That’s Why the Lady is a Bloke

I’m not a  girl, but I play one in an mmo.

This is something that divides crowds.  Some people agree with me and haveno problems playing the opposite gender, others think that it is, at best, weird, and at worst, satanic.

First let me give you a history lesson.  Just over five years ago, I happened upon a game called Everquest II.  Before this my housemate had introduced me to Star Wars Galaxies.  I could see the attraction, but it wasn’t really for me.  However, when he came home with SOE’s latest game EQII, I thought where’s the harm in having a little go.

I was hooked.  I had never owned a pc before, but burned through all my money having a gaming uber maching built.  I bought the collector’s edition because I’m a sucker for a fancy box and maps, and I was off adventuring in Norrath.  The other huge event that occurred then was the birth of my daughter, Faith.  What better way to celebrate that to name my alt after her.  All the obvious spellings were taken by then, so Phaith the Templar was created.

Rewind back even further to the SNES days.  Ah simpler times.  We all had the luxury of piling into someone’s house for a marathon Street Fighter 2 session.  I never cared for the big lummoxy fighters so favoured by my friends, I’ve always loved the fast characters, so my expertise with Chun Li began.  I was described as being good at the game by by best friend’s cousin.  My best friend replied, “Yeah, but only with Chun Li.”  True, true, but I’ve no regrets.

Fast forward and you get Lara Croft.  Who is better Lara or Indiana?  Erm, no brainer.  Remember Mercenaries and it’s stupid mohawked oaf?  Well, I played him for all of three minutes before grinding my teeth to dust.  Enter a restart with Jennifer as my character.

The list goes on of annoying male leads in games so after a while, I’d just default to the girls.  No problem there right?

But then you get to mmos.  For the first couple of years I played solo pretty much all the time.  That’s what videogames are right?  A solo activity.  Obviously I was missing out on a whole world of experiences, but I felt stupid having to explain to my new guildmates that I’m not female in real life.  It’s becoming more expected now that girl avatars have guys behind the keyboard, but it also has the stigma of perversion.

I have female main characters in 2 mmos.  I’ve been playing these gals for years now, they are characters in their own right.  While the option is there for gender reassignment, they wouldn’t feel like the same characters I build up from lowly level 1s.  Plus one is named after my daughter don’t forget.

I guess what I’m saying is that not everyone who plays a different gender in a game is weird.  I’m not a deviant in mmos, but if I play one in real life, that’s my business.

About pipjames

Phil James is a husband, father and stand-up comic. He lives in Sheffield, England with his beautiful wife, Fay. When he is not thinking about her, he is thinking about video games. When he is not thinking about games, he is thinking about food. When he is not thinking about food, he is sleeping.

Posted on December 10, 2010, in General. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. My 1st MMO was SWG, and my 1st 3 characters were male. But then it seemed that *every* female character was a dancer, so when I wanted to make another character I wanted to blow the stereotype. I needed a harvester for my armorsmith, so I planned to make her a TKM/Ranger. I was out on Tatooine skilling up my unarmed and hadda go into the cantina to heal up my battle fatigue, and the dancers talked me into training novice so I could at least do the basic dance with them while we chatted, and. . . I ended up a TKM/Dancer in an entertainer’s guild for quite a while. I could still harvest for the armorsmith, and the social aspects of the guild were fun as hell too.

    Plus the guild often did player-run events and we’d often have “duel a dancer” with people laying bets and such. They never expected to be pwned by a TKM when that happened. . . . So while I went withthe stereotype and was a dancer after all, I blew it by ALSO being a very adept combat character. I did eventually drop all the entertainer skills and go for the “Gun Fu” pistol build, which was also a blast to play. Set ’em on fire with the Bounty Hunter pistol skill, then use the Smuggler’s Panic Shot on them or disorient them with the Commando’s rocket pistol, all the while keeping a good sonic stunner in reserve….. much fun!

    When I made the switch to EQ2 I made a mix of male and female characters and in the end had 75% female and only 25% male ones. I never care what gender of character I’m playing in that game.

    In EVE, my 2 characters are male. In DDO, I have a mix, but I think I’ve got predominantly male characters there. TBH, I think it just depends on my mood when I’m making the character as to what gender I make it.

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