#151 Posted by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

@corruptedevil:

I see characters in video games along a spectrum of "clearly a separate person" (Stocke, Fox McCloud, etc.), "character meant to represent you" (silent protagonists, generic white guys, etc.), and "very clearly supposed to be you" (the examples I listed before).

Of course, the "you" there is you, not a universal "you." I agree, though, because any game where you generate the full facial features, attributes, and personalities of a character is clearly allowing you to create a new "you". It might be wildly different from who you are, but it is certainly a representation of who you are in the context of that game.

Also, I wish I could identify with Ratchet. Because I want a gun that turns monsters into exploding giant chickens. And a cute robot sidekick. And to freak the fuck out of my cat.

#152 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

@corruptedevil:

I see characters in video games along a spectrum of "clearly a separate person" (Stocke, Fox McCloud, etc.), "character meant to represent you" (silent protagonists, generic white guys, etc.), and "very clearly supposed to be you" (the examples I listed before).

Of course, the "you" there is you, not a universal "you." I agree, though, because any game where you generate the full facial features, attributes, and personalities of a character is clearly allowing you to create a new "you". It might be wildly different from who you are, but it is certainly a representation of who you are in the context of that game.

Maybe not even that. Combine the full fledged customization with the absolute blank slate of a "character", and on some level, this being is representative of you on some level if they are not you. (I added the blank slate part because of something like Resonance of Fate.) Your desires and self still leave your indelible mark, after all.

#153 Posted by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

@kierkegaard said:
@video_game_king said:

@corruptedevil:

I see characters in video games along a spectrum of "clearly a separate person" (Stocke, Fox McCloud, etc.), "character meant to represent you" (silent protagonists, generic white guys, etc.), and "very clearly supposed to be you" (the examples I listed before).

Of course, the "you" there is you, not a universal "you." I agree, though, because any game where you generate the full facial features, attributes, and personalities of a character is clearly allowing you to create a new "you". It might be wildly different from who you are, but it is certainly a representation of who you are in the context of that game.

Maybe not even that. Combine the full fledged customization with the absolute blank slate of a "character", and on some level, this being is representative of you on some level if they are not you. (I added the blank slate part because of something like Resonance of Fate.) Your desires and self still leave your indelible mark, after all.

Right, if the game gives you enough agency to enact or reject your own desires and needs, you are part of the character regardless. It's interesting that a character we make to be wholly unlike us may explore just as much about us if not more as a character we create to reflect us.

#154 Posted by Hunter5024 (5888 posts) -

I play as ladies because they're probably my favorite gender. Definitely top 2.

#155 Posted by Fattony12000 (7587 posts) -

@kierkegaard: Heh, I once made a Giant Bomb poll that had multiple dozens of choices! Always be choicing!

#156 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (2949 posts) -

I 'believe' I play as female avatars because it allows me to make an attractive person. I'm not so sure I want to dominate or control that person/avatar, but I do want to look at them. I supposed if I made a character and just dropped her off a cliff over & over again to see her breasts shake or smash her into a wall to make her fall over that would be 'controlling and dominating' - making them my puppet. However, I do not play any game character that way very often, and I woudl say I have a some level of not doing unto other as I would not do unto myself.. Mostly, I just play out the story with an attractive avatar from my own perspective. Is that perhaps the 'male gaze' at work; i.e. me objectifying my avatars? Probably, because as I said I have made my avatar personally attractive to me and to what I believe is attractive in general.

However, I would say that one can be attracted to someone without objectifying them 100%. I play my avatars as I would imagine a person 'I like' would be, that is to say I make attractive avatars who are good people, fair people, caring people who make choices I myself would make. I find it difficult to play character doing bad things, so at some level I am not treating my avatar as an object but maybe on teh level of a pet. And, that sounds bad enough I suppose.

We can go around and around on what making an avatar means in termn of power or puppeting, or what it means if you play in a way that abuses an avatar, but I think there is probably a sliding scale of how much any player is dominating, controlling, objectifying and or puppeteering what they make.

If you want you could say I am at the lowest level of dominating and controlling, but I might be medium on objectification. Again, as I said above, this is what 'I believe' about myself, others can see my action differently; but they are viewing my action through their own lens making just as many assumptions.

