There are many titles out there that offer a female take on the gaming industry, but few actually manage to be convincing and embody female characters the way games like The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls do.
“Gender bending” is a term used in gaming to describe the physical transformation of a character from one gender to the other. In video games, gender bending is generally portrayed as a form of self-expression or even a form of gender empowerment. In modern gaming culture, gender bending is just another way of having fun with the medium.
At day, he’s a quiet, law-abiding citizen, and by night, he’s Azeroth’s most hardened Night Elf Druid. I’m referring to World of Warcraft, the life-sucking game (WoW). I’m also thinking of Bill*, who told me one night after a few too many drinks that he plays a female night elf.
Don’t ask me how this came to be, but think of the most complicated discussions you’ve had while downing tequila shots. However, it made me wonder how many other players in major MMOs like experimenting with their gender in game.
Do any of you like to dress up?
A player must design an avatar in order to play any MMO. It makes you wonder how much of our own personality is mirrored in this beautifully improved avatar. Not even personality, but gender in particular. Bill’s justification for portraying a female role is hilarious. His whole guild believes he is really a woman.
Is this morally correct? That’s probably a topic for a different conversation. Bill, who is above the age of 20, thinks that his guild mates provide him with much-needed extra assistance in game. Raid commanders, for example, will whisper precise orders to him in ‘dumbed down’ English with no jargon, which he finds very useful when raiding.
He says he is “chummy” with the guild alchemist and enchanter, so he never has to pay for costly goods like flasks, potions, or enchants. His portrayal of a ditsy female character was amusing since it had nothing to do with his real-life demeanor. Nonetheless, he thinks that pretending to be a woman is worth the in-game bonuses and advantages.
Female buddies, on the other hand, prefer to play male courses since they get less attention. I can understand this since there’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a raid and being asked if you’re on Facebook by the so-called attractive hunter. Or the way some guys patronize you by offering you unwelcome assistance, thinking that females don’t know how to get out of a fire. This does not happen often, but it may be aggravating nevertheless.
Isn’t that how everyone plays World of Warcraft?
Is there any way to determine which gender the player is with all of this deception? Because of the number of happy faces and emoticons used while typing, I’ve heard that gamers can tell. However, I must disagree. I know the vast majority of my guild members in real life, and they are all men who use much too many emoticons for my taste.
Flirting, whether it’s a /kiss or a /whistle, is a dead giveaway for me, and if it’s done more than twenty times, I’d bet it’s a man behind the screen. I’ve also been informed that the larger a female avatar’s breasts are, the more probable it is a male gamer. It goes without saying that utilizing Vent or Team Speak makes things a bit simpler.
Even so, I was once questioned whether I was truly a 12-year-old boy. *Ouch*
BOOBIES IN VIRTUAL FORM!
I’ve just touched on World of Warcraft, but this subject applies to any game, not just online games. Do we construct a persona in order to become a better version of ourselves? Or do we create an avatar with a chiseled jawline or a beautiful ass to gaze at throughout the game?
Whatever the case may be, Bill should feel free to express his gentler side as long as no one is exploited (except potions). Why gamers swap genders is something I find especially interesting. So, how do you know who you’re playing with, Non-Fiction Gaming readers? And, more importantly, in which direction do you sway?
*Bill (Name changed to protect his identity because he does not want to get his ass kicked or guild kicked for that matter by anyone in the land of Azeroth).
Emma is a recovered WoW addict who just had a relapse due to a resurrection scroll and is currently standing outside the gates of hell debating whether or not she would return. To persuade her that there is a world beyond MMOs, follow her on Twitter.
Downloadable Content irritates Emma as well; learn what she has to say about it here.
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