Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Race and Gender, Do You Have a Preference?

There are many male players out there that only play female characters and there are many female players out there that only play male characters.  Probably not as many people as there are that play an in game gender the same as their own, but they are out there. 

I know of at least one male player in my guild that only plays female characters because, as he puts it, if he is going to be stuck looking at a butt for all those gaming hours, it might as well be a female one.  The one female player in my guild that only plays male characters says she does so to stop random people from thinking she is a female.

They have their reasons for playing a gender opposite of their own gender and both make perfect sense, for them at least.  I am sure others would agree.  But there will always be those that question that choice if forum topics over the years prove anything.

I've seen a few that blasted male players for playing female characters.  I am not sure why a persons choice of what gender a person plays in game bothers them, but it does for some.  I am one of those players that really has no rhyme or reason to gender, at least not when looking at it from a gender standpoint.  I do not play a male because it is male and I do not play a female because it is female.  I prefer to play the characters I believe have the best animated movement, or are the size closest to what I like on my screen.

When thinking about this the other day it occurred to me that there really is a pattern, somewhat, to which races I play which gender with and I thought it was interesting.  Not sure of it means anything really, but while I play both male and female characters there are certain races which I only play the male version and others where I only play the female version.

I've noticed that the large races, Tauren, Draenei, and Pandaren I do not play the male version of.  I tend to like the female models of those races better.  When it comes to the small races, Dwarf, Gnome and Goblin I end up playing only the male versions of them.  All other races I have both male and females versions of them and play them.  But those races seem to be ones I play a specific gender of.

While it is true I do have a male tauren paladin and a male draenei monk, both those characters remain mostly unplayed.  I also have a female goblin priest, but she too has not been played since she was made after goblins were introduced.  All those characters where made, leveled a little bit and then basically left to rot.  One day they will find their way to deletion as I look to make more characters, being I am at my 50 limit.

I can understand why on the large races I choose to play the female version, because they are smaller.  I do not like the movement of the larger body frames nor do I like the large bodies in general.  I don't really understand why all the smaller races I usually roll a male however.  Never even noticed it until I thought about the topic a little bit.

Do you have a preference to which gender it you?  Does it change based on race?  Do you always play the gender that matches your own?  Do you always play the opposite gender?  Do you pick and choose them or do you have certain "rules" to races and gender like I do?

42 comments:

  1. I have 5 human characters, 3 female and 2 male. I have 3 worgen's, 2 male and 1 female. I have a female pandaren, a male gnome, a female dwarf, a female tauren and a female draenei.

    I suppose that means I have more female characters than male. My main for the last two expansions has been female. However, the first character I rolled and the character that was my main until shortly after Cata came out (when I changed classes) was male.

    To be honest I usually started with finding a name that suited the class/race combo, or just otherwise felt right. Whether that was male or female really was immaterial. There was also the level of customisation available. I'd go through and just find something that felt right, a look that worked and again that could be male or female.

    In all honesty the gender of the character has never really mattered to me. It just is what it is, what was right at the time. I didn't pick female or male for any specific reason, it was just down to look and names. It's precisely the same reason for why I have rolled the races that I have, I like the look of some races better than others.

    I'm Alliance, though one day I swear I will do Horde loremaster just to see the other side (that's what the tauren is for). Anyway, I have one of every Alliance race except Night Elves as I just don't like how they look.

    I would never roll an orc or an undead as I don't like how they look either. I'm not fond of Tauren I admit but it was that or Blood Elf for a Horde paladin and while I would roll a Blood Elf, it's such a cliche to be a Blood Elf paladin. I like the Tauren history etc. more. I like the male and female models of goblins and I confess to having done the starting zone and then deleted quite a few times. I would never roll a female troll as they are ugly but I think male trolls look ok.

    So yeah it's about look, it's about the class/race combo and about the name. Gender really isn't a factor. For example my Priest is a Human Male as that is what I thought T13 looked best on, and I rolled a Priest because I absolutely loved that tier set. Weird I know but it's my permanent transmog on that character.

    So yeah no rules, it's just about how it feels.