#157 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3108 posts) -

I like to consider myself a writer, in that I'm constantly trying to write stories and then tearing them up or deleting them in a fit when they aren't perfect at the end of the day. When it comes to games, I like to make characters, backstories, reasons that they are who they are. I make characters, and sometimes they're dudes and sometimes they're ladies. Sometimes they're attractive, and sometimes they're not.

#158 Posted by AlisterCat (5693 posts) -

As a high functioning autistic, I don't relate or identify with anyone. Gender has no role in my choice. I just go with whatever looks coolest.

#159 Edited by JadeGL (942 posts) -
@kierkegaard said:

@jadegl: Interesting how most male respondents on here are gung ho for playing as women while you're looking for more identification. Speaking personally, I'm probably spoiled with my gender as the norm, making my choosing to play as a woman feel revolutionary. When do you create women to play as, do you have them reflect your appearance, sexuality, and ethics, or do you play around with differences like many of these male players appear to?

In games where I can create my character, I always make my characters very similar to my own appearance, mostly just more attractive. There are specific weird quirks that I tend to follow. I keep breast size, if there is a slider for that, relatively small. I try not to make the characters unrealistically skinny, since I am not super skinny in real life. I try to keep the hair brown or, if I am feeling especially sassy, I’ll go with red. Eyes are always blue, since I have blue eyes. The only thing I will tend to increase is height, where I will make a character about 4-6 inches taller than I am in real life. That’s really the only thing I feel comfortable changing, but I have an issue with feeling short most of the time, so I like having a little bit of fantasy with that. The only two games I can think of where I went completely different in my character creation was Star Trek Online, where I play a female Andorian, and Skyrim, where I chose to play as a Bosmer (wood elf) character.

With sexuality it’s very similar. My characters always have heterosexual relationships. It’s not that I have an aversion to trying something different, it’s that I really always seem to gravitate towards the option that mirrors my real life. I also find that attraction works very much the same way. What I find nice in real guys I tend to go for in the romance options in games. So I end up going with the most goody goody lawful good type guys and the bad boys don’t get the time of day from my character. This means I go for guys like Kaidan Alenko, Alistair and Vilkas in Skyrim.

For moral or ethical choices, I always play a pretty straight paragon type. I will kill if I have to, but I try to talk my way around things as much as possible. I try to befriend as many NPCs as possible. If I need to choose a side, I try to pick the pure good side, not the evil side. I don’t tend to dabble in things that are against my way of thinking in real life. I even try to avoid killing civilians in Saint’s Row games, for crying out loud. I like being good and playing a renegade type is so outside my playstyle that I rarely try it. I did, however, play a renegade playthrough in Mass Effect, just to see the choices. I also made that character the stock male because I, as the player, needed it to be as unlike my paragon Shepard as possible. That meant even swapping the gender. I just couldn’t see my female Shepard, or one like her, being renegade, so I picked a male character to do that with. That doesn’t mean I think men are bad, it just means I needed to experience that story in that way to make it completely break off from my previous experience.

I am running a bit long, but hopefully I answered the questions you posed, or at least articulated where I come from when playing games, especially ones that allow for character creation.

Moderator
#160 Posted by EuanDewar (5090 posts) -

I'm probably split 50/50 right down the middle in terms of how I often I choose one or t'other. Although I think most of my WoW characters are female so there's that.

Why I do it I have no idea really. If I had to guess it's just because sometimes I prefer the design of the female character or the female apparel. Honestly though the best I can do is guess.

#161 Posted by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

@jadegl said:
@kierkegaard said:

@jadegl: Interesting how most male respondents on here are gung ho for playing as women while you're looking for more identification. Speaking personally, I'm probably spoiled with my gender as the norm, making my choosing to play as a woman feel revolutionary. When do you create women to play as, do you have them reflect your appearance, sexuality, and ethics, or do you play around with differences like many of these male players appear to?

In games where I can create my character, I always make my characters very similar to my own appearance, mostly just more attractive. There are specific weird quirks that I tend to follow. I keep breast size, if there is a slider for that, relatively small. I try not to make the characters unrealistically skinny, since I am not super skinny in real life. I try to keep the hair brown or, if I am feeling especially sassy, I’ll go with red. Eyes are always blue, since I have blue eyes. The only thing I will tend to increase is height, where I will make a character about 4-6 inches taller than I am in real life. That’s really the only thing I feel comfortable changing, but I have an issue with feeling short most of the time, so I like having a little bit of fantasy with that. The only two games I can think of where I went completely different in my character creation was Star Trek Online, where I play a female Andorian, and Skyrim, where I chose to play as a Bosmer (wood elf) character.

