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Reader Comments (31)

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 11:43AM (Unverified) said

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When I do play female characters (I'm a guy), it's generally because the character looks better. For example, in World of Warcraft, male humans are almost ridiculously ugly, but the females are mostly attractive-looking.

However, I don't do it often because I don't care for the tells and comments I get.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 11:50AM (Unverified) said

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In early MMO's (M59, UO, EQ) where the gaming population was mostly male, girls got treated like queens - free gear, unsolicited assistance, etc.

Don't let anyone fool you... guys started playing female characters for the free stuff, nothing else. People just have more creative excuses these days for "exploiting" the system ;)

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 12:11PM JustinM said

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Been there, done that in UO, but with a twist. My character was male, but he wore a white hooded robe over his armor and head. There were guys that assumed my character was female as a result, and gave me free stuff. When they asked why I wasn't putting it on, I'd tell them my character was modest and refused to undress in front of him. They probably figured I was roleplaying a virtuous lass, but it was more like a conniving, roguish man. Their loss... :)

That stuff doesn't work nearly as much in WoW, though. Half the in-game population seems to be made up of female characters played by male players. I'd have to actively lie about my own gender in order to get free stuff, and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that.
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Posted: Nov 29th 2007 12:05PM Grizz said

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I actually like looking at girls.

UO&WoW - Male characters for (pure) Melee classes, girls for everything else. Because it takes big pipes to carry that mace.

EvE - Male, because you never look at yourself.

SWG - Male, because female aliens are creepy.

AC - Female, pyramid boobs lol.

etc, etc.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 5:58PM ed anger said

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it's funnier that some people freak when you play as a woman when you are male. it's usually the suburban kids that spaz...

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 12:21PM (Unverified) said

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I like to feel that my character has some depth and personality. I don't RP, so the only way my character takes on a life of its own is how it looks. Depending on the race of the character, sometimes the male options just bore me, other times the female options do.

As for getting free stuff, I wish. I've played a number of female toons and never had anyone try to hit on me or give me free loot.

I think there are a lot of guys (not all) who freak out about playing a female toon because they think it says something about their sexuality. I'm secure enough to play a female in game, even though I'm a guy in real life. Guess what, I'm not a Troll in real life either.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 2:30PM Krystalle Voecks said

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I also played EQ from early on and never got free stuff for being a girl. :( And I -AM- a girl!

I'm suspecting it's probably more because I didn't flirt back. I was always like "I'm here to kill stuff! Yes, I'm a girl, now knock it off!" If you wanted my undivided attention, you had to teach me something cool like strategies or tactics. Knowledge is sexy.
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Posted: Nov 29th 2007 12:43PM Speedmonkay said

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I have never really played a female character before. I actually just made my first female character the other day on Mythos and only because I wanted to play a satyr and the female satyrs look way better than males (I would have gladly played a male satyr if they didnt have huge hordendous horns). I have seen many guys play as women on MMOs just to try and fool guys into freebies. Sometimes my friends play the opposite gender because they wanted to play a certain race that was limited to one gender. My bestfriend is a guy but plays a female on FFXI because he wanted to play a Mithra that are milited to being only female. I also have an exfiancee who played a male character on a game because she got tired of guys always messing with her cause she was a female.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 2:04PM (Unverified) said

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I think character creation should be limited to your account settings.

"Are you __ Male __ Female"

then you can only play characters based on your account selection.

My $.02
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Posted: Nov 29th 2007 1:56PM Speedmonkay said

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I'd like to add I just love the picture of the hedgehogs.
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Posted: Nov 29th 2007 6:29PM (Unverified) said

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Currently, in SWG, I play a Male for my combat avatar but my structures crafter is female.

I play a female crafter because I feel there is more of a story that can be created by a female in the trader profession.

I'm a male and I enjoy roleplaying.

My Entropia Universe avatar is male, but since the graphics update, I'm regretting that decision lol

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 2:07PM (Unverified) said

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My cross-gender toons are generally casters as well, mostly because the caster robes and outfits are pretty femme. I had a female bank alt on a RP server on WoW and she got hit on all the time, which sucked, and never got freebies, which was even worse.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 2:14PM WanderingFool said

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Because if you have to spend hours upon endless hour staring at a toon's ass it might as well be an attractive one.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 2:18PM (Unverified) said

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In EQ1 I had a female dark elf necro. I just wanted that *fictional character* to be female.

Why does anyone care if your real life gender matches a digital character you play?

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 3:05PM (Unverified) said

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Remember the concern about Night Elf men models becoming all burly to fit in thematically with the rest of WoW's graphics? Yeah, I didn't want to play as a model that was so top heavy. So I went with a female model cause it flat out looked better, less sharp edges and whatnot.