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    1. Night elves used to have the best run animation in the game. The most smooth and balanced. Now it is the worst. But that was why I had so many night elves. They moved best and movement is more important to me than anything else. Heck, movement is why I stopped playing rift. Liked the game, hated the movement.

      I love the goblin starting zone. I did it a few times and deleted the character just to do it again. I really like it. It was well done and you can tell whomever worked on it really enjoyed making it.

      Rolling how it feels seems like the best way to do it. For whatever your reasons "feel" is the most important thing in enjoying the character.

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  2. I mostly play alliance because I prefer the alliance races.

    My main hunter is a night elf male because night elves are my favorite race.

    My DK is a male draenei, which I thought looked the coolest for a DK.

    I race changed my human female mage to a draenei female before I started leveling her up.

    I kept my priest as human female but I might change her to night elf female if I really start playing her.

    I created my warlock as human female since warlocks are rather race limited.

    I created my druid as worgen male since I didn't have a worgen and felt that fit.

    I race changed my human male warrior to night elf male.

    I created a gnome male rogue as kind of a joke...

    I have another rogue and a paladin as human males as well, but they're low level.

    My clothies are all female and the rest are male, so I guess that's the only "rule" or "pattern" I have, not necessarily intentional. I guess I just thought if they were going to wear a dress anyway, they should be female... I also don't like female dwarf, gnome, worgen, or pandaren characters, so I don't have any of those. Nor do I have a male pandaren since I don't really like them either. If I make a shaman at some point, it'll be a male dwarf.

    For horde, I like tauren and blood elves. The other races don't really appeal to me at all.

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    1. It is almost a subconscious thing as your cloth wearers being female. You might not have noticed yourself making the decision at first, but it does make sense.

      I noticed, at first, the four classes that could heal were my first four female classes. Probably because I think of females as the healing type perhaps?

      It is kind of interesting what our subconscious tells us without us even thinking about it.

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  3. Like you, I prefer smaller characters. All things being equal, if I could play a fleet of gnomes I would gladly do so.

    My main, a hunter, started life at launch as a dwarf male. I carried over my name from EQ and that name seems particularly male to me. Thus, he is male. I later race changed to worgen and remained male. I generally dislike being a worgen, but loved the speed boost and crit rating. I tend to return to human form whenever I'm not in combat. Being a smaller human pleases my eye and I believe that armor looks better generally as well on humans.

    I have female characters and the name I want to use seems to dictate that choice.

    It's funny, I still sort of consider myself a dwarf years after my transformation. If they dropped the speed boost from worgen, I'd probably go back. And I generally have dwarves or gnomes as my garrison guards, a wee defense squad.

    I don't think I ever assume a male avatar means a man behind the keyboard or vice versa. Hell, I only need to look at the people and their characters with whom I raid. There is a mish-mash of swapped sexes right there. Why should the population at large be any different?

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    1. Gnomes are too small for me. I hate getting line of sight issues by a pebble, or even worse, just floor design, as I have seen on many boss fights. But nothing was worse than the nightmare that the opening of the dark portal instance was when I needed to swim from portal to portal while everyone else ran.

      I think most adult players do not look at players as the sex of their character, but it is well known that many people, mostly younger ones, do. I still remember flying around in wrath one time on my DK which is female when someone whispered me out of the blue, are you really a female they asked to which I responded, should it matter.

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  4. Let me also say, on an unrelated previous topic, that I completed my second Highmaul mission last night... and received another freaking neck. That makes two Highmaul necks and three 640 necks from lesser missions. With my ill luck and posts from others, I'm pretty sure only neck items are available for Highmaul missions! :-/

    Glass half-full: this new neck had a socket and better stats. Glass half-empty: I am growing grumpy!

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    1. I got a BoE hand piece with a gem socket on my second one when I already had one with a gem socket. So I sent it to my shaman to wear. I think all of those should be BoA, so we can not sell them, but can send them to alts. Seems so wasted to get something you do not need, as you just did.

      I've had 3 missions this week for 645 boots, and 2 for 645 neck. I need neither. But I am dying for pants, my only 630 piece. Luck can be picky sometimes.

      Seems like you are having some grumpy luck there. Sorry to hear that.