With sexuality it’s very similar. My characters always have heterosexual relationships. It’s not that I have an aversion to trying something different, it’s that I really always seem to gravitate towards the option that mirrors my real life. I also find that attraction works very much the same way. What I find nice in real guys I tend to go for in the romance options in games. So I end up going with the most goody goody lawful good type guys and the bad boys don’t get the time of day from my character. This means I go for guys like Kaidan Alenko, Alistair and Vilkas in Skyrim.

For moral or ethical choices, I always play a pretty straight paragon type. I will kill if I have to, but I try to talk my way around things as much as possible. I try to befriend as many NPCs as possible. If I need to choose a side, I try to pick the pure good side, not the evil side. I don’t tend to dabble in things that are against my way of thinking in real life. I even try to avoid killing civilians in Saint’s Row games, for crying out loud. I like being good and playing a renegade type is so outside my playstyle that I rarely try it. I did, however, play a renegade playthrough in Mass Effect, just to see the choices. I also made that character the stock male because I, as the player, needed it to be as unlike my paragon Shepard as possible. That meant even swapping the gender. I just couldn’t see my female Shepard, or one like her, being renegade, so I picked a male character to do that with. That doesn’t mean I think men are bad, it just means I needed to experience that story in that way to make it completely break off from my previous experience.

I am running a bit long, but hopefully I answered the questions you posed, or at least articulated where I come from when playing games, especially ones that allow for character creation.

Absolutely. You seem to have a deeply consistent approach to character creation and design. Thanks for answering the questions. It's interesting how some of us use games to explore very different avatars than ourselves while others use them to explore worlds as ourselves, more than likely putting ourselves into different situations and choices than we face in real life, but using our real life morals and beliefs to respond to them. That you associate choices that aren't so heavily with the appearance of the character making them is also a cool relationship. Having your bad-choices run-through require an avatar completely unlike yourself and your Mass Effect avatar means you're connecting the morality of your character to its consistent appearance.

I feel like I'm doing a bunch of psychoanalysis in this thread. Not trying to assume or judge; just drawing out the implications I'm seeing.

I 'believe' I play as female avatars because it allows me to make an attractive person. I'm not so sure I want to dominate or control that person/avatar, but I do want to look at them. I supposed if I made a character and just dropped her off a cliff over & over again to see her breasts shake or smash her into a wall to make her fall over that would be 'controlling and dominating' - making them my puppet. However, I do not play any game character that way very often, and I woudl say I have a some level of not doing unto other as I would not do unto myself.. Mostly, I just play out the story with an attractive avatar from my own perspective. Is that perhaps the 'male gaze' at work; i.e. me objectifying my avatars? Probably, because as I said I have made my avatar personally attractive to me and to what I believe is attractive in general.

However, I would say that one can be attracted to someone without objectifying them 100%. I play my avatars as I would imagine a person 'I like' would be, that is to say I make attractive avatars who are good people, fair people, caring people who make choices I myself would make. I find it difficult to play character doing bad things, so at some level I am not treating my avatar as an object but maybe on teh level of a pet. And, that sounds bad enough I suppose.

We can go around and around on what making an avatar means in termn of power or puppeting, or what it means if you play in a way that abuses an avatar, but I think there is probably a sliding scale of how much any player is dominating, controlling, objectifying and or puppeteering what they make.

If you want you could say I am at the lowest level of dominating and controlling, but I might be medium on objectification. Again, as I said above, this is what 'I believe' about myself, others can see my action differently; but they are viewing my action through their own lens making just as many assumptions.

The primary problem with societal issues like the male gaze is ignorance about it, I think. And, like you said, there is a different between finding someone attractive and objectifying them.

I guess the issues with games is that since you are the creator of this being, and you control it, it's different than encountering an attractive person in the world. A human you like is likable in part because they are not you or yours--they are a separate agent of human existence. And since any relationship where one person controls the other is abusive and wrong, character creation in games can come up against some heady concerns.

