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Censorship Entertainment Games

MMO Bans Men Playing As Women 616

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the nice-legs-bob dept.
jkcity writes "In a bizarre move Aurora Technology the owners of the King of the World MMORPG has taken the unusual step of banning men who play women characters but the ban itself does not stretch to women playing men. If you want to play as a woman now in game you have to prove you are a women via web cam. This is something that people ask for in many mmorpgs I myself have seen people say people who play women in EVE online as being some kind of degenerate but how long can a policy of verification by web cam last since its so easy to get around it doesn't seem to solve much and is an insult to many."
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MMO Bans Men Playing As Women

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  • So that means... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fistfullast33l (819270) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:17PM (#20756451) Homepage Journal
    no role playing in a Role Playing Game?
    • by djdavetrouble (442175) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:18PM (#20756475) Homepage
      That means one of the admins found out his online girlfriend was a 50 year old guy from Brooklyn.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:28PM (#20756657)
      No powergamers either. Min/maxers pick girl characters (assuming no stat drop) because:

      *You can get free stuff with minimal effort.
      *You don't spend 30+ hours a week staring at the cartoon picture of a guy's ass.
      • by 3chuck3 (512455) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @01:24PM (#20757367)
        Yes, I play MMO's to escape my daily monotony. Staring at polygon guy Nalgas is not escaping , it breaks my imersion.
      • You don't spend 30+ hours a week staring at the cartoon picture of a guy's ass.

        This is why I hate 3rd person perspective. Most of the "scenery" is your avatar's ass. I like to see the damn game! It espeically pisses me off when your avatar gets in the way of seeing something important. Fixed camera (such as resident evil) is even worse--try and aim at a target in 3d space while viewing on a flat screen...WTF?

        • Fixed cameras on Resident Evil are one of the many reasons I can't understand the popularity of the game. There's nothing like standing three feet from a zombie and not being able to see it because the camera angle won't change to help you.

          I'm gonna get all ranty now because I really, really am baffled by the original success of RE ten years ago. It never should have survived...I guess it reflects the low standards console gamers had at the time versus PC gamers as adventure games and/or shooters go. What s
      • Re:So that means... (Score:4, Informative)

        by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @02:24PM (#20758195) Homepage Journal
        Point #2 is my reason for not playing male characters. I don't role play or anything, I just make a female character so I don't have to listen to a guy grunt and moan all day long. It wasn't until recently that I was surprised by the number of people who immediately assume your character female = you are = I should start cybering you. Kinda quit playing most MMORPGs after that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jace of Fuse! (72042)
        No lie. I was standing at a bank in Stormwind one day with my level 30 Female Human Mage and some male night elf rogue came up and asked me if I wanted some free "junk". I said sure, thinking I could vend or auction whatever it was he had to give.

        6 items in the trade window later I said thanks and he said "see ya, enjoy" and took off.

        As I went through each item to see what he had dumped off on me I realized he'd given me 5 pieces of complete vendor trash and a Staff of Jordan, which I couldn't even use ye
        • by Splab (574204)
          Why is it people always think of this as being a guy/gal issue? I always play guy avatars when I play MMO, getting free stuff from high level chars is normal, and I give out the junk stuff that drops for whoever needs it, regardless of their supposed sex - some people are just nice to others.
    • by icyslush (1162497) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:36PM (#20756777)
      ...and in related news, Blizzard has announced that players will now have to prove they are Orcs before being allowed to play one in World of Warcraft.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:41PM (#20756837)
      Sure ... if you're a woman ... for now.

      More proposed rules:
        - only black people may have black avatars
        - only elves may play elves
        - if you want STR over 10 you have to bench press 100lbs on webcam
        - if you wish your character to speak another language, you must submit a request in writing, in that language, to the admins
        - if your CHA is over 15 you can pretty much do what you want, after you seduce one of our admins
    • by gzerphey (1006177) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:47PM (#20756903)
      I tend to play female characters in the RPGs because it is my perception that the programmers put special twists in to try and get more of the female market. I don't know if I'm just deluded or not, but it seems to be true.

      At any rate, what is to stop me, or anyone with a girlfriend or wife, from a quick substitution for the webcam. My wife would think this rule is ridiculous and do it in a heartbeat.

