A Curiosity of Gender...

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Don't know if it's ever been brought up before, but I'll pose the question to the group at large:

Characters in MMOs, what leads some of us to gender-bend with our characters?

I can kinda understand it for games like Vindictus, that only has 4 character (not class) choices, 2 of which are female (unless you get the mod to turn one of the guys into a chick), but for other games like WoW, STO or DDO (to name a few) where the choice of gender is purely aesthetic, giving no game benefit to either, why would guys play chick characters, and vice versa? For that matter, even in tabletop, pen/paper games, I've known people to bend their characters, not just NPCs. I've never understood the concept, and would love some input other than TL:DR

*Crosses fingers, hoping this is an acceptable location for this thread*

-edit I do understand the concept of chicks playing as dudes in MMOs to avoid the classic trolling of "A/S/L, wanna cyber?" constantly
 
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What I hear most is "if I'm going to be staring at an ass for hours on end, it might as well be a chick's".

The reason I've never rolled a chick myself is that I like to pretend I'm actually in the game world. Part of that, for me at least, is imagining the equipment (gear and such) that my character's using/interacting with. And this would be fine except that the female characters are never dressed, and don't look anything, like a character in that world - they dress and look like expensive escorts. Which is cool and all I guess but definitely prevents me from really getting into the role of my character :?
 
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I suppose I can appreciate that reason...

I'm with you on the immersion thing though, probably why I never thought about it that way. My characters represent me, or an aspect of myself. I just can't get the feel of acting out a character whose motivations I can't quite understand. Playing my mage on Vindictus is a stretch for me, being that she's female.

-edited for clarity
 
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Bwuahahaha.

Actually, this is really interesting. Me and Arki had a conversation about the fact that all his characters are girls. His response was "so what?" And mine was "SO if I rolled a guy, NO ONE would think that was weird? At all?"

So.. now I'm playing a guy, for any comments/questions about weirdness you may direct it to Arki. Regardless, I'm having a blast. :D
 

Dao Jones

I am the Waffleman. Goo goo gajoob.
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sepoy said:
The reason I've never rolled a chick myself is that I like to pretend I'm actually in the game world. Part of that, for me at least, is imagining the equipment (gear and such) that my character's using/interacting with.
I find this is the case for my "main" in an MMO. Champions Online was the first MMO I've played where my "main" was female, and I always regretted it. My first alt was male, and I ended up liking him far better.

I'll usually roll my main as a guy, because I see that character as my "avatar" in the game - the extension of me playing. However, I'll inevitably roll an alt as a female, and that's purely for the cheesecake value.

I generally don't find it weird for guys to play girls or girls to play guys. I find it *exceptionally* weird for guys to *act* like girls (or vice versa) when they play an opposite-gender character. Luckily you don't see that too often.
 
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Prof_Loophole said:
-edit I do understand the concept of chicks playing as dudes in MMOs to avoid the classic trolling of "A/S/L, wanna cyber?" constantly
As someone who's rolled plenty of female toons, I DON'T buy this as a reason... I can see people thinking that might happen, but I've never had anyone proposition me in an MMO.

Actually, this is really interesting. Me and Arki had a conversation about the fact that all his characters are girls. His response was "so what?" And mine was "SO if I rolled a guy, NO ONE would think that was weird? At all?"
No? Do people think that's weird? Really? I'm serious, I don't think it's weird at all.

For me, there are a few reasons:

1) In RPGs, if I'm going to be flirting, I much prefer the idea of an aggressively flirty lady than an aggressively flirty dude. If you ask me, a lady finding me hot and coming up to me and going "Hey, nice ass" does it for me. And you can make that happen if you play a female character. But dudes who just go around flirting with and fucking every lady that walks by seems disingenuous. Mostly considering how hard > I < have to work to get someone to have sex with me, lol. (Is it weird that I have no problem with ladies having crazy sex, but I look down on guys that do it? Call it reverse slut shaming.)

