Dude Looks Like A Lady

Am I weird if I play games as the opposite gender? Whenever I play an RPG or any game that lets me create a character, i always play as some image of myself. I personally know that I am not scared of playing as a women and in most game the gameplay difference is basically unidentifiable. If you are a male who enjoys playing as a women, or a female who plays as a male, why do we swap genders? The first reason to acknowledge for this role swap in gaming is the notion of competitiveness and exhilaration of winning. Whatever stigma or embarrassment you feel from play as the alternative gender, these feelings as overrun by your simple desire to win. Gender is irrelevant. In some MMO situations players play as a  female, as other player within the game are more likely to assist them in quests or tasks. In some instances such as Everquest players view the sexism towards female characters as an advantage, for other player don’t not expect you to be as aggressive or good. This of course is a ridiculous notion as we should expect anything in terms of skill or ability purely based on an avatars gender expression. Ironically this process is also exploited by women when the play as male characters for the purpose of being taken more serious by teammates within game. In this instance women as simply working the opposite end of the same imbalance.

Gender restricts limits or developer crafted games. Meet Nate – male Lara

Pragmatism aside there are a variety of deeper reasons as to why we gender swap. If you are playing a game from a competitive perspective, gender is simply another tool to help you achieve victory, but if you are playing game for the experience, things get more complicated. essentially you are choosing how you wish to explore an online identity. the notion of identity itself is extremely complicated as it take into account sex, gender identity and gender expression. This gender diversity exists on a spectrum in which some individuals expression will exist outside of  a strict gender binary. Experimentation with gender in a physical world comes with large social consequence, games however are safe spaces to try out different forms. Within games we can create as many forms of identity as we like.

Gender Binary exemplified. At least the game has this option unlike many others.

Therefore is it weird to be a male who plays as a girl? Simply put, no. We can create characters that look like us or ones that look completely different. However, neither is really us. Gender expression and diversity is a crucial part of what gives player agency in a game and a sense of experience that no other medium can provide.


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