      More to the point though, I have to agree with the Parent here... Its a FREAKING RPG. Let people Role Play in the Game as they see fit.
      • Re:So that means... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by operagost (62405) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @01:05PM (#20757135) Homepage Journal
        Makes you wonder exactly what body parts they want you to put on camera. Imagine the humiliation if a woman is refused because she allegedly has a mannish face-- so they want "more proof".
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by s4m7 (519684)

        what is to stop me, or anyone with a girlfriend or wife, from a quick substitution for the webcam.

        My first thought exactly. The second thought though, was what about cases where someone has a sexually ambiguous look? This is a lawsuit waiting to happen for this company, especially since they didn't require women to play only women characters. That's discrimination plain and simple.

        Just wait until some mannish-looking woman is denied a female character...

      • by Digitus1337 (671442) <lk_digitus@@@hotmail...com> on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @01:21PM (#20757329) Homepage
        What is to stop a guy that plays a female character in RPGs from just getting his girlfriend or wife from helping?

        I'd think that playing female characters in RPGs would be a good enough deterrent.
      • by Malkin (133793) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @02:32PM (#20758303)
        I'm a female gameplay programmer, and I have played both male and female avatars, on numerous games. I'd have to say that the only "special twist" most games put in for female avatars is the very special power of not looking like a warthog's arse. Yes, game developers would like to attract more female players, but we aren't stupid. We know that a lot of the people playing female avatars are men. Why would we reward people for choosing a more attractive butt to look at while they played? There are much better ways to attract females to a game than that. Honestly.

        Though, rest assured, your theory doesn't make me think any less of you. It's perfectly normal for people to imagine all manner of voodoo lurking in the gameplay mechanics of their favorite games. This is due to a combination of magical thinking [wikipedia.org] and the brain's natural response to the sort of variable reward schedules you find in these games. In short, the human brain is exquisitely good at pattern matching, but is particularly prone to false positives, so we occasionally develop intense faith in patterns that just aren't there. Even knowing all this, I find myself doing the same thing, sometimes.

        That said, though, your primary point should not be diminished. Demanding that people don't cross-play is every bit as silly as demanding that the players of spellcasters really be able to cast spells. It's a goddamn escapist fantasy world. So, let people escape!

        However, even more important than that, the fact that many female avatars are played by men right now is actually protective, in a way. Sexual anonymity curtails a great deal of potential sexual harassment. When the genders are outed, an abusive person's targets are clear. I expect that this change will make the game completely unplayable for their real female players.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TriezGamer (861238)
          Someone mod this up.

          You're spot on. Potential sexual harassment really is a major issue that is often ignored. I've played many different games in many different ways. I play characters of both genders, with a slight bias toward females, if only because the inter-personal interactions are so much more interesting. (Read: People talk to you more, even if the reasoning is shallow in many cases)

          I have played characters as female, intentionally giving the impression that I'm female in real life (a blatant
    • by disckitty (681847) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @01:40PM (#20757575) Homepage
      "If you want to play as a woman now in game you have to prove you are a woman via web cam." This is a ridiculous comment. The population will become almost 100% male. Not just because all the men can't play as women, but because the women will find it too intrusive or perhaps too much of a hassle to have themselves screened by some total stranger. W.T.F? Way to alienate the demographic that is frequently being targeted for inclusion. They may as well not bother wasting the game developers time creating these female avatars in the first place. Though perhaps having avoided myspace and facebook, I'm out of the loop, and people now-a-days voluntarily show themselves off online to strangers.
      • by Psmylie (169236) * on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @02:50PM (#20758567) Homepage
        The problem I forsee if there is the thought that only women are playing female characters is that anyone with a female character will be harrassed. As it is now, the more perverse among the male MMO population show at least a little restraint, because they know the odds are that the "she" is actually a "he". Basically, being able to make a female avatar after verifying that you are really female sets up female characters to be targets of all sorts of unsavory advances. Women have enough of that in real life, they shouldn't have to be the target of it in a game.