If I could go back I would go with a gnome male because they have little pot bellies. That's funny. Screw burlyman jones, human, or champion of the forest hairy nightelf man j'on-es. The shuffling, pot-bellied balding short man is the best.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 3:08PM (Unverified) said

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I think that while, in WoW, my female choices are based on which gender looks "better" for a given race (BE female? Yes. Tauren female? Noooooo!), in CoH it's totally character driven. Sometimes you need a female super, other times only a guy fits the type of toon your trying to create - I would say that there, more than on WoW my gender choices are 50/50.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 3:39PM (Unverified) said

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I (female) do not care what your real life gender is. I do not understand why the fictional character you're playing in a game should match it. It makes no sense to me (but then, I'm not going to hit on random people then feel emasculated and angry because, OHNOES, it's a guy! My epeen will never recover!). I have always played both male and female characters, in general RP and in MMOs.

As for why I'd pick either gender, if it's a game I won't be roleplaying in, I'll go with the prettiest art (note: this does not mean poutiest lips and biggest tits). If I will be roleplaying, it's all about the character.

A personal loathing: all the females (trolls, orcs, draenei, all of 'em) in WoW are filthy human hybrids and the males (excluding orcs and tauren, who are supposed to be beefcakes, and gnomes, who are creepy) are incredibly and hideously over-muscled. Night elf priests should not have the upper body strength to uproot Teldrassil.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 3:41PM (Unverified) said

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The answer to this article boils down to a question: Do you IDENTIFY with your character? Or do you OBJECTIFY them?

If you identify with your character, you're going to play as your own gender, because you see your character as yourself!

If you objectify your character, you're going to play the opposite sex, because you see your character as someone else, a friend or companion but not yourself.

And of course, if you could create an imaginary friend or companion to fulfill the friendship/emotional/soulmate needs of yourself as an adult (as you are now) which gender would that person be?


To identify with your character, you need to be able to create a character which physically and occupationally resembles your mental ideal of yourself.

So you need to be able to create a custom face and body; fat, thin, big boobs or small, muscular or lithe, something that reflects an ideal version of yourself.

If you could do that to your satisfaction, then of course you'd play yourself. It's way more fun to be yourself having adventures than watching someone else.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 3:48PM (Unverified) said

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I'm not really the hardcore RP type, but for me, i suppose the idea of playing a female character in a game seems strange because i just feel more disconnected from that character than if it were male, i just feel detatched from the experience when i have a female face, female voice, and people see me as a female. I definitely couldn't imagine trying to RP as a girl and making that character seem genuine. I suppose thats a bit odd considering i usually play as a male orc in games like WoW, yet i feel closer to the character than if i were to play a male human. I guess i'm willing to suspend my disbelief just enough to imagine myself with green skin and tusks, but not boobs and a vagina.

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 5:01PM (Unverified) said

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Female weighing in here. On World of Warcraft, most of my characters are female as well, because let's face it, most of the guys in that game look like ass. And not even the good kind of ass. The only male character I play with any regularity is a draenei, though apparently a lot of people think they're ugly too. I love their personality though - the way they sit in chairs, the look on their face when they're stunned, the way they drown...
Never gotten any free stuff though. It might help that my main is a gnome. Or maybe I'm just not going out of my way to be a manipulative attention whore. Yeah, that probably has something to do with it.
On City of Heroes/Villains, where you can actually make your characters not look like steroid-stuffed Popeye-armed apes, I had an even spread of male and female characters, all of average build (it was the female villain that my husband convinced me to roll that kept the ratio just off an even 1:1). 'Course, my husband's characters were all max. height, max. bust if female, and I don't think any of them had a human skin color. But, with him lacking the eye of an artist, all my characters looked better anyway. Hah!
This topic comes up with obnoxious regularity on the World of Warcraft forums (and others, no doubt), and every time I see it I nearly have to roll my eyes. It's a video game, people. Get over it. I wonder how Metroid has become such a popular series - surely every man on the planet knows by now that Samus Aran is female and the game is verboten to them. Or perhaps there's a Gender Enforcement Organization that busts into mens' homes and confiscate their ill-gotten feminine video games? And how the hell am I ever going to finish Final Fantasy VII with just two females after Aeris dies?!
One could argue that MMOs are different than these examples, because you *choose* to be the character. However, you are also choosing to *care* about what gender your character is.
And I don't care. Unless they're really ugly.
This means I am instead choosing to care what my character looks like, and I'm sure most players are so hardcore they hit only two or three buttons on the creation screen - randomize appearance, maybe randomize name, and create. As for me, I'm going to be looking at that thing a lot, and I don't want to spend most of it wondering why the orc in the opening cinematic actually had a discernible neck, and mine doesn't.

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