2) Let's face it, many RPGs are dress-up games. Men's outfits are boring. Let's compare:

[hsimg:3782hpgz]http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/george-clooney-stacy-keibler-red-carpet-oscars.jpg[/hsimg:3782hpgz]
Guy in suit, lady in interesting dress.

[hsimg:3782hpgz]http://www.taistoisoisbeau.com/blog/image/angelina_jolie_brad_pitt_Oscar_red_carpet_2009.jpg[/hsimg:3782hpgz]
Beautiful gown and... guy in a suit.

[hsimg:3782hpgz]http://glaykisdolcevita.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/oscar_2010_red_carpet_sarah_jessica_parker_matthew_broderick.jpg?w=640[/hsimg:3782hpgz]
Phew. Well, let's just say guy in a suit.

For me, it's not so much "OMG, my virtual character's so hot," because, you see, I'm an adult with the internet. If I want to look at beautiful women, there are much easier and less expensive ways to do it. But women's outfits are much more interesting. ESPECIALLY if you're playing a game that takes place in the modern day.

3) If there are any in-game difference between the genders, I almost always want to be a lady. They're usually more agile and clever, while dudes are big and brawny. In Nethack, there's no difference between the genders, except women can lay eggs if they get polymorphed into animals that can lay eggs. So I generally default to female.

To me, games aren't an extension of me, but me stepping into a role that's different from myself. It's acting, escapism. It's like watching a movie, I don't project myself into the character I'm playing, I'm entertaining myself through the character I'm playing.
 
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Stonar said:
It's like watching a movie, I don't project myself into the character I'm playing, I'm entertaining myself through the character I'm playing.
This is a good summation of my particular view. Although I do not knock RPing in an mmo in any way, that function is not a draw for me. Since that is the case, I prefer to look at what may be more aesthetically pleasing to me personally since I have to watch that toon every time I play. Since I am a heterosexual male, I have a natural inclination to prefer looking at a female form. Ergo, most of my characters end up being female.

I totally appreciate this is not the view of some and others to an even larger degree. To each their own and respect to all.

I really haven't analyzed this at all in regards to people's preferences towards their in game character selection; good question!
 
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I'm in the same boat as Dao. My main is always a guy, as that's my personal avatar in the game world and the one I probably spend the most time on. Eventually I end up rolling a female character at some point just because it's fun to see what the maxxed out boob slider option looks like.
 

ironzerg

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This is going to sound really creepy and stupid, but I'm along the same lines as Stonar.

Females in MMOs just have such a wider and more interesting range of clothing options.

Yeah, I went there.

And it goes from skimpy to full-armor.

For example, in Rift, it's classic to have most female toons running around in a halter top and panties (hurr hurr hurr), especially in PvP. So I've gone out of my way to dress my toon up using armor and costume pieces that give her a very menacing and heavy look, while still have "touches" of her femine side.

[hsimg:gpxglvbq]http://www.unrepentantgaming.org/forum/gallery/pic.php?mode=large&pic_id=583[/hsimg:gpxglvbq]

I've since updated the look to white/gunmetal to go with the new appearance of the R8 armors, but long story short, I just have more fun playing with the appearance of my avatar when he's a she.

And looking forward to GW2, it's going to be a whole new ballgame, with them trying to include a range of outfits from skimpy to heavy armor for BOTH men and women.

I can't wait to see Dao's avatar in a leather chaps and leggings...his MALE avatar.
 
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ironzerg said:
I can't wait to see Dao's avatar in a leather chaps and leggings...his MALE avatar.
/Shudder

Demongene said:
...it's fun to see what the maxxed out boob slider option looks like.
Agreed, though the only MMO I've ever played that has one is STO, and I've been having enough fun messing with my Boffs, seeing as all but one are female... My Vulcan pimp hand is strong :ugeek: ;)
 
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I mainly make male toons. The only female toon that I have made and actually played to any extent was my Blood Elf Warlock on WoW. Even then I didn't really play her at all after Wrath came out. Think for me I have more fun when playing a big, burly dude that can pulverize stuff. Considering my main when wrath came out was a Draenei DK.
 