        Unless, of course, they want to be

  • by Hanners1979 (959741) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:19PM (#20756485) Homepage
    Time to become a transsexual.
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by corsec67 (627446) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:19PM (#20756493) Homepage Journal
    If I am playing a MMORPG, I am going to be spending a lot of time looking at my avatar. Why can't my avatar be something I like looking at?
    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Firethorn (177587) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:46PM (#20756897) Homepage Journal
      You speak truth. Of course, I guess it depends on how much you identify with your character.

      I've found that I'm generally a step further away than some people - I don't identify the character as myself, or myself as my character. I'm more like the controller types you see in some advanced military movies. You know, where there's a guy sitting in a trailor/room somewhere with a bunch of video and status screens sending directions to the soldier who's actually in the field.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Creedo (548980)
      Hot damn. I thought I was the only one who had reasoned it like this. I much prefer female avatars. I do, however, have to make the occasional kid sad when they ask to cyber(or make some obscene suggestions), and I reveal my gender. I guess they are too young to remember that venerable adage:
      "The Internet: where men are men, women are men, and children are FBI agents."
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Blakey Rat (99501)
        I'm the same way. I'd even prefer to look at a weird not-quite-human female troll or dranei than a male character. But I look at it kind of differently:

        If the game were first-person, and if the game were immersive, I'd pick an avatar that represented myself. But WOW isn't first-person (well, ok, you can set it to a first-person view, but that's a huge disadvantage for targeting monsters and I doubt anybody seriously plays that way), and it's definitely not immersive, what with the massive amounts of clippin
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @01:40PM (#20757569)

      If I am playing a MMORPG, I am going to be spending a lot of time looking at my avatar. Why can't my avatar be something I like looking at?
      Because a giant disembodied floating set of knockers would be distracting for the other players.
  • by miller60 (554835) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:19PM (#20756495) Homepage
    ... for the Aurora guys to look at gamer girls on their webcams.
    • by Dunbal (464142) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:23PM (#20756567)
      [excuse] for the Aurora guys to look at gamer girls on their webcams.

      what gamer girls? :)
    • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:24PM (#20756587) Homepage Journal
      I think that plan might backfire when they realize a great many "gamer girls" are hambeasts. Seriously, were they expecting their own private version of GamerGirlz or whatever?
    • by fyoder (857358) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:25PM (#20756595) Homepage Journal
      Seriously, that does sound a bit pervy. "Ok, now, take off your shirt and bra, we need to be sure they're real. Ok, now stand up and take off the rest, then turn about real slow like... yah, that's it, yes, we are becoming convinced."
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mh1997 (1065630)

      ... for the Aurora guys to look at gamer girls on their webcams
      what are they asking to see? There is only one part of the body that can prove sex - although in my case, you would need better resolution than a webcam for proof.
      • by butterflysrage (1066514) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @01:18PM (#20757299)
        actually, given the myriad of medical causes, genital examination is not a reliable method for determining someones sex.

        Intersex conditions (where a persons chromosomes are not XX or XY) will often cause ambiguous genitals, at what point does a very small penis become a very large clitoris? at what point does a shallow vagina become a divided scrotum? If the medical community has problems reaching a consensus on this, what hope does a computer admin?

        Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) can cause a genetically healthy male (XY) to develop as a perfectly healthy female. The bodily changes that occur in vitro require the androgens (male hormones) from the mother to find the proper receptors in the fetus' cells... if those receptors are either missing or nonfunctional then the body will continue along its default path (female). Often, those with total AIS do not even find out about it until they discover they are infertile. Partital AIS can result in anything from the appearance of a masculine female to that of a effeminate male with genitals ranging from one to the other.

        Add in the huge number of pre-operative or non-operative transgender folk and the number of people that have genitals that match their genetic sex or their mental gender is far less then most people realize.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by nwf (25607)
      That was my first thought.

      However, since I know I've met a good deal of people whose gender I couldn't determine, I'm wondering just what one needs to show on a web cam. Perhaps this is really a way for the Aurora guys to find dates who aren't 45 year old divorced males.

      Is this not a ripe opportunity for a "special" quote from SNL's Pat?
  • Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bahwi (43111) <incoming@NoSPAm.josephguhlin.com> on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:19PM (#20756503) Homepage
    I've played male and female chars in mmo's and have had no problems. It depends on the person playing, if they are going to cause trouble they are going to cause trouble no matter what gender.

    Also, no matter how hard you beg the developer, that hot elven chick just won't be that way in real life. And this step doesn't get you closer to that.
  • Just watch... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Orange Mage (1057436) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:20PM (#20756513) Homepage
    ...as suddenly, the in-game populations turn to about 80% male, 20% female.

    And that's a conservative guess...I bet most would skew it even more towards male players.
    • Re:Just watch... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Culture20 (968837) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:31PM (#20756689)
      I would guess it will trend toward 99.999% male. What geek-girl that you know of would go through the hassle of letting some anonymous geek-admin see her real face just to have the honor of logging in with a female avatar, then becoming the target of cyber-sexual harassment because the perps _know_ you're female? They'd be better off just removing female avatars.
  • by jayhawk88 (160512) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:21PM (#20756519)
    This is something that people ask for in many mmorpgs I myself have seen people say people who play women in EVE online as being some kind of degenerate but how long can a policy of verification by web cam last since its so easy to get around it doesn't seem to solve much and is an insult to many.

    Maybe the mods are to blame for that, but wow.
  • by dontspitconfetti (1153473) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:21PM (#20756521) Homepage
    If it's just a one-time webcam thing, the people who are really desperate can have their mom or sister appear on the webcam for them. Even Grandma Nana counts as a woman!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Was there a reason why you left out the word "Girlfriend"?
  • Idiotic (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gweihir (88907) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:21PM (#20756525)
    This is a role playing game. One of the attributes of a role is gender. And you get to choose. I play WoW and I have both male and female chars. This is quite normal IMO. You fond out the true gender of somebody when having them in voice chat. You can be friends with them and adventure together before/without that.

    Also would this one-sided policy not directly violate anti-discrimination laws? Seems to me it does.
  • by eln (21727) * on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:21PM (#20756535) Homepage
    Yah sure, they want webcams for all the female characters to "verify their gender". What you missed in your article is the fine print:

    Webcam rules:

    1.) Webcam image quality must be sufficient to see subject clearly.
    2.) No objects should be placed so as to obstruct at least the top half of the body.
    3.) Subject should be nude.
    4.) No fatties.
  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:22PM (#20756559)
    So can I not be a 400 year-old wise mage, when I'm neither old, nor wise?
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:22PM (#20756561) Journal
    And all of a sudden, female avatars started gathering more male players than ever before trying to get them into their multiplayer party, and harass them with guild recruitments. :-p
  • by wiredlogic (135348) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:25PM (#20756593)
    So there was something unaccepatble about me playing as Chun Li in SF2 so many years ago?
  • by UbuntuDupe (970646) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:27PM (#20756619) Journal
    Like, there are going to be some existing male-as-female players, and to bring them in line with the policy, you'd have to make the female avatar male. Doesn't an RPG have to have some storyline reason for this?

    (If they're planning to "grandfather" ["grandmother?"] existing male-as-female avatars, that'll probably create even more problems for them.)
  • by Flipao (903929) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:28PM (#20756655)
    When Sexybabe88, the Night Elf Priestess, gets on vent and sounds like the guy from "Saw"... my heart breaks a little every time it happens :(
  • by TheLink (130905) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:30PM (#20756679) Journal
    AFAIK there's not significant roleplaying in most MMORPGs.

    So, say you're a straight guy and not into role playing. Why would you prefer looking at a male character for hours? Usually the camera position in such games would be _behind_ the character, so you'd be staring at the male character's ugly back or butt for hours ;).

    While the male characters are unlikely to be as bad as goatse.cx, given the larger numbers of males in the game developing industry - I'm sure the female characters are going to look better than the male ones ;).

    If I control an animal, robot, car or vehicle in a game, I sure don't expect it to resemble me.
  • Hey look... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sheik Yerbouti (96423) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:30PM (#20756683) Homepage
    A little known MMO that I have never heard of has pulled a publicity stunt and gotten some free coverage from Slashdot. What what what? Slashdot is there target demographic. Congratulations sirs PT Barnum would be proud.