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  5. My first char was male druid. Reason for that was due to me playing druid in roleplaying. My next char was going to be my bank/trade alt. And I decided to go for a human female with a typical female name. Decided that having her as a female priest would give her an edge in trade. And I think that helped.
    Now a days most chars are created as female. I prefer their butts from their male counterpart..... apart from most of my druids are male. Doesn't matter what gender that is. A cat/bear butt is the same.

    Cheers Erex

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    1. Sounds like my friend with his if I have to stare at a butt for hours each day, might as well be a female one.

      I do have to ask however, why did you think your bank alt being a priest would help. That interests me. The light would be on their side maybe?

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    2. not needed for bank alt. But more for trade channel. people trust priests and people trust females more than males..... even though they don't know it.
      I could advertise in trade channel being more expensive and still sell (of course not really applicable with level 1 char, but my bank alt/trader have always been the second I level)

      Cheers Erex

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    3. Interesting take on the human mind and I do believe you are probably right. At least it sounds reasonable.

      I too end up having my bank alt at cap. Not second, but usually before I finish the others alts I actually play.

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  6. I've never played on an RP realm, and consequently, never done any formal RPing in game. But, I still have stories and personalities for all of my characters. And some friends have noted that I even act a little different when I'm playing a female character vs a male character.

    Maybe that's kind of weird, but I think it's a lot of fun. If I only had male characters (irl i'm fairly male), I wouldn't have as interesting stories for my characters, I think.

    Also, I tend to think of my main as me. And while I certainly love my other characters, they're more friends and family; they're not me. I wonder, when people who only play characters with the same gender as themselves, if they tend to think of all of their characters as themselves.

    With race/class, however, I just don't generally want to play something that I don't feel fits with my IRL personality. I, of course, love my hunters, and and I can get into druids, because irl I really like animals and wilderness. So the same applies to Worgen, Draenei, Tauren and pandas, and to some extent Trolls.

    I really like beer, so playing a dwarf makes sense to me. I, fairly recently, decided to roll a Belf hunter, and I enjoyed playing him more than I would have expected, it was fun to be an asshole. I imagined my character feeling like only his pet really understood how fabulous he was. So I guess it's not only things that I can relate to IRL, but even if I can just find something fun to latch onto.

    Pallies, on the other hand, annoy the hell out of me. So damn self-righteous. I could never play a class like that. Priests too (though at least they're a little bit interesting with the corrupted shadow priests; I could possibly play an undead shadow priest). As for Races, I just can't get into gnomes and goblins. I actually did try leveling a female gnome rogue; it's kind of fun because she's so cute and I do like the thought of this little gnome stabbing something to death, but really, I just don't dig on so much technology in my fantasy.

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    1. I noticed I act differently sometimes depending on which character I am on as well. Mostly gnomes. I then to be more of the joker when playing a gnome. More relaxed and fun than I am when I am on a night elf which seem so serious. Not so much me role playing them, it is more them adjusting me. So you are not alone there.

      I tend to give all my characters back stories as well. Even if they are not on a role playing realm, they have their own history. On a role playing realm I have a rogue and his daughter a mage, a warrior and his brother a paladin and their sister a death knight. So yes, even if I do not role play, my characters have a story.

      I've never made a gnome rogue but yeah, that would be awesome. A tiny stabber. Maybe one day I might. I made a gnome death knight so I could tank on a tiny guy but most of my gnomes are casters, mage, priest and lock.

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  7. Although there's a big variety among my classes and races. Now that I think about it, it's race bound. Just don't feel good when the combination of race/gender doesn't match for my toon.

    Draenei, Gnomes, Goblins, Undead, Pandaren - girls only, and I don't even like to deal with male NPC or other players of these races.

    Night Elves, Worgen, Humans, Trolls - I'm ok dealing with male NPC/players, but the choice for my toon would be girl only.

    Blood Elfs - male only for me, cause girls seem too bitchy.

    Orcs - could play both males and females, but my hunter is female.

    Dwarfs and Tauren - would choose boys only.

    So my kit of toons is:
    1 Draenei - girl
    1 Night Elf - girl
    1 Blood Elf - boy
    1 Pandaren - girl
    1 Orc - girl
    1 Troll - girl
    1 Undead - girl
    1 Pandaren - girl
    2 Gnomes - girls

    All are different classes, all dps.

