/jumps on bandwagon
I’ve been seeing this trend in many blogs lately, the discussing of gender in WoW. Either it’s a discussion about people who play toons that aren’t the same gender they are IRL or it’s about how they (usually always a girl) hide their gender in game or pretend they’re a dude to avoid being treated differently. For the most part, I just….don’t think it’s that big a deal. I’m sure there are good reasons for people do feel and act as they do, but in my personal experience, it hasn’t proven to be an issue.
If someone wants to play a toon that’s not their own gender, so what? I’ve played for a few years now with a guy who plays toons of both genders, mostly females. I’ve always known him to be a guy (my default assumption upon meeting someone is that the player is a guy, until proven otherwise), and his reasons for playing female characters is not important to me. Perhaps he likes the way they look more than the guy toons, maybe he wants something nice to stare at for hours, maybe he feels like he’s a girl in a guys body…I don’ t care. The only thing I can think of that would make this an issue is if I wanted to have a e-fling with him and then found out he was a girl..oh noes! Since that’s not how I roll and he’s happily married with kids, it’s not an issue. Guys wanting to play girl toons, girls playing guy toons….why is this a big deal to folks? It’s the avatar you use to play the game, not necessarily an extension of YOU the player. Most of my toons are female, because I generally like the way they look compared to the guys and I can relate better to a female form than male, oddly enough. I’ve played mostly on RP servers, so that’s another thought to consider. Cross gender RP’ing is hard (so I’m told by my table-top RP’ing crew), but not impossible. I read one post on gender where the author said he like RP’ing a female because it’s just one more thing that helps them sink into their role and disconnect *them* from the person they’re RPing. Fair enough, works for me. Knowing someone’s RL gender may affect how you interact with them socially in the game, but just I don’t know why some people are so hung up on folks playing the opposite gender.
As far as ME and game play. I am who I am, I don’t hide it and never have felt the need to. I can’t hide my gender IRL, and hiding it in game never occured to me. I’ve never felt like I was treated differently because I’m a girl, in my 5 years of playing WoW. Nobody’s ever accused me of PMS’ing if I was in a bad mood, none of that. I’ve never tried to use my ‘girliness’ to get better treatment or favors from people… I’ve been propositioned for cyber once, but that was from a random player who had no way of knowing my RL gender. If someone gave me grief or was a sexist pig simply over the fact I was a girl, and I felt it was out of line, there’s the report function, ignore and/or /gquit at my dispposal. I know, it’s easy to say that now, but if a real problem happens, will I follow through? I hope so. I’ve read more than one deep discussion of being a girl who plays WoW and while I’m not saying there are people out there who don’t have valid reasons for their concerns and issues (whatever they may be), it’s just that for me, it’s not. I’m not sure I can quite articulate myself much better without sounding like I’m belittling others’ feelings (which I’m not aiming to do), but for me, being a girl who plays WoW is on par with being a human who plays, or a brunette that plays, or a white person that plays.
I guess I don’t have any deep insights or points I wanted to make, just the one that it’s not a big thing for ME as I play Warcraft. I don’t hide my gender, but neither do I go “Hai guys, I’m a girl! I has boooobies! Tee hee!”
/hops off the bandwagon (which they really need to pad the seats off…ouch!)
[insert totally witty blog related sign off here]