You're not making a sex toy, but a person you would like in life, it sounds like. (Although, the "I don't play a game [where I make my avatar an abused sex puppet] very often" section is pretty creepy....). You're constructing a companion. It's like this crazy balance of making who you want and pulling back from making him or her a sex puppet.

Personally, I avoid the issue by, when making a female character, the gender I am attracted to, making someone who could have an interesting back story, fits the world of the game, and is internally consistent. I think of her not as a person I'm controlling but as a persona I'm adopting. For Skyrim, my partner and I created her together, which was a fascinating and accidental lesson in what interests and attracts both of us.

For me, if I created a girl to lust at and who's choices and actions I controlled, that'd be fucked up. I can see your perspective and approach, though.

#162 Edited by Raven10 (1885 posts) -

Generally I play as a character that resembles sort of my ideal(in a physical sense) version of myself. Being a straight white dude that means I generally choose a straight white dude if given the option. On the occasions I choose a woman I do so because I want to see how the story would play out from a woman's perspective. I very rarely do this. The game I ended up playing longest as a woman in the end didn't even acknowledge my gender at all in the game. I thought I would go for a female character in Kingdoms of Amalur considering I was being reborn and all. So I chose to be this purple elf-like lady. Except no one in the game ever mentioned my race or gender, despite their being heavy doses or race conflict throughout the game. And the armor you wear smartly covers your entire figure regardless of gender, so by 50 hours in I had forgotten what my character looked like to the extent that when I took off my helmet by mistake at one point I was surprised to remember I had chosen an elf lady as my avatar.

I would be really interested to play The Witcher as a female character. Obviously that would mean I couldn't play as Geralt, but seeing that world through the eyes of a woman I think would be really interesting. Generally, though, I always go for a male character.

#163 Edited by mbdoeden (191 posts) -

I'm probably echoing what has already been said at this point, but here we go:

I usually choose a female avatar (as a male) in games because I find it more interesting to roleplay/identify with a woman when given the choice. I also find the games I play as a female character (Mass Effect is the best example) to be more intriguing for some reason. Maybe because women in leading roles happens to be rare as fuck in the video game world and I'm projecting some kind of "equality I'd like to see"?

I don't know, at some point it comes down to being able to identify vs. objectify right? I was raised in an environment where identifying with women was never a thing I was chastised for, or told that's "not what little boys do". In fact, because I was raised by basically all women that's really the default role model for me, minus the few male celebrities I chose as a role model.

This is kinda weird to talk about because I tend to get defensive about this when people bring it up, mostly because it's hard for me to externalize why I do it, and I don't want to come off like a creeper.

#164 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (2949 posts) -
@kierkegaard said:
(Although, the "I don't play a game [where I make my avatar an abused sex puppet] very often" section is pretty creepy....).

What I was saying was, "I do make avatars, yet when I do I don't often run them off a cliff." Have I done that? Probably, I have done that purposely once or twice. But it is probably the least likely action I would take with any given avatar at any given time...but I cannot say "I have never ever done that ever."

I find it odd when people say they have never done 'a thing' that is part of a certain activity. It would be like playing football and saying you never kicked someone in the shin...well, of course you have, you were not trying to, but it happens. If we are honest with ourselves we can at a least admit we make avatars too look at, we control them so there is some level of domination and bending to our will.

On some level we can admit that its an interesting human activity (maybe even primate activity) to play a game, write a story, day dream where 'others' (real or imagery people) in that game/story/dream play out as we wish.

#165 Posted by Tearhead (2196 posts) -

Usually I pick male. The only reason I'd choose a female is if the male seems out of place in the role the player will be inhabiting. In the Destiny beta/alpha I chose a female only because the male hairstyles suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

#166 Posted by TheAcidSkull (663 posts) -

I don't. When I create a character, and IF I have to create a character, I always try to make a perfect warrior version of myself.

#167 Edited by Hippie_Genocide (675 posts) -

When I do pick a female, it's usually because the male archetype is a lumbering meatshield designed for heavy damage and heavy defense. That just doesn't appeal to me. I'd rather play as a character that uses their athleticism and cunning. Probably why in rpg's I tend to play classes like thief or ranger instead of warrior or paladin.

#168 Posted by Jimbo (9928 posts) -

Variety. The industry doesn't offer it often so I'll take it whenever I can get it.

Divinity has you create 2 characters at the start. I made one female and one male. Figure that one out eggheads.

