Gender Bending – Part 2

Yesterday I talked about being able to look at an object, in this case we’re talking a cluster of pixels on the screen, and appreciating the aesthetics of the image without going horndog on it.

I like the color red more than I like the color yellow. Given a choice, I will purchase things in red before yellow. This does not mean that I am sexually attracted to red. Got it?

If you can accept that’s how my brain works (and probably most other people’s) then you can keep reading.

If you can’t wrap your own brain around that, I got nothing for you. Don’t even bother with the rest of the post. I’m sure you’re too busy jacking off to random inanimate objects to take the time to read it anyway.

So in Rappelz, I had the choice between playing an attractive male character or an attractive female character.

Prior experience taught me that little boys are annoying. Some grown men as well, they’re even nastier-creepier.

The path of least resistance dictated that I played a male character in Rappelz. I could play something nice to look at and I hopefully wouldn’t have some jerk following me around trying to get upskirt shots of me.

I would join a group. People would see a male character. People would make the assumption I was male and treat me accordingly (no voice chat systems). I never corrected anyone. It didn’t matter what gender they thought I was so long as I threw force chips, DPSed the hell out of shit and remembered to faceroll over my aggro-dropping abilities as needed.

Even here on my blog, I’ve seen comments and received communications where the reader has assumed I’m male. If you happen to only read one post where I don’t explicitly state I’m female, it’s an easy assumption to make.

The face of the community is changing, but there are still more male gamers than female. The chances of a male character being played by a male in real life are very high. I have found very few male characters with a woman behind the keyboard (at least that will admit it).

Most of my humor tends to be a little off-color, I think “blue” is the term, and unless you know me it might sound really odd coming from a chick. My perspective of the world is not radically influenced by the fact that I have boobs and it certainly doesn’t stop me from commenting about someone else’s.

As a male character, I could say all the things that I would have said anyway, but no one got confused. Seriously, the better the armor got the less it covered on the women. How can you not make tit jokes?

Only once was I directly asked if I was really a guy. I responded, “why do want to know?” and the conversation ended right there. Apparently I stumbled onto the secret guy code for, “hell yeah I’m a guy and if you ask me again I’ll beat the shit out of you for even suggesting otherwise.”

When I got into WoW I put some thought into how I wanted my first character to look.

I was doing some research and really wanted to be a blood elf paladin. Well, I wanted to be a warrior first (it’s an easy class type in D&D and I was looking for easy to start with) but that wasn’t available to blood elves. I wanted to play on the Horde side and it’s a running joke with my friends that given the choice, I’ll pick the one with pointy ears. A friend was playing a blood elf paladin and he really enjoyed it. I liked the whole “blood knight” thing and he made the class sound really cool.

So then I started debating, male or female? The obvious answer is, whichever one looks best in end game gear.

I tried poking around to see what they looked like in end-game gear.

In Rappelz, there is only one gear set per class, per rank. You move up ranks every 20 levels or so. So for roughly 20 levels you have the exact same armor. And so does everyone else of your class at the same rank. And the same gender. The male/female versions of the armors are often very different. Male casters are in some sort of pants/shirt combo while female casters are in a dress or skirt. I think even some of the melee armor for female characters had skirts. And when I say skirt, I don’t mean like WoW does with floor-length kilts and stuff – I mean floofy-can-get-upskirt-panty-shots skirts.

I had no concept of tier gear or the fact that there could be hundreds of thousands of gear combinations. In WoW, there really isn’t a “this is what the male paladin will look like at end game and this is what the female paladin will look like” like there was in Rappelz. I decided I would figure it out when I got there and make my choice at the creation screen. Maybe one will have tattoos…

The character creation process started with the class and race, gender was a secondary consideration like skin and hair color.

Got a trial account started off a friend and loaded the game off his disks, all the way up through the Burning Crusade.

Character creation screen.

Dammit.

Can’t make a blood elf on the trial account.

Alright, let’s go with night elf. I have a thing for pointy ears and I have friends playing on the Alliance side.

I went back to my original warrior selection, hoping that it would be an easy class to play, and it was defaulted to the male character.

The character was made with the expectation that like my first character in Rappelz, this poor guy would be abandoned as soon as I figured it all out. Tweaked the hair a bit, took away the freaky sideburns, voila, male night elf warrior.

Poor guy, I ended up sticking with him until switching servers.

On that server I think I rolled 6-7 characters, about half of which were female. I was experimenting with different classes and races. Gender was usually determined by the name I came up with. Maybe it’s from my years as a tabletop roleplayer, but there’s a definite image that clicks when I get the character just right. I know I’ve got it when I can look at the creation screen and I already “know” the character.

So there I was goofing off with half a dozen characters on an RPPvE realm that thankfully spent more time spewing Chuck Norris jokes into trade chat than enforcing any RP action. On the few occasions that I grouped with strangers it was all business, no character development or story telling. I had already decided that if push came to shove and I was expected to do any RP on my warrior he would fall into the stereotype of the “strong, silent” type. I’m pretty sure I could pass myself off as male, but I wasn’t interested in RP.

Then came the decision to start the group on the PvP realm for our Wednesday night gaming group that was splitting up.

New opportunities for character creation!

Come back tomorrow for the origins of my mage and the conclusion! Last part, I promise!

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8 comments on “Gender Bending – Part 2

  1. theerivs says:

    WoW it’s just interesting how in depth you go with character creation itself. I wonder if thats a gender trait. I hear women pay more attention to details than men. First toon I said well he looks good, and he ain’t bald, let’s rock.

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  2. […] Gender Bender : Female to Male pt 2 Here’s Arioch’s opus about Gender Bending from the female perspective. I found it interesting, it looks females in general put alot of […]

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  3. Raist says:

    Great blog, interesting and different… BTW, I am male and play guys in game. I’m a fantasy genre buff and create characters in game that match characters in books I like. My mage is Raistlinn (dragonlance)… Anyway, just need to get a green dragon…

    It is funny tho that I do consider all female toons are being played by girls… I don’t think I have any interest in a female toon of my own…

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  4. Chrisssssssss15 says:

    Don’t worry about the going indepth with the character creation.

    I’m a guy who’s main is a male BE, although I have innumerable other character of both sexes. For every character I’ve made, I spend a good 5-10 minutes on the character creation screen until the new character feels “just right”. I spent at least 5 minutes on my main’s hair style/color alone, changed it a while ago with the barbershop, decided I didn’t like it, and changed it back.

    Be proud you care!

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  5. smart001 says:

    WTF? you’re a chick?

    Like

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