A View From the Road: Confessions of a Virtual Transvestite

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A View From the Road: Confessions of a Virtual Transvestite

Almost all of my characters in MMOGs are female. Is there anything wrong with that?

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I do the same exact thing. Even the part about the Pokemon player character. I always seem to chose a female character if that is an option. And it isn't anything sexual or anything else like that, for some reason I roleplay a better female than a male in a video game.

I do this too, but usually not with online games.

This is very interesting to me. I never play a male character if I have the option to play as a female. Perhaps that's because the option to play as a female is far more infrequent than being forced to play as a male.

In fact, maybe that's where this gender-swapping comes from -- in so many games, you have no choice but to be male. Maybe you're just playing as a girl because you can.

That... was actually an intersting question.
I too play as male characters on single player games but when it comes to MMOs, the ones I played (whitch isn't many but still), I played as a female. Or some male that his look really puts yourself in doubt if he's actually a he.

And like you, it isn't becouse I feel any kind of attraction for my character. So I guess the main reason would be "I'm allowed to be whatever I want to be in a fantasy game". So once you have the chance to be something different to what you are and can show that to other people, then why not?

Also, I wouldn't look good with skirts but hell, I sure do in game!

The "If I'm going to be staring at an ass for 60 levels, it better be a nice ass" Logic hits home with me, However, I Role Play frequently (on the game), and who'se more likely to kick your ass? The ten foot tall guy who wants to eat your head, or the chick wearing a miniskirt? If you picked the ten foot tall guy, please stand infront of a mirror and look at yourself for a while thinking: What the fuck?

"John Funk also thinks male Night Elves look really, really stupid."

This is a problem I have when games don't give me enough customization.
All of the men are HUGE BULKY BADASSES.
...Even the casters.

Guys what?
It is a mage.
He probably could not pluck a blade of grass from the ground, let alone impale someone with a sword and pluck it out of their gaping chest-cavity.

That being said, I tend to split my characters pretty evenly between the two genders...
Oddly enough, often having the female be the strong fighter-types.

CantFaketheFunk:
[snip] my choosing to play as the female trainer in Pokemon Pearl means I want to be a ten-year-old girl.

...At least, I certainly hope not. That'd be kind of weird.

BAHAAHAHAH! I've been waiting to read this article and that made it all the more worthwhile. Five guys all playing girls, eh? I wonder why that sounds familiar...

Like you, I typically play females unless I can play a male character that's not human. Or even humanoid, really. If it's monstrous, I'm alright with being a male character, or if I really dislike the female models I'll play a male one, but it's rare. So very, very rare.

Susan Arendt:
This is very interesting to me. I never play a male character if I have the option to play as a female. Perhaps that's because the option to play as a female is far more infrequent than being forced to play as a male.

In fact, maybe that's where this gender-swapping comes from -- in so many games, you have no choice but to be male. Maybe you're just playing as a girl because you can.

I dunno.

I just know I never get into it if I play a female character. Maybe it is because as a DnD nerd I spent so many years pawning over women that it seems almost surreal that I could be inside one.

MaxTheReaper:

This is a problem I have when games don't give me enough customization.
All of the men are HUGE BULKY BADASSES.
...Even the casters.

I tend to point out that male characters are just as impossible in body image as female ones whenever women complain about large breasts female characters.

But then I get shouted down for being a sexist blind pig and not knowing what I'm talking about.

What can you do :P.

CantFaketheFunk:
If I started going to the gym again and worked out every day, I could eventually look like a he-man champion

In reality, I am "that fit guy" that every group of friends tends to have, but in WoW I play(ed) a male gnome, a female blood elf, a male undead, pretty much everything was unrepresentative of who I am in real life.

A few of my friends in WoW made claims that they'd rather look at a female model than a male model if they were going to be playing all day, but at the opposite end of the spectrum I had friends who called them out for doing so. In the end, the people that called the others out had no valid arguments of why they SHOULDN'T make female avatars. That was when I started rolling characters based on whatever the hell I was feeling would look most badass at the time, rather than how others would think about the way those avatars looked vs. who I am.

My reasons for choosing to make a male Gnome Warrior was because I thought a tiny gnome running around all badass with a huge axe was hilarious. Nothing more (turns out, this aesthetic was also wicked for dominating tauren warriors, cause they never noticed the little gnome cleaving at their heals until he doms them). Similarly, my reasons for choosing a female blood elf paladin was because no other horde race could be a paladin, and male blood elves just look dumb (seriously, worst model ever). And continuing on that note, I made a male Undead Warlock because, lets face it, Undead just look badass.

By the end of my WoW Career, all of my friends picked their avatars based on aesthetics, not on who they were in real life. We would constantly re-roll on new servers to attempt to keep the game interesting for ourselves. I know one avid MMOer who picked races/sexes based on their casting animations alone. And yet another real life friend who would make level 1 female elf (NE/BE) characters to (you guessed it) beg players for money efficiently. I guess what I'm trying to say here is the age old saying "You can't judge a book by it's cover"

RollForInitiative:

CantFaketheFunk:
[snip] my choosing to play as the female trainer in Pokemon Pearl means I want to be a ten-year-old girl.

...At least, I certainly hope not. That'd be kind of weird.

BAHAAHAHAH! I've been waiting to read this article and that made it all the more worthwhile. Five guys all playing girls, eh? I wonder why that sounds familiar...

Like you, I typically play females unless I can play a male character that's not human. Or even humanoid, really. If it's monstrous, I'm alright with being a male character, or if I really dislike the female models I'll play a male one, but it's rare. So very, very rare.

Yeah. Man, why could that ever sound familiar? I wonder... :P

Susan Arendt:
This is very interesting to me. I never play a male character if I have the option to play as a female. Perhaps that's because the option to play as a female is far more infrequent than being forced to play as a male.

In fact, maybe that's where this gender-swapping comes from -- in so many games, you have no choice but to be male. Maybe you're just playing as a girl because you can.

This is actually a really intriguing point that never even occurred to me while I was writing the article. Maybe it really is just a sense of being able to do something that we CAN'T do in most games. Master Chief, Gordon Freeman, Nathan Drake, Cloud Strife - their genders are set in stone.

That's an angle I hadn't considered, and a very interesting one at that.

I always play as women in any game. To some extent I just find it more interesting to name female characters. Yet, I also try to make my characters as close to looking like me as possible. As far as I'm concerned if there are no stat diffrences, why not?

Rarity.

Even though your group may consist of 5 females, I'd venture a guess that you're far outnumbered by male characters in the game, correct?

So it's simply ego.. wanting to stand out in the crowd.

It's like me when I played MUDs.. I automatically made my characters moderately ugly. Not monstrous or hideous, just unpleasant.. overweight, bad smells, etc. Why? Because then I'd be the only one amongst the crowds of green-eyed red-haired vixens and fabio/clive owen look-alikes.

EVERYONE thinks male night elves look stupid.

Plus my night elf druid is female partially because people don't care as much on RP servers and mostly because I'm in a shapeshifted form and it doesn't matter.

Being male, I played as a female character on RuneScape for a while, and quite a few people that I encountered presumed me to be female in real life.

MaxTheReaper:
"John Funk also thinks male Night Elves look really, really stupid."

This is a problem I have when games don't give me enough customization.
All of the men are HUGE BULKY BADASSES.
...Even the casters.

Guys what?
It is a mage.
He probably could not pluck a blade of grass from the ground, let alone impale someone with a sword and pluck it out of their gaping chest-cavity.

That being said, I tend to split my characters pretty evenly between the two genders...
Oddly enough, often having the female be the strong fighter-types.

I have to say that I agree with Max on this one. Although in some universes a mage CAN use a sword efficiently (Warhammer Fantasy) but that is nitpicking from my side.

I tabletop rpg's I play male or female depending on what I find suits the character concept the best and has so far had slightly more males than females whereas in computer rpgs etc. it is the other way around (I think).

On the computer it depends on the concept and on what looks the best/most interesting which i find to usually be the female models.

I always find it odd how the majority of players assume that female avatars on online games are female.

I always go by the rule "Everyone online is a dude, until solid evidence proves me wrong"

Mainly that evidence is through talking to them through a headset. As pictures you can just pluck from the internet and text, well, you should never believe someone through text.

Being a male, I play as both, but I always play as a male first. After that, I'll make a female if it gives me the option.

And also given an additional option, I give my males giant pink mohawks and go around in no pants.

And not one of those wimpy "fohawks" or whatever the hell they're called, I'm talking about the giant spikey awsome mohawks.

And as females, well... I'm not sure really. But I have noticed that most female characters I created tend to look like the first girl I had a crush on in high school.

...Wonder what that says about me.

Xaryn Mar:

I have to say that I agree with Max on this one. Although in some universes a mage CAN use a sword efficiently (Warhammer Fantasy) but that is nitpicking from my side.

I tabletop rpg's I play male or female depending on what I find suits the character concept the best and has so far had slightly more males than females whereas in computer rpgs etc. it is the other way around (I think).

On the computer it depends on the concept and on what looks the best/most interesting which i find to usually be the female models.

Well, yeah, anyone can train with a weapon and become better with it...

But for the most part, mages in games suck with weapons.
It's just a fact. If the game mentions different, cool, that's understandable.

But most don't. So I don't get where they had the time to build up as much muscle as the warrior, who probably spends the majority of his time skewering things.

I know what you mean CantFakeTheFunk, I play female characters in a lot of my RPG games. I have 2 female characters in Guild Wars. Jade Empire, Mass Effect, KotOR. I just find its more fun to play a female just to shake it up a bit.

I don't play MMO's but when there is a create your own character option I mostly choose female. And its honestly because I'd like to be a girl, something that I've oddly always dreamed of, but surgery is messy and risky so that's out but its fine as a dream. I have no problem admitting this...on the internet.

I don't see the problem in it, I figure the reason most people do it is because what would you rather be looking at while you run about? A guys rippling biceps or a girls rear swaying about?