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    1. You mean there are two genders of blood elf. Wow, you learn something new every day. ;)

      Seems like over all you stick to only female characters. I never had an orc female. I like to try all type of mix and matching, but now that I think about it, I do not think I have ever even tried an orc female.

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    2. As for orcs, if it was warlock, mage, shaman or warrior, I would definitely choose male. But slim, agile and proud tall huntress feels better being a girl.

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    3. I have 2 orc hunters, both male. One level locked at 80. One of these days I will get around to getting my herald of the titans done. One day.

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  8. The vast majority of my characters are female Gnomes (male myself).

    The reasons are manifold (inner child etc.) but primarily because they look(ed) innocent and cute, with especially hats looking great on them. In short, I found it soothing just to watch them frolick about, escapism in its purest form.

    Or, less flattering, as my time-card dealer used to put it, escapist MMO's are healthier and cheaper than weed (which, as people probably know, is for all intents and purposes legal to use in the Netherlands) and cute Gnomes beat hallucinations any time of the day.

    Not that the new same-face character model Gnomes don't share these attributes (perhaps on Ultra, but my rig can't handle that with WoW), and seeing a total stranger whenever I Armoried them did not help my retention.

    I also like Goblins (big surprise here) and for me personally the recent Blizzard releases can be summed up as 'right Expansion, wrong game' in case of the hearthstone one.

    The Goblin starting quests however I dislike with a fiery passion (also because of Thrall cs YET AGAIN butting in), and hence was happy when it turned out shortly after 5.4 launch that you could Summon (RaF and Warlock) your Goblin out of that Instanced, railroaded hell-hole. Never got round to really developping them, as my interest in the game quickly waned.

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    1. I love the goblin starting area. Love the car with the horn and riding all over the place. But to each their own. I am usually so serious, or so it seems, that a little mindless silly fun, like in the goblin starting area, is just what the doctor ordered sometimes.

      And playing a gnome, at least for me, is always a fun experience. Their happiness seems to rub off on a person and makes them want to be silly. Not sure why I never rolled a female gnome, because as you said they are cute, but just never clicked for me. All my gnomes are male.

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  9. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    My first character was a male human paladin, and my second was a male human warrior. After that, all my toons have been female, save for one warlock that has been subsequently deleted. Mostly they are female Nelfs, my favored race and gender. Some are Draenei females with most of the rest being human female except for one gnome mage and a dwarf warrior.

    Why nearly all female characters? Trying on the role of the opposite sex in a MMORPG gives me more of the RPG part of the game is perhaps the simplest way to explain it. In general I never identify my real gender and normally don't even reply to folks who are silly enough to think it matters. I am secure enough in myself that what others think or say matters little at most. Also there is the fact that most of the male toons are to bulky for my taste. I find the hyper muscular mages in particular silly looking. When the heck did they get a chance to develop such brawn while studying magic? And finally of course, there is my son's explanation that I adopted as my own: I would rather stare at a female butt all game day long than a male one.

    There is also the satisfaction of having a female toon doing things that normally are associated with males, of having the female be the hero of the story rather than a more traditional male hero.

    I almost always read the WoW forum's perennial favorite of shocked...shocked I tell you...young males who can not fathom a female character played by a male. Why... why... why they might flirt with the female character and lord knows that would smack of homosexuality or something like it. As I almost never reveal my real gender, I am the receiver of relative frequent whispers that start at innuendo and escalate rapidly there after. Now I bring a lot of that on myself for using transmog to be dressed as sexy as possible for a female toon and or am running naked with only a weapon and jewelry. Even so, I do understand why so many females play male characters. Us males have a fair size share of idiots, morons and sexually starved males playing WoW.

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    1. I think the only guys that get put off my a guy that plays a female character are not secure in themselves, as you said you are. Some think of any guy that has a female character has having issues. They are wrong.

      I noticed however from playing female characters that I am generally treated better and I have seen it happen many times before. A male character in a group says, "baby crying brb" and they go to start the kick 30 seconds later but a female character says the same thing, they will wait for 5 minutes without saying anything. Not all the time mind you, but the majority of times it seems. So playing a female character is more "fun" if you will. But they do have to deal with those occasional children that think wow is a dating service.

