Saturday, September 26, 2009

Don't judge a book by it's cover. (MMORPG)

Occasionally I see on different game forums posts asking why people play a character of a different gender than what the player is in real life. I have always wondered really what does it matter. Just because the character may be the same sex of the character it doesn't change anything. Maybe you might flirt with them possibly? Does it gross you out? Does it even matter to you? In an MMORPG does it matter?

A few weeks ago I was on my female NE druid in WoW and I had a male character trying to dig around to find out if I was female or not. He started out making a comment that my name was pretty. As I have found on the alliance I tend to get hit on more so, though it still happens on horde, on a female character. I have been asked to dance "naked" for gold more times than I'd like to count.. Always sending back an earful to the person heh.

Anyhow as I was saying. This player kept asking me questions, which I figured I wouldn't give him a real clue that I was, in fact, female. He asked if it was odd to play a female character which I replied with "No it feels fine to me." He made a few comments how he always felt creepy playing female characters, my reply was "I think my druid is nice as a female, as my Paladin is nice as a male." He then quit sending me tells. It got a chuckle from me. My work was done, easy way to fend off potential cyber requests. The week before I had a "guy" ask if I liked to talk dirty, a random tell.. wth dude?

You can't always tell who is behind the character, therefor you should act respectfully and take this into account. One of my mains in WoW is an 80 Male BE Paladin. When I first created him I had a lot of friends and random people sending me flirty tells and I figured it would make me immune to those kinds of tells. I switched sides back to horde, and at the time I liked how the males looked in plate better.

I like it that way, my friends know I am female, they don't treat me any different. No shocks on Vent to find I am female because I am not posing as a male, I do not feel I have to associate myself with my character. I know who I am. Plus my character looks sweet in plate ;) I've always had a few male characters since back in my Everquest days.

Another thing I find is many people feel the need to associate with their character. My character is not an extension of myself. It's just some pixels I run around in a game with. Sure I won't name it Buttface or anything, because I like to have some self respect in that manner. Or I have even seen people say "I like to look at a female behind all day not a males." or vice versa.

It's not that for me. At the time I thought he made a better choice for a paladin, with the immunity to random flirts as icing on the cake. I still have friends who get a kick out of doing silly flirty emotes with my character but that's a different thing.

I had changed my character to female at one point then I changed it back to male b/c I preferred how I had originally made it. If I want to play a female character I have another main as a female. Really it just comes down to which class I feel like playing not which sex it is.

Though I have found it doesn't always make a difference as I have had female characters hitting on me in tells... I may look like a gallant tanking machine who leads the group onward in the land of Norrath, doesn't mean I really am a gallant Wood Elf warrior in real life! Though this is not the reason I play male character as well as females. I like to play what I think looks cool as said class. However I do play more female than male characters. As you can see only one in my banner is male ;)

Everyone has different reasons. I have several male friends in WoW who only play female characters, I don't view them any differently. One of my last guilds a few female players asked why I would play a male, it seems the females that had the most reaction. The males were more like, cool dude.. lets go do a heroic.

I suppose you have to feel comfortable with it. People have to realize that the character that's being played isn't an extension of it really is, it's an avatar, pixels. There is a separation, I play my characters to the best of my ability and expect to be judged on this, not what sex my character is.

Some people feel squeamish about it. It's not as if I'm running around with a photograph of someone else taped to my face pretending to be someone else. It's a whole different ballpark. When I am a female character do you think I am posing to be a vixen in disguise or that's what I really look similar to?

It's not an issue with me personally I just thought it was an interesting topic. What do you play? Do you have problems with people playing the opposite sex? Why?

I'd also like to say this isn't a post meant to rant on rant of in game flirting, or random cyber tells. I just use some of my own experiences as reference. I'm not ragging on people who flirt in game either, however I am there to game. To each his/her own. You also have to keep in mind to be respectful to other players, so always keep that in mind.

Plus you never know who is behind that avatar ;)

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