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PC Games (Games) Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

Gender-Bending In Online Games Investigated 63

Thanks to Terra Nova for their article discussing the prevalence of gender-bending in online RPGs. According to statistics worked out in the piece, "[in EverQuest], every 1 out of 2 or 3 female characters is being played by a male player, while every 1 out of 100 male characters is being played by a female player." The article also notes that, according to the statistics, "The demographic that is most likely to gender-bend is not male teenagers, but men over the age of 25", suggesting one reason for this might be that "younger male players are probably less secure about their own gender identity."
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Gender-Bending In Online Games Investigated

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  • by orthogonal ( 588627 ) on Saturday October 18, 2003 @08:58AM (#7247782) Journal
    "[in EverQuest], every 1 out of 2 or 3 female characters is being played by a male player, while every 1 out of 100 male characters is being played by a female player."

    As one of the few women posting to Slashdot, I wonder what the ratio of "gender-benders" is here?
  • makes sense (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nystul555 ( 579614 ) * on Saturday October 18, 2003 @10:05AM (#7248028) Homepage
    I played MMORGs for awhile, and I tried both sexes. Mostly to see how it would affect the game.

    As you would expect, I was helped out by others FAR more when I played as a female. People were nicer overall, but there definately was an increase in harrassment. Of course, I always told them I weighed 750 lbs in real life, that tended to end any requests to meet in rl.

    I could see why most gender-benders would be over 25. I don't see very many male teenagers being secure enough to play as a female character, I know when I was 16 I wouldn't have. Today its interesting to play as a female, to see how other react, and to compare that to how they react when I play as a male. It is really a good mirror on how society, and those in it, treat men and women differently just because of their sex.
  • Attributes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by daigu ( 111684 ) on Saturday October 18, 2003 @10:29AM (#7248128) Journal

    I'm male, over 25 and have almost always choosen to play female characters in every video game I have played. Why?

    Female characters in many games typically focus on attributes I prefer - such as dexterity, quickness and so forth. Example: Look at the Soul Caliber [] characters. Almost all are in the 100 pound range - they cannot compete with the male characters on strength. So, they are given other attributes to compensate, which, frankly I find to be more interesting in terms of game play.

    I don't play online games - but would probably choose female characters in that forum too. Although, I think the advantages are different - namely, if it is more of a social game, you don't have to conform to male stereotypes and can actually get into playing the character more - and possibly more likely to avoid conversation, like who's in the World Series, that I'd rather not have anyway.

  • Re:Attributes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by daigu ( 111684 ) on Saturday October 18, 2003 @12:04PM (#7248471) Journal

    You could be telling the truth here.

    Or, you are covering up for the fact that you are a closet homo.

    Thank you for providing such an excellent illustration of my point.

    Playing female characters doesn't make one a closet homosexual. Nor is it an indicator that one is sexually confused or one likes to manipulate other people by taking advantage of the anonymity and the fantasy that is part of role-playing a game.

    Of course, there are people that play female characters in online games that are these things. The argument is that it is more likely that men playing women (and vice versa) are just more interested in playing the role in the game and selecting the opposite gender just makes the role more complex and different from real life. It also gives you a break from these kind of attitudes in the game - which is no small thing.

    Parting shot, next time you are flirting with a female character online and she tells you to fuck off, you might think it's because it's some homo guy. However, the other possible explanation is that you are coming across like an asshole and are trying to use the game to hook up.

    It's a game after all. No one has a conniption or thinks twice about it when I play Ms. Scarlet in Clue. Why should it be different online?

  • by mrboffo ( 674942 ) <{r_younce} {at} {}> on Saturday October 18, 2003 @05:26PM (#7250103) Homepage
    I'm not a big EQ fan, only played for a few months back in the day. My thing's always been pen-and-paper RPGs. Having said that... I've had a lot of male Pen and Paper players play female characters. In my mind, it is a stretch of one's personality to be able to play a wizard; is it not just as much a stretch to play a female wizard?

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen