Male vs Female: is it ok to play the opposite sex in a game?
There has been a slight delay this week due to work stuff and things, but hopefully normal service will now be resumed, so back into the fray with a post that has been rehashed more times than the hulk franchise; the importance of the sex of your avatar.
Above we have my 2 two main characters at the moment. Katarnas (left) is a female nelf druid and Adalbrecht (right) is human warrior.
I have played rpgs and the like now for mumble mumble years and have my favourite kinds of characters that I like. Usually I have tended to go for warriors, barbarians and similar characters, and usually they are male. Rarely (and I do mean rarely) have I picked a magic user or a female character, it does happen, but I can only recall 1 female character of any worth (compared to dozens of male characters) that I played before WoW and incidently she was also the only magic user type I can think of as well 🙂
Since starting to play WoW I have noticed that my characters tend to go in 2 very different directions. I have my human males; Adalbrecht the warrior (my first ever character), Yberian the priest and Quintas the Death Knight. Alongside those I have my female Night Elves; Katarnas the druid, Alshandra the rogue, Katjara the warrior and Gaelen the hunter. I have tried other races/class/gender combos and my shaman and paladin are both female Draenai (but only because they couldn’t be elves).
To me there seems to be a certain (maybe twisted) logic to these choices. Adal and Quintas, for example are both heavy plate melee types. Having male characters for those seemed more appropriate, especially when you see females plate wearers tanking in what at times is basically a steel bikini (I know, I know, you can’t claim realism in WoW, but there has to be limits 😀 ). Conversely for my druid, rogue and hunter female characters seem to be more appropriate, I have tried a male dwarf hunter and male gnome and human rogues but didn’t really “get” them, the druid was based on the fact that the male nelf model looks awful and at the time there were only nelf druids for Alliance.
However some people seem to have an issue with choice of gender in game. At various times it has been suggested (not always to me personally but in forums and such) that males who play female characters have sexuality issues, or are essentially perverts getting off on some pixels, are looking for free stuff (the whole helpless damsel thing) or are trying to fool someone into chatting them up. These thoughts never seem to be directed at women playing male characters though.
The manufacturers of the various games seem to be deliberately playing on this tendency though, watch some of the different emotes, silly, dances and flirts that female characters perform compared to their male counterparts. So you see slinky nelf females shaking and waving their bodies all over the place while informing you “Oh, look, I’m dancing again! I hope all your friends are enjoying the show…” or “You know, I have to keep moving at night. Or I’ll disappear!”, I know thats a reference to WC3 but it’s still suggestive, especially if you don’t know it’s original reference. However, male characters generally seem to have some sort of cheesy wannabe disco dance going on while spouting “Cover for me! I gotta whiz behind a tree.” (human) and “When we arrived here I lost many jewels that had been in my family for generations. If you could get your hands on my family jewels I would be deeply appreciative.” (draenai), again that second one is suggestive, but in a very rough blokeish way rather than naughty like the female emotes are.
This subject seems to have been debated endlessly on many different forums covering everything from pen-and-paper traditional rp’s to the most futuristic mmos. Granted, there may be some truth in the various reasons above for some people but I think it would be harsh to tar all males who play females with the same brush. Personally I am happily married with two kids and have no need to get excited by a bunch of pixels however prettily arranged they are, however there will be some males who do get excited over them and thats precisely why they have female characters that they can take into a small quiet inn and undress while they dance 😀
Ultimately it’s a game and it’s fun, yh I like to /flirt with other (male) characters regardless of the gender of the player and Kat does have a habit of dancing in various skimpy outfits under a beam of light while we have /afk or bio breaks but it doesn’t mean a thing about me except that I like to have a laugh while I am playing a game 🙂