February 09, 2005
When playing MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online roleplaying games), I tend to split the gender of my characters about 50/50. Half of them are male and the other half female. Why do I sometimes play female characters? I've broken it down to a few reasons.
One, very few should be surprised to learn that the female character models in games are not always realistic. Their proportions generally match an optimistic view of the female form to please the 90% young male audience. Well, sex appeal works, and the models are pleasing to look at. And when one spends hours playing a game, looking at one's own character, it may as well be one pleasing to look at, no? Granted, the male character models are also over-exagerated as well, but, when in put in other terms, I'd rather have a wall calendar with female models than males.
Two, playing an opposite gendered character in game provides a unique academic exercise. One's perspective of how one gender treats another en masse is certainly challenged when experiencing the other side of the fence. Young male teenagers are particularly blunt, abusive, and, dare I say, cocky when dealing with what they expect to be a female both in-game and out. I have also heard from female gamers playing male characters that the shift is rather insightful.
Three, crossing the gender line further enhances the roleplaying experience. When one plays an elf, dwarf, troll, or orc in-game, there is only a rough estimate and group of stereotypes as to what those creatures would really be like--particularly because they are strictly fantasy creations. However, genders are something that everyone is intimately familiar with, and therefore emulating the opposite sex brings a real world challenge to the fantasy of the game.
A friend brought up an interesting point, however, that it appears that female gamers tend to cross the gender line less often than males. Why the disparity? There are some seemingly obvious answers, but not being an actual female gamer, I don't rightly know.
Posted at February 9, 2005 07:49 AM | Misc
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