Harplager

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I generally make female toons when I feel like everyone I group with is running with male toons. So I do it just to be different.

With that said, I also run female toons on factions that I consider my "alt" faction. All my sith toons are female, all my alliance toons were female, my 1 guardian alt was female.
 
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Depends on the game, but typically, given choice, I will make a female because that is what I am attracted to. For me, it's like Weird Science (old movie for you young'uns) and I'm creating my fantasy woman.

This of course can backfire, such as in SWTOR. Suddenly you find some jerk with his hands all over your girl and kissing them. I was horrified when this happened. How dare that bastard move in on my girl.

But I never really find myself projecting myself into the character. The character is always separate, a play thing, not myself in digital form.
 

Dao Jones

I am the Waffleman. Goo goo gajoob.
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ironzerg said:
And looking forward to GW2, it's going to be a whole new ballgame, with them trying to include a range of outfits from skimpy to heavy armor for BOTH men and women.

I can't wait to see Dao's avatar in a leather chaps and leggings...his MALE avatar.
I'm going to be an Asura, so that just adds a whole new level of hotness! Doofy-looking Asura in chaps and a mesh t-shirt, rocking a big phallic rifle. I shall name him "Ambiguous Ashley the Asura".

Now soliciting applications for a leveling partner. Must be open-minded about... y'know... stuff. Like back in college, when life was still exciting and new. Low alcohol tolerance a plus.

[youtube:39cieevr]s-Bj-7b0rC4[/youtube:39cieevr]
 
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Dao Jones said:
Now soliciting applications for a leveling partner. Must be open-minded about... y'know... stuff. Like back in college, when life was still exciting and new. Low alcohol tolerance a plus.
Ah yes...."liquid courage"...."jesus juice".....excellent.

"You're straight? yea, so is spaghetti....until you cook it!"
 

tallon

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I rolled a female main in TOR mostly because I wanted a different take on the Smuggler. I didn't want to be a Han Solo clone. The Star Wars movies don't exactly have much for female characters. I felt like the female smugglers would feel like a more fresh view on the story and I have been pretty happy with the choice. I see my character as a mix between Malcolm Reynolds and Starbuck. I did the same thing with my Consular alt since we never seen female Jedi in any significant role in the movies. I'll role a Bounty Hunter at some point who will be male. Since the movies never followed a Bounty Hunter I can go either way without feeling like I retreading anything.
 
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bushido said:
Since I am a heterosexual male, I have a natural inclination to prefer looking at a female form. Ergo, most of my characters end up being female.
I'm definitely with Bushido on this. I also agree with better costuming options argument for female toons as well.

I think the last time I rolled a male toon was back in City of Heroes and that character was named The Caped Madman who was a direct rip-off from J-Men Forever (a tangential Firesign Theatre project). Every character I've rolled since then has been female.

On the other hand, this is only for computer based gaming. In PnP RPGs, I roll male characters all the way. I'm just not comfortable trying to roleplay a female mindset. It's an interesting dichotomy.
 

Death_Rictus

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I only rarely make female characters in MMOs and never my main. However, in SWTOR I've rolled a number of female characters because they have some very nice voice actresses and if I have to listen to them though hours of dialog, I might as well enjoy it.
 

Dao Jones

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Death_Rictus said:
However, in SWTOR I've rolled a number of female characters because they have some very nice voice actresses
I'm finding this to be very true in TOR. I haven't played all the classes, but I think the female Consular, Agent*, Inquisitor, and Jedi Knight are definitely better than their male counterparts. The Smuggler and Bounty Hunter seem about even between the two, and only the male Trooper in my play experience is better than the female. (But that's probably more personal opinion, since Jennifer Hale voices the female Trooper and she phones it in *exactly* like her Female Shepard, which kind of irritates me.)





* Actually, both the male and female VA's are pretty good - it's just that I think the female Agent is the best voice acting I've heard in the game. I regret that I'm not going to be playing one.
 

Death_Rictus

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As a note, the female bounty hunter is voiced by the same woman that voiced Jeanette / Therese in Vampire: Bloodlines...
 
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