#169 Posted by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

@raven10: I made a mage black lady in Amalur. Because of my class she never wore a helmet so I saw her throughout the adventure. Despite gender never being a factor (which is unfortunate--it's a meaningful thing that should have impact), seeing her throughout that 50 hours was still different than playing a white male.

@mbdoeden said:

I'm probably echoing what has already been said at this point, but here we go:

I usually choose a female avatar (as a male) in games because I find it more interesting to roleplay/identify with a woman when given the choice. I also find the games I play as a female character (Mass Effect is the best example) to be more intriguing for some reason. Maybe because women in leading roles happens to be rare as fuck in the video game world and I'm projecting some kind of "equality I'd like to see"?

I don't know, at some point it comes down to being able to identify vs. objectify right? I was raised in an environment where identifying with women was never a thing I was chastised for, or told that's "not what little boys do". In fact, because I was raised by basically all women that's really the default role model for me, minus the few male celebrities I chose as a role model.

This is kinda weird to talk about because I tend to get defensive about this when people bring it up, mostly because it's hard for me to externalize why I do it, and I don't want to come off like a creeper.

Not weird at all! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and life experience. I remember loving Mulan and Robin Hood and Jasmine, to go disney with it, but definitely hung with my dad most often. I think my original nurturing media definitely tended toward stereotypical male, but all the fairness and care taught through sesame street and Harry Potter and such, augmented with really liberal parents, led me to choose a liberal arts degree. From there, through philosophy and English and deep considerations of political, social, and religious ideas, I began to develop my love of complex, responsible media. Always interesting where our stories lead us.

@kierkegaard said:
(Although, the "I don't play a game [where I make my avatar an abused sex puppet] very often" section is pretty creepy....).

What I was saying was, "I do make avatars, yet when I do I don't often run them off a cliff." Have I done that? Probably, I have done that purposely once or twice. But it is probably the least likely action I would take with any given avatar at any given time...but I cannot say "I have never ever done that ever."

I find it odd when people say they have never done 'a thing' that is part of a certain activity. It would be like playing football and saying you never kicked someone in the shin...well, of course you have, you were not trying to, but it happens. If we are honest with ourselves we can at a least admit we make avatars too look at, we control them so there is some level of domination and bending to our will.

On some level we can admit that its an interesting human activity (maybe even primate activity) to play a game, write a story, day dream where 'others' (real or imagery people) in that game/story/dream play out as we wish.

Ha, okay thanks for clarifying. It was just a vague section that I wanted to address. Have I made sims die in swimming pools? Yes. Have I used the fact of Skyrim's save system to see if I could make long jumps? Yes. Have I run Nathan Drake off a cliff to see what happens? Yes. You're right--part of play is experimentation, and having a safe place for abusive experimentation, like a test bed to see if you're a sociopath. If I found that some kid enjoyed that sort of destructive play all the time, that may be worrying.

I think it comes down to what we consider the core purpose and what we consider side activities. If the core purpose is something scary or creepy, that's something worth changing or at least examining. Same with the positive--it's all worth exploring.

#170 Posted by Aetheldod (3681 posts) -

I choose females characters because I´ve been more mezmerised by females in fiction than males , I have more empathy for females than males and I may be secretly wanting to be a girl as well :/ or maybe Im just a sad lonely man who only tries to perpertuate what I think my soul mate would be like. And also I do like to see the beautiful aesthetics of the female designs more than the males one.

#171 Posted by Wolf3 (72 posts) -

@kierkegaard: Interesting topic.

I usually though not always play as a female character (I'm male) when given the option. Honestly it's mostly because the female form rocks and I'd rather look at a woman than a man given the option. I wouldn't call that "domineering", it's quite simply because I'm biologically wired to want to look at woman.

As for how I play, if given the option, I almost always play as...basically myself, except of course myself while probably a super powerful badass and with different rules to the world than real life. But I don't like being evil...doing things that are morally gray for reasons I think are for the best, sure, randomly hurting people, no.

That's of course true whether I'm playing a male or female character...I can't gender really alters the way I relate to the character. In either case they're "me" in the game world.

