Photographer Enrico Ricciardi's Ultima-inspired Calendar using Live Models - Mystik 2010

Bill Loguidice's picture

Milano Italy-based professional photographer, Enrico Ricciardi - who is also a noted computer software collector - has put together a lavish Ultima-inspired calendar that has received the blessing of series creator Richard "Lord British" Garriott himself. While neither Ricciardi or Garriott have the rights to the Ultima license, the end product, named "Mystik 2010", still has a lot of the famous series' spirit. Check it out here and be sure to check out the photographer's other works while there (as well as the behind-the-scenes making of the calendar itself). They all have a very slick and sexy European feel to my American eyes.

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Calibrator
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Spirited away...

Heavy makeup, breast implants and unshapely legs that remind me of toothpicks and Mikado sticks.
Blessing or not, these pictures don't pleasure my European eyes as they look more like US porn VHS covers of the 90'ies.

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Calibrator

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calibrator your european

calibrator
your european eyes have seen too many US porn VHS

Bill Loguidice
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Tastes
Calibrator wrote:

Heavy makeup, breast implants and unshapely legs that remind me of toothpicks and Mikado sticks.
Blessing or not, these pictures don't pleasure my European eyes as they look more like US porn VHS covers of the 90'ies.

take care,
Calibrator

Well, we all have our preferences and this has a very distinct style. I prefer fitness models, and I'm also not a fan of too much makeup (in fact, I rarely like any on a woman). I still think the calendar is very cool despite being heavily stylized in a way that may or may not appeal to everyone. The production values are through the roof and it's also apparently a CHARITY work, so that makes it all the better. The behind-the-scenes stuff gives you a nice appreciation for the work that went into it as well, and you can get an appreciation for how tall many of these women are (which explains the thin, long legs, for instance).

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Matt Barton
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Wow, this topic seems to

Wow, this topic seems to have stirred up some debate. :)

It's definitely not the sort of thing I'd go for, since I seem to share Calibrator's view. I was just having this conversation recently with my wife. For whatever reason, I've never been drawn to the "stereotypical beauty" that you see on so many magazine covers and movies. The main turnoff for me is the level of artificiality (fakeness, really) that goes into that--I mean, how many hours a day do they spend obsessing over their appearance? Yikes! There's something repulsive about the idea that I'm "supposed" to find them so attractive. This is really why I hate places like "Hooters" and any strip clubs, because there's that expectation that I'm "supposed" to be so turned by these women, even though they're obviously just flirting *only* to get my money. No thanks.

To be silly about it, I thought Princess Fiona (from Shrek) was more attractive as an ogre than in her human form. :P

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Bill Loguidice
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Well, I think as adults - as

Well, I think as adults - as intelligent adults - we can distinguish the difference between "studio beauty" and "real world beauty". "Studio beauty" means make up and hair is done just so, body make up, ideal lighting and anywhere from light to heavy touch up after the photo is processed. I think we SHOULD expect this from professional publications. Then there's "real world beauty", which is a bit rawer, but can be just as, if not more, attractive, with genuine imperfections present. If you can't appreciate the difference, then I think you can't watch or look at ANY form of media, because it's always an idealized form.

Remember when we did the interviews for the documentary, Matt? What did our subjects have to go through? Some powder and lots of lighting set up. It's all them on screen, but they look better on film, right? That's just the way it is and I think we'd be unhappy if it was the other way because it would be so jarring.

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Matt Barton
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Thanks for re-posting, Bill

Thanks for re-posting, Bill (I accidentally deleted his post, d'oh!!).

I don't disagree with you, especially in cases where there's something distracting (i.e., a wild hair or two, a big zit, etc.) However, in general I think Americans in particular place too much value on physical appearance, and also tend to define beauty too narrowly (a blonde supermodel). Women who are to my mind already attractive (and uniquely so) degrade themselves by trying to force their bodies into that mold (via surgery, cosmetics, fad diets, over-exercising, etc.) American males also tend to overvalue it, so that conversational skills and actually having a personality are minimized (or ignored completely!).

I am very unusual, I think, in placing a higher value on personality than looks. The problem I have with posters or calendars like this is that personality and charm are nil. 100% of their "value" is expressed here in terms of their bodies.

Compare that to "male hunks" like Arnold, Stallone, Depp, etc. They are generally expected to have lots of charm and personality in addition to (or in spite of, even) their muscular appearance. Thus, even in porn somebody like Ron Jeremy can rise to stardom despite being badly "out of shape," whereas his female equivalent would never stand a chance.

