re some kind of gorgeous, aren’t you? I bet you can’t keep the men off of you!”
Wow! This is perfect! If we are to believe that the Pandaren live in a utopia with absolutely no negativity then this line really does a lot to help us solidify this. Women are crazy about men! Men are crazy about women! Everybody loves to sleep with everybody! Men will compliment other men on their prowess because there is no jealousy! That is exactly how things would work in their society. I love the raw honesty Blizzard, it’s wonderful.
But here’s what’s really bothering me. It just doesn’t seem… equal. We could really have used a strong female character showing us the female perspective. After all, the only thing we’re really seeing right now is the male’s perspective. We really need to get both sides of things to get a full picture of Pandaren society.
Here’s my proposal. Add in a character named Mui Swiftpaw. To female characters she should say: “Oh, honey! You look absolutely stunning! That milkshake of yours is gonna bring all the boys to the yard!” And to male characters she should say: “Hubba hubba. What brings you around tall, dark & handsome?”
This is really necessary. Otherwise some people who jump to conclusions too quickly won’t even consider the Pandaren way of life and they might just get upset when they think this is one male character’s viewpoint and not the entire culture. Some of them also forget that you’re just a company that’s writing a fictional story and they invest so much of their lives into the game that they forget there’s even a distinction. I know we sometimes forget about people like that, but with a game as popular as yours that’s filled with such a variety of people, there’s bound to be a few of them.
And don’t even think of taking that line out. Ji wouldn’t be in character if you did that.