      My main, which is male, flirts sometimes joking around with female characters, which I know are played by males. It is a game, it does not mean anything, but as you said, some people are freaked out and shocked by that. It makes you wonder why.

      We have a few females in guild that had one to many whispers so they play males now. Having gotten a few myself while on female characters I can sure understand it. I have the advantage of not really being female so I shrug it off, but I can see how it can be very upsetting to a female.

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    2. Like this you mean? http://i439.photobucket.com/albums/qq113/JamesRJay/WoW/c8-1.jpg

      I have a whole lot of them from people ranging 14-39, from cute confessions to heavy sexual crap. Also, rape threats that got two kids banned (after close of two months of harassment).

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    3. That is one really disturbed person right there. It amazes me they just come out like that. I have gotten many a rude remark, but I do not think I ever had any random one that graphic.

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  10. old data, but potentially relevant:

    > 1 out of every 2 female characters is played by a man

    > about 1 out of every 100 male characters is played by a woman

    > Posted on July 28, 2005

    http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/archives/001369.php

    > By extrapolating on the gender base rates in WoW and the different likelihoods of gender-bending between men and women, we found that about 55% of female characters are played by men, and only 5% of male characters are played by women.

    http://wow.joystiq.com/2010/12/22/the-wow-factor-page-2/

    see also:

    * http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/gateway_genderbend.html

    * http://wayback.archive.org/web/20121123011008/http://blogs.parc.com/playon/2010/07/23/gender-bending/

    * http://wow.joystiq.com/2010/12/22/15-minutes-of-fame-researcher-nick-yee-digs-into-the-numbers-p/

    * https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Awow.joystiq.com+"daedalus"

    --
    Regards,

    regardsanon

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    1. I would have to say that data is probably still close to accurate even if dated somewhat. Just an opinion of course, but it does seem to be around about what I run into in game from the people I know.

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    2. WoW, where the men are men, and half the women are men too.
      --
      Regards,

      regardsanon

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    3. Sounds like times square in NYC after midnight sometimes.

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  11. I play mostly male humans as I identify with them the easiest. I secretly role-play their backrounds as siblings. I do have a female human rogue though because i love the idea of a badass female killing machine who is both beautiful and dangerous. Lara Croft taught me not to be afraid of strong women in games and that I should embrace a good heroine as readily as we expected female gamers to embrace all the male heroes we threw at them. I NEVER pretend to be the opposite sex in chat or guild or in any way that might decieve someone although when playing my female toon i have experienced some disgusting harassment. If this is how women are really treated by men then i have had my eyes opened quite a bit. I cannot believe the lewd things people whisper to me! I chose female night elf for my hunter because i believe her gun/bow animations are superior to every other race/sex combo. Human female gun animations make her look like the top half of her body is on a giant hinge. I also keep both male and female paladins because i love the way certain armor sets look better on certain sexes and paladin armor is by far my favorite.

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    1. My language has gender attached to too many words so it's not really possible to come across as a different gender unless specifically lying. In English though, it's amazing how neutral you can be and let the people assume what they want. I never correct them if they have it wrong because I don't find gender important in a game.

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    2. I think the plate armor looks great on humans in general, so I can surely see what you mean there. I play some of my characters as siblings as well. Even ones not on a role play server.

      I don't hide my real gender either, but I also believe there should be no reasons to ask what it is. I too have received some really rude comments and I feel bad for the females that happens to often. It is wrong and I can't believe that there are really people like that in game. As I said, who is behind a character should not matter. Male or female, can they get the job done? To me that is really all that matter. I would not care if it was a dog at the keyboard if they were doing well.

      @James

      In english it is really easy. Male or female saying the same thing say it the exact same way. From a text only standpoint, unless you read deeper than the words themselves, there is no way to tell the difference.

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  12. After I had got into the game, I tried out many combinations or race and gender. I play both male and female.

    For the longest time I couldn't get a handle on why I liked some characters, and not others. I knew some factors - voice, not-Horde (Orgrimmar is a deal-breaker),

    It was only when I switched a (male) feral druid to Balance/Resto that I realised another factor: my casters are all female; my melee are all male. There is no race that can make me feel comfortable as a melee female, or caster male.

