Sunday, 31 August 2008

Girls and Guys and Games

Theres been a little something ticking over in my head for a while, after the mention by Mynxee that she is starting up a female only pirate corporation, and thats of cross-genered characters.

I don't think theres a single man out there who hasnt made a female alt in some way or another in any game where you have the option of genders (not necessarily in Eve since all your are is a portrait, but maybe Ambulation will change that) with the argument that 'If im going to be staring at a character for hours at a time, I'd rather stare at something pleasing to the eye than a man's backside' - does the same apply to females?

I know in my more juvenile moments, I've made female characters in games like World of Warcraft and Star Wars Galaxies because some of the secondary requirements in those games are getting a character that looked good, and typically the female characters had better wardrobes than the men. I've picked female characters in fighting games because their 'ready stance' was frequently rather, ahem... bouncy and all the other reasons why someone picks a female avatar over a male one - but does the same apply for Females - do they go for the big buff male characters (or the gangly thin ones if thats their thing) because they like the look of em... or do they exclusively go for female characters ?

All of the women I knew who played World of Warcraft all went for female characters exclusively, and it seems that none of them wanted to play male characters at all. As with all games though, my sample size of people I was in regular contact with was only in the half dozen figure, so I can't say that its a decent sample to get a good idea, so im hoping the global pull of the Eve Blog pack can get me some more answers (even though it seems that theres even a lower female population playing Eve than WoW)


Mynxee said...

I can't imagine ever being interested in playing a male characters are always an extension of me, so I would find it impossible to relate unless they're female. Not terribly thrilled with EVE's overall hair and costume choices for female characters but I've been very happy with what I came up with for Mynxee's portrait.

I was given a male character by a friend who got out of the game while back. Ya know, I just couldn't drum up the interest to play it...even though it was a character I was very familiar with and htat could fly ships I wanted to try. OTOH, when it comes to LOOKING at male characters in EVE, I'm a sucker for that sexy sneer on the face of almost any Minmatar Brutor (yeah, like Ombey).

I'm very curious to see how ambulation changes all our perceptions of our characters...I have a pretty firm vision of how Mynxee, for example, would look, act, and move. I hope I get to represent some of that--I assume we'll be spending tons of time "redesigning" our characters in their ambulation forms.

Shae Tiann said...

Unless there's been no gender option, I tend to go for female characters, on the grounds that I normally play as myself and want something thst represents me in a game. I had a male alt for a while, but since the corp he was in didn't have comms, everyone assumed I was an affectionate gay man!

However, I used to RP with friends, tabletop stuff like ShadowRun and Spycraft. I generally went for male characters because it gave me a buffer between us if they started getting... frisky. There's nothing that ruins a game more than being hit on by your game-mates when you're trying to do something serious, and if saying in-character, 'Dude, are you gay?' is what it takes, then that's what you have to do.

Mynxee said...

Wow Shae, you remind me that when I played tabletop RPGs regularly many years ago, I almost always played a male character. But here lately, World of Darkness re-ignited my interest in RPGs; when rolling up a few characters to familiarize myself with the rules, I found myself tending to want to create females. I guess that just goes back to wanting to play my characters as a projection of some aspect of my own persona.

Karox Lominax said...

Hehe... I remember a while back we tried that for a bit of a one off when we used to play Cyberpunk 2020 RPG - typically our (all male) group would just play men, but one time, someone decided to play a woman for a change of pace.

Watching our GM and this other player trying their hardest to play a sexual subplot (of course, this female character had to be a bit of a sexpot, they couldnt run with the 'tomboy' idea) was hilarious, but on the other hand, we used to drink a lot of alcohol on those nights too, so pretty much anything would be hilarious after a few bottles.

Cyron said...

As a male gamer, I'll play female avatars for two reasons, neither of which have much to do with how the pixels appear onscreen.

In a game where immersion and roleplaying are elements, then I will sometimes play a female character simply because, like all roleplaying, it's a chance to play something different to your everyday life. Playing a female is less of a stretch of the imagination than playing a dude that flies spaceships with his mind countless thousands of years in the future.

In games where roleplaying isn't an element, then I'll use a female avatar when it offers something different stat wise. Female avatars often have higher agility/speed etc in many games, and that often suits my playstle...

Letrange said...

I'm another of those "my char(s) are an extension of myself" types. So my main and my alts are all guys. This being the internet though, and the internet being what it is, I usually assume any female char I meet online is a guy until proven otherwise (sorry girls, but this IS eve and the odds of any particular female char being really female are pretty bad).