The one time I played an MMO I did play a male character simply to represent myself more accurately to others (perhaps a silly thing to bother with, but...) And for some reason I'm playing male Shepard...took me a couple of hours to decide that in Mass Effect 1 LOL. I think if you add sex as a fairly serious component of a game or relationships in a game then that may change things for me...maybe. Since unfortunately sex is barely touched on in most games, the gender thing becomes less relevant for me, as outside of sex I'm not going to respond much differently to anyone regardless of gender or orientation.

#172 Edited by Hitzel (116 posts) -

I'd say I play female characters most in fighting games. Because they are in fighting games, I put way more work into developing my skills, execution, playstyle, etc with those characters than in other genres. The result is that they feel more like my daughters than anything else, and the sexual undertones go away. I just put so much work into being able to say "I have a Trish" or "I have a Cammy" that they feel like I created them, if that makes any sense.

My most-played Oblivion character was female, and the same thing happened.

I realized this when talking about how much Cammy and Trish are designed around sex appeal, yet it doesn't phase me. Then it hit me that my gut reaction to those kinds of comments feet like "why would I think something like that about my daughter?"

So maybe there's something to say about the relationship between a player and character having some parallels to the relationship between a parent and child?

#173 Posted by Sparklykiss (1983 posts) -

Usually I don't get much of a choice and have to be a male.

And I tend to play as a female when I can and have a pretty dedicated reason for why they look or act a certain way. I'm a fan of creating my own backstory and I really don't like to make characters that look like me anymore, always found it to be a bit weird.

If it's a second or third time through and I want to make a more joke-y character, I tend to make them really strange looking men with bugged out features that look like glitched/broken versions of the typical lead in a game. That's probably a really weird thing to admit to...

Moderator
#175 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3880 posts) -

@kierkegaard said:

The primary problem with societal issues like the male gaze is ignorance about it, I think. And, like you said, there is a difference between finding someone attractive and objectifying them.

I guess the issues with games is that since you are the creator of this being, and you control it, it's different than encountering an attractive person in the world. A human you like is likable in part because they are not you or yours--they are a separate agent of human existence. And since any relationship where one person controls the other is abusive and wrong, character creation in games can come up against some heady concerns.

This is why I prefer to use the term "sexualized" over "objectified." Objectification puts too much weight behind personal intent or feelings, which in most cases can never be known.

To better explain this, I recently gave an example of a female stripper badly cutting their leg on stage. Everyone in the club would be sexualizing her before that point, but only those who became upset that their "object" could no longer could entertain them would be truly guilty of objectification, just as anyone who felt concern for her wouldn't. It would be the same if roles were reversed in a male strip club.

Speaking of reversed roles, would you feel the same about women who make handsome male characters when they have the chance? Should they avoid creating characters that they find attractive for the same reasons? While I'm on board for more diversity in video games, I think males are sometimes held to different standards than women when it comes to sexuality. Then again, perhaps I'm mistaken and you do think that women specifically shouldn't create game characters that they would find attractive.

#176 Posted by AlmostSwedish (608 posts) -

In the last few years, I've started playing as a female in game that give you the option. I've not put very much thought as in to why, but it's not the butt thing. I don't treat my character as a puppet, I definitely embody her.

I grew up in a place with very rigid (maybe that's the wrong word, english is not my native language, especially when it comes to queer theory) gender norms. I never really felt that I fit into that version of the male role, and still don't feel like I do. So perhaps my choice to play as a woman is more about not playing as a man.

Then again, it's not just that I feel more comfortable playing as a woman, I actually LIKE it. I have a friend who recently came out as intergender, and that actually makes a lot of sense to me. Either way, it certainly feels like video games (Skyrim and Saints Row in particular) has allowed me to explore these issues from a more... well, internal point view I guess.

So, yeah. I guess that answers the question?

#177 Posted by CaLe (4036 posts) -

Because girls usually have the better hair options.

#178 Posted by JimiPeppr (420 posts) -

I usually choose to play as a female because it's slightly more interesting (dialogue/role-playing-wise) and aesthetically pleasing. I have to be a dude every day irl... attempting to see things from a different perspective is fun!

#179 Posted by Jolt92 (1565 posts) -

There aren't that many women protagonists, so once in a while I'll play as one just for the sake of mixing things up.

But I guess I'm just queer.

#180 Posted by TooWalrus (13254 posts) -

My reasons aren't that deep. Girls are cooler than guys. That's it.