    No, I don't know why either.

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    1. I agree that female caster animations seem better, but that is just opinion based. I am sure there are some out there that like them. The only male characters I think have decent caster animations are gnomes.

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  13. In general, I choose male for main character. And that's because I mainly played single player RPGs like Baldur's Gate and these games were developed with a male protagonist in mind, giving females less options (e.g. 3 romance options for males and only one for females). Not knowing whether or not gender mattered in WoW, my first character was a male human paladin. Eventually, I had to admit I hated the bulky form of the human male so I made my male blood elf paladin. I was in my androgynous period (when drawing males) so it was right up my alley. Though I didn't pick the 'pretty' face, but I didn't pick the bad ones either, it's one that is sort of harsh but very toned down. Mostly to match the backstory I created for him. Then I wanted one of each and basically I picked the prettiest of the races which means female undead priest, female troll druid (used to be tauren female), female orc lock, male belf warrior (used to be tauren female as well), male belf DK, female goblin shaman, female belf rogue that I deleted and recreated over and over and eventually female pandaren monk. Basically, I go for looks. I can't stand males from the most races. I will also probably never have a gnome or a dwarf. Gnome is gross because of the constant moving that makes me think of a deformed fetus. And dwarf is just meh, short and and fat is in general not considered beautiful.
    Also, choosing male tends to keep attention off me. Not that it has worked all that well in the past.

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    1. Wow, flash back to baldurs gate. Some years back I bought an anniversary edition of that and many other games made for the PC on CDs and had to play it again. It has wasteland, wizadry, that of course and some other things. Made me remember how much I loved those games. Even with graphics and games so much more advanced now, I still love those old school RPGs and can play them all the time. I miss games of that style, sadly they do not make them any longer.

      Gnome males work better if you make them with a beard. It covers their faces which helps with the deformed look you mentioned. I like dwarves because of they are classic fantasy characters. I think they are really the only pure classes fantasy character in the game. Our goblins, orcs, elves, are not like anything you would see in the classic fantasy we all grew up with.

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  14. Sort of offtopic, What I don't get is why some guys make female characters called variations of 'Imawhore', 'Nympho' or female genitalia. I have several people in my guild on ignore because I find these people disturbing. I don't get it, what kind of person does it take to create a character and call it 'Cunty' (approximate translation).

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    1. Little boys or adults with mental issues make names like that. What is worse is when females make characters with names like that. One girl I know had all her characters named like that. Why would someone want attention like that, I just do not get it.

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  15. I'm male and I play female characters exclusively in MMOs. I just identify with them mentally having been around mostly female caregivers when I was growing up. I also use my female Mesmer character as my avatar online which confuses some people, but I don't care. "Play what you like" applies in many different places.

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    1. Some people do not seem to grasp the idea that not everyone wants their character to be a representation of themselves, I think that is what bugs some people out about men playing females and females playing male characters.

      If you like the character, play the character. That is what it comes down to for me and I would hope many others.

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    2. I'm very much into the RP aspect of character creation - I want to create a character to 'inhabit' rather than create an avatar of me. So if I create a male or a female character, a gnome or troll or tauren, I am more thinking of myself as 'that character' in the game. Partly why I don't like voice comms, to be honest, becasue they break the immersion.

      That did lead to an awkward incident where a (male playing a male) guild member started flirting with my female gnome and I just responded, without particularly thinking about it, as I imagined she would respond. When he later found out that the player wasn't female he freaked out and wouldn't ever talk to me again ^_^;; This *was* on an RP server, mind you.....

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    3. I am much the same. When I create a gnome I am a gnome. I play the character as silly, I act silly, and in a way it effects me as myself when I am playing one. I am much more light hearted because I am playing the character and as it seems the character is playing me.

      On an RP realm when RPing people need to know they will run into many people playing a gender they really aren't. It is par for the course. Only thing I can think of is this is someone that was interested in ERP and not RP and was hoping for a real life connection and not just an in game one. Many people have a problem separating real from play. As someone that used to do a lot of text based RP back in the day I can say I saw that all the time.

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