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Bill Loguidice
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I don't think it's just

I don't think it's just Americans in particular, it's humans in particular, if not animals in particular. Beauty rules and probably always will. It doesn't make it right, but there's some instinctual thing probably related to mating that makes us value outer beauty so much.

I'm one of those who believes you have to have some basic level of attraction in order to be with someone. Liking the person's personality and other attributes is what you keeps you together. If you don't have that basic level of attraction first, I think the rest can very easily fall apart.

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Rowdy Rob
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To summarize: Meh...
Calibrator wrote:

Heavy makeup, breast implants and unshapely legs that remind me of toothpicks and Mikado sticks.
Blessing or not, these pictures don't pleasure my European eyes as they look more like US porn VHS covers of the 90'ies.

Meh, I wouldn't go that far! There definitely is an artistic quality to these photographs. However, none of the females, while attractive in the "general" sense, were particularly my taste. The stern looks on their faces, the sort of generic "look" about them (I thought they all were the same girl at first... or maybe they were!), the "fakeness" of their look, etc. Give me Tina Fey over any of these girls!

As for the "Ultima" inspiration, I'm not a big enough Ultima junkie to catch the connection. These photos appear to be of generic fantasy settings, not unlike something you'd see on a fantasy book cover, Boris Vallejo or Brothers Hildebrandt painting, or whatever.

As an "artistic" expression of fantasy, these images are (largely) successful.

Matt Barton wrote:

To be silly about it, I thought Princess Fiona (from Shrek) was more attractive as an ogre than in her human form. :P

Meh, I wouldn't go that far! I see your point, though. For someone to be your "mate," as opposed to being your "fantasy," there has to be a lot of personality compatibility, i.e. someone "real." Women (or men!) who concentrate all on presenting the "fantasy" probably hits you on some psychological level, rendering them unattractive in your mind.

Bill Loguidice wrote:

I don't think it's just Americans in particular, it's humans in particular, if not animals in particular. Beauty rules and probably always will. It doesn't make it right, but there's some instinctual thing probably related to mating that makes us value outer beauty so much.

The general scientific consensus, as far as I've read, seems to be that judging a mate's physical attractiveness is a way to instinctually judge the "fitness" of a mate in order to have healthy offspring. A lot of "facial symmetry ratios" and such.

It is also said that we tend to end up with mates that are around the same level of attractiveness as we are.

Bill Loguidice wrote:

I'm one of those who believes you have to have some basic level of attraction in order to be with someone. Liking the person's personality and other attributes is what you keeps you together. If you don't have that basic level of attraction first, I think the rest can very easily fall apart.

Agreed, I think. Heck, I don't know, I've been very poor at maintaining relationships. Wow, that's a whole other can of worms, but as "unfair" as it may be, I've learned not to waste my time (or especially theirs) if I am not attracted to them on some initial level. And I'm very wary of women who express interest in me... it may not seem obvious to them at first, but I *AM* a geek, and I like it that way. Personality wise, I'm most likely not compatible with them in the long run. Needless to say, I think I'm screwed in this department. :-)

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Bill Loguidice
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Well, if you are really

Well, if you are really after finding that someone special, I'm sure you will Rob. You seem like a great guy, at least in the little that we know you from Armchair Arcade. In my quest to find the "one", I did the dating service thing (old school dating service) and eventually met my wife through AOL when I took a hiatus from the service. I met some real characters at the dating service - some great women, some not so great - but I learned a lot about what I did and especially DIDN'T want, and of course a lot about myself (prior to that I dated almost exclusively work acquaintances from the time I was 17). As a person who doesn't drink, doesn't frequent bars and is not especially social because of my speech pattern, it was a particular challenge for me, but I never gave up and eventually did find the "one".

My sister, who's 27 now, was getting frustrated herself, but recently gave eHarmony a go and has been very happy with the guy that she's with to the point where this is her first true, long term relationship. There are of course many options out there like that, but the point is, don't give up. If you're happy with yourself and true to yourself, there's no doubt a match or two for you out there.

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Bill Loguidice
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Enrico's note on the

Enrico's note on the SWCOLLECT mailing list:

I forgot to write the most important thing about MYSTIK.
The money we'll get from it will allow to help VILLAGE FOR ALL, a charity associations
who project holidays villages and campings for people with handicap, allowing them to be normal tourist as they worth to be....
Normally when they try to have a few happyness and relax during their holidays, many things not built thinking at their needs may transform a happy moment in a frustrating one..... again...
tks
enrico

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