I'm a dude, I play Horde and all my characters are dudes, except for the one belf (guess which class) who's a chick. Interestingly enough most of my Guild Wars chars are female(6 out of 9), and both of my AoC chars were also female.

My motives in gender choice are strictly aesthetic. I always roll a dude to prevent confusion when encountering other players, unless a dude looks significantly more stupid than the female version of the character(belfs), or if the female version looks really really pretty(that would be GW and AoC).

To expand upon earlier comments, I think part of it is the desire to create something you find beautiful. A heterosexual male is more likely to create a female character in that case, logically.

"I want to be the little girl."

Susan Arendt:
This is very interesting to me. I never play a male character if I have the option to play as a female. Perhaps that's because the option to play as a female is far more infrequent than being forced to play as a male.

In fact, maybe that's where this gender-swapping comes from -- in so many games, you have no choice but to be male. Maybe you're just playing as a girl because you can.

Ironically, I've been exercising my freedom to do something different and play as the girl so long that I find myself also occasionally playing as a guy because that's usually the option that I don't take.

there's the idea that female characters get treated better by other players

I'm very sorry but I really had to laugh at this one because I show no mercy when it comes to gender when playing an online game.

Sorry ladies but you're dude until proven otherwise. Being a woman doesn't get you any slack in my book anyway, if you're doing a bad job playing your character I'm going to tell and try to help you like any other person. If you're playing your character like a brain dead monkey slapping keys then you're going to hear "You are the weakest......goodbye" and be booted from my group.

I'm sorry to come off as an insensitive bastard, but gender is a not a handicap, however, believing it is counts as a mental illness.

-EDIT-
Just wanted to add that I do play female characters from time to time, something about a woman carrying a large axe is attractive to me.

I do this all the time. Aside from the "if I'm gonna stare at an ass all day..." argument, I have sort of an arbitrary reasoning of my own: Most game designers are geeky men, so therefore they make the female characters better so as to not seem sexist. Its a dumb reason, but hey...

When I play games like the MMO genre where I get to customize I always like to infuse myself to be the character in the game. From Sierra's The Realm to World of Warcraft I always played a male when the choice of gender was there. Possibly the only time I will play as a female character is because I like the character and the cause they are fighting for. Most of the time those female characters are already built to be who they are and there is no need for me to inject any sort of imagination because the personality is already built in. My key example actually is Secret of Mana where I would always play the girl. She had lines allowing her to talk unlike the mute hero and the girl had control of magic.

Judging by how I played Mass Effect I'll play through it as a male, then go back and play it differently as a female. In that case, I went paragon as male and slightly renegade as female. I also changed classes and origins.

Course if that option isn't quite available I'll just play as a guy.

Susan Arendt:
This is very interesting to me. I never play a male character if I have the option to play as a female. Perhaps that's because the option to play as a female is far more infrequent than being forced to play as a male.

In fact, maybe that's where this gender-swapping comes from -- in so many games, you have no choice but to be male. Maybe you're just playing as a girl because you can.

I can agree with this, I hate having to be forced into playing a male character in most games. Sometimes I'd like to kick ass as the fairer sex, yet when I played Mass Effect I never played a female, but in Fallout I did.

With myself I guess it's just a case of what I'd rather be at the time, I really don't have any preference.
It's just nice to have the choice.

She was my choice this time.

I've always wondered what it would be like to be a woman.
But maybe that's just a Berethond thing, and not a guy thing.

A nice article, but it's a classic case of over thinking something. You're on your way to the ridiculously simple answer but you don't quite get there. I'll provide the solution right now.

It's true that our online personas are idealized versions of ourselves. And of course we don't want to be women. What we want is to be good-looking. Hey lets face it, we men are butt-ugly. That's as true in the virtual world as in the real one. Whatever your preference, there is no denying that women are all around more aesthetically pleasing than men.

There's a reason God created women second. Men were just his trial run. An imperfect Beta. Women are the final product. There's no shame in aspiring to that.

Whats the betting that if funk rolls horde he'll go belf?

I do the same thing, I dunno why. I think a lot of it has to do with female characters usually looking infinitely better than male characters in most games.

I think there are a lot of trannies in Champions--nearing the level cap it's not at all uncommon to end up in an all-female group for instances and arenas. For me, I assume all toons are male players until there is vent confirmation otherwise, though once I teamed with a female char, who made no effort to prove his/her femaleness, whose style of interaction was such that after we split up I wondered if it really was a woman.

In fantasy MMOs my female alts never progressed beyond early game and not without a little shame even at that. Champions has my first female toon as a main nearing level cap- a Barb Wire-type cyberpunk chick with a light saber- and I've barely given it a second thought.

Not once have I been hit on, unlike WoW where female toons get hit on a lot. When that happens, I like to play along just for the fun of it. Night elf males are always the total creepsters.

It is kind of sad though in Club Caprice to watch men badly rp'ing female toons, and other men believing it. Actually, no, it's rather entertaining.

Personally, I've never played as a female in any game that allowed me to do otherwise. Something makes playing as huge guys with bulging muscles and deep gravelly voices endlessly entertaining. No I'm not gay :P

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