     
  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:35PM (#20756755)
    Crow T. Robot: Aaaah, women. Women, women, women, women, women, women, women. Ha-ha-ha-ha. For you young fellows, fresh on the cusp of a blooming manhood, the questions are abound: What are women like? What do women want? How should I treat a women[sp!]? Perhaps the thorniest problem facing any young man is finding a woman in the first place! It turns out to be... nearly impossible! This reporter spent countless hours searching for a woman, like these pictured here:

    [clips of Hobgoblins, with Amy and Daphne in them]

    Crow T. Robot: ...to no avail. The nearest we came during a tense stakeout was this fellow:

    [a clip of Mike Nelson biting into a sandwich,]

    Crow T. Robot: ...who experts believe, is not a woman. We begin to wonder, where are all the women? The over-heated references in poetry, the images that dominate our media, is it all an elaborate fraud? This grainy photograph is the only direct evidence we have of a woman in her natural environment:

    [A black and white, Bigfoot-like photo of a large woman in a forest]

    Crow T. Robot: The longer hair, the gentle and nurturing demeanor are typical of how witnesses describe their supposed encounters with women. This footprint...

    [Crow stands beside a clay model of a huge Bigfoot-sized footprint]

    Crow T. Robot: ...while possibly the work of jokesters, is another piece of the puzzle! And it is hard to discount this man's terrifying story!

    Mustachioed Crow T. Robot: Then... uh... this woman - I think it was a woman... she... uh... married me.

    Crow T. Robot: [off-screen as interviewer] Did you have any children, sir?

    Mustachioed Crow T. Robot: I don't remember!

    Crow T. Robot: Some day perhaps, an actual woman will emerge, and they will no longer exist only in the realm of myth and maybe. Thank You.
  • Simple fix (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slashdot@gmai l . c om> on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:37PM (#20756785) Homepage Journal
    Sex: M/F
    Real-life sex: M/F
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:38PM (#20756797) Journal
    So, if you're a guy, especially with a big beard and a deep voice verify anyway.

    "But you're a guy"
    "How dare you sir!"
    "But you have a beard"
    "And I'm a little sensitive about it. I'd rather you didn't mention it"
    "And a deep voice"
    "Yes. A lot of people comment on that."
    "I'm not convinced you're a woman"
    "I'll strip naked for you to prove it if you prefer"
    "Yikes! No. That won't be neccesary. Thankyou for verifying you gender. Have a nice day, maam".
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      So, if you're a guy, especially with a big beard and a deep voice verify anyway.

      "But you're a guy"
      "How dare you sir!"
      "But you have a beard"
      "And I'm a little sensitive about it. I'd rather you didn't mention it"
      "And a deep voice"
      "Yes. A lot of people comment on that."
      "I'm not convinced you're a woman"
      "I'll strip naked for you to prove it if you prefer"
      "Yikes! No. That won't be neccesary. Thankyou for verifying you gender. Have a nice day, maam".

      Sounds like this person would be fully qualified to play a female dwarf.

  • TG's (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LSD-OBS (183415) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:39PM (#20756823)
    Erm, what about transgendered individuals, such as your mother?
  • No more metroid... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by caesar-auf-nihil (513828) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:41PM (#20756847)
    Guess I can't play Metroid any more or I'll be a degenerate. Guess I had better not accept Princess Peach as a randomly generated character in Mario Kart either. Better not accept any randomly generated Wii characters either.
    What a load of crap. It's fantasy - a game for goodness sake. My guess is really some loser who runs the service just wants to look at pictures of the people playing women characters.

  • Playing gender roles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by identity0 (77976) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @12:58PM (#20757031) Journal
    ROFL My Waffles, I actually did a report in a college class on gender about gender selection in MMOs...

    Out of about 6 or so people interviewed, the most common reasons given for playing as female were:
      - Male characters are ugly in many games
      - People (males) give you free stuff if you're a female character, especially a newbie
      - People are more likely to help you if you're an attractive female character
      - Females get better looking clothes
      - Men want to look at an attractive avatar, and don't necessarily think of it as being themselves
      - Females want to play an attractive character, or like the clothes a female char gets, but don't necessarily think of it as being themselves

    Reasons people don't like playing female:
      - Guys hit on you constantly
      - Occasional stalkers
      - Many female avas are overtly sexual or 'slutty'
      - Female avas don't look tough or 'butch' even as warrior-types

    One female gamer said that when asked her gender while playing her female char, she tells people she's a guy because that gets them to stop bothering her. WHen she plays as a male, she tells them her real gender because that also freaks them out. The people I talked to basically just want to play the game, and don't like having sexual or gendered attitudes imposed on them, so I wonder what they will think of this.

    This move by the company really seems like implicitly supporting the idea of using MMOs as a hook-up site, instead of a fantasy realm, so I doubt it will be popular among the people I talked to.
  • by miller60 (554835) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @01:05PM (#20757131) Homepage
    Researcher Nick Yee runs the Daedalus Project [nickyee.com], which researches the psychology of MMMORPGs. Here's his findings on gender-bending:

    Men are 3-5 times more likely than women to gender-bend in MMORPGs. The demographic that is most likely to gender-bend are men over the age of 25. We know that 85% of MMORPG players are male, so if you do the math, at any given moment, half of all female avatars are actually being played by men.
    If you're interested, you can read the details of Nick's research [nickyee.com], along with an earlier study of gender switching in Everquest [nickyee.com].
  • by mapsjanhere (1130359) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @01:12PM (#20757225)
    Playerauction: Selling VERIFIED female character account Have all the fun you want cybering the innocent teenager who KNOWS you're a true female sharing his love! Only $1000
  • by Naelok (1162515) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @01:12PM (#20757229)
    One time I was playing a female character in the Lineage 2 beta (terrible game, by the way) and partied with some random folk. After a bit of grinding, one of my party members said the following: Him: "Hey, are you single?" Me: "Yeah." Him: "Ohhh! Cool! Cause I need me a gaming wife." Me: "... I'm male." Him: "WHAT? YOU FAG!!" That is my story.
  • by lena_10326 (1100441) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @01:22PM (#20757337) Homepage
    ...choose an ugly avatar? And pretty people a pretty avatar? Because, I've noticed there's usually a huge disparity between the two. How about obese for obese? Super-obese for super-obese?

    The point is to escape a crappy reality.

  • Silver Lining ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FauxPasIII (75900) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @01:47PM (#20757693)
    Most of the posts here are skewing condemnatory of this goofball policy, and I agree. However, maybe there's a bright side. If the playerbase actually go through this verification process (big if), it would offer a rare opportunity to observe macroscopic differences in how men and women behave in MMOs. Do women tend to tank less and heal more? Do they tend to cluster together in all-female guilds? etc.
  • Oh man (Score:4, Funny)

    by ErikZ (55491) * on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @02:05PM (#20757953)
    I can see it now...

    "Ok, we're having a problem here."
    'What? I thought you said my webcam is working?'
    "Yeeeah. The problem is that we still can't tell if you're a woman."

    This won't end well.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @02:24PM (#20758189)
    I'm a guy and I play Final Fantasy XI as a male character, a Tarutaru paladin who looks absolutely adorable if I do say so myself. Of course, the cuteness factor was a big part of my decision, but in spite of how relatively androgynous Tarutaru tend to appear to the untrained eye, I still picked a male avatar, one of the ones that's more recognizably male.

    Am I sexually attracted to my own avatar? No. But what I am sexually attracted to are all the female avatars (and the female players behind them) that are drawn to my male avatar. I'm so cute that I've lost track of the number of times a woman has asked me to stop so she could get a picture taken with me, and if I'm sitting around in a crowded town long enough, at least one random woman (often two or three, as they bring their friends) will come up to me, gush over how cute I am and start to tease and play with me a little.

    Granted, being "cute" rather than "butch" means a higher percentage of those female avatars are controlled by female players, but in general, being a male avatar gives me a far greater opportunity to meet, talk to and flirt with women than I would otherwise, something that simply wouldn't happen if I had chosen to play as a hot chixx0rz. And if you're truly a straight guy, isn't that the most important part?

    Unless, of course, you get a sexual thrill out of having to disappoint lustful guys...
  • by SpeedBump0619 (324581) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @02:38PM (#20758365)
    Stand-in for the web-cam? Thank goodness I've got one chained to the wall in the basement right now.
  • by kidcharles (908072) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @02:58PM (#20758649)
    The parent company of Aurora Technology is called Shanda Entertainment. 'Shanda' is the Yiddish word for "shame or embarrassment."

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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