#181 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2949 posts) -

@cale said:

Because girls usually have the better hair options.

...and cloths....and makeup...and sometimes armor.

I liked Dragons Dogma for that reason, it has more options during any character creation. The women had more interesting clothing in my opinon, and their armor, based on the male armor, was more refined. Yet, the SYSTEM for any character was better than alot of games. More face shapes, more tattoos and face paint, more hair choices, and best all all MORE voices in multiple timbers & tones.

#182 Edited by MB (12910 posts) -

One of the things I really like about Divinity: Original Sin's character creation is that you are free to choose any combination of male and female for your two characters that you like. Male and female, two males, or two females. Plus, there are several voice options for each. Very important if you're going to be spending a hundred hours with two characters.

Something that most probably won't notice is that on the character creation screen, the game randomizes whether the male or female character will be in the first position every time you use it. I only discovered this because I restarted the game several times after finding I wasn't happy with how I created the characters, or messing up and choosing skills that seemed useless or didn't compliment one another.

Personally though, I like playing female characters in games that are voiced because I find female voices more pleasant to listen to for extended periods of time. A lot of times though it comes down to which character model I think looks better.

Moderator
#183 Edited by iceman228433 (616 posts) -

I think it stared for me because at the time every game had a male main character so I thought it would be interesting to play a game that lets you play a Girl.

#184 Posted by Ubertron986 (21 posts) -

Really interesting forum topic and essay. I was, however, taken aback by the question in the title, "Why do you play as the opposite gender?" Being neither male nor female, I don't know what my "opposite" gender would be and I don't like the idea of having one, as it reinforces that there's only the binary of male and female. Because I'm neither, I never play a character who represents me as a person. I suppose in games like Skyrim it doesn't really matter to me because the writing isn't specific to the two genders the creator's make available to players. Still, I do wish I could have pronouns other than he or she in those types of games.

#185 Posted by desoda (120 posts) -

Because I can. That's why.

#187 Posted by John1912 (1924 posts) -

I really only do it if the character model looks better. Generally Tank chars would always be male. Healer, assassin, or mage I might pick female. More often then not I take a male char if its a solo game.

#188 Posted by Asurastrike (2169 posts) -

I think the female characters look better.

#189 Posted by Grillbar (1888 posts) -

ill be honest i diddent read any of it since im to lazy. but to sorta answer the question.
what gender i play does not really matter to me. i mean if there is no difference in how they handle or act or anything and its just a gender thing i usually pick a girl since i had played male charecters a lot. and most game where i cant choose a gender they are usually male. so it feels kinda refreshing. if there is a difference ill just pick what ever suits me, the gender does not matter.
and with games that have relationship/flirtation options like mass effect and saints row. i would usually pick someone of the opposite sex if i only have 1 to choose. and i the person out from who i like more or is a more interesting character but if i can choose all of them i will. so really sexuality does not really play a role for me, neither does gender
so when it all boils down to it. i dont care about the gender, color, creed or sexual orientation. its more about who is more fun or interesting. and games with moral choices those factors does not really matter since i will always choose what i think is the right thing or what i as a person would chose, and if i like the game i will play it again and do the complete opposite just to see what the options were, at that point i would choose a different gender just to have it be difference.

#190 Posted by RubberBabyBuggyBumpers (726 posts) -

I play the opposite gender because when I /dance, sexless goobers give me their money.

#191 Posted by MrRampagingRobot (6 posts) -

Some times if its a third person game, I'd rather see a woman's a$& than a mans. I'd also like to see here kick some as well.

#192 Posted by PopeAnonymous (45 posts) -

Every single time a game gives me a gender choice, I go with female. It's just an automatic thing, I'm sure I could think more in depth about it, but I just go with it. As a previous poster stated, no, it's not the butt thing. To be honest, I also tend to use a female avatar on MMORPGs, though I'm pretty up front to anyone who asks that I'm a male IRL. So, yeah.

#193 Posted by Christoffer (1890 posts) -

I play the opposite gender because when I /dance, sexless goobers give me their money.

Hey, I'm not a goober. You take that back.

Online
#194 Edited by Ruukie (47 posts) -

I tend to go for the same sex so male for me the only time I've chosen a female avatar is Mass Effect after I had finished it twice as a male and wanted to see the difference of a female character, first time play through's though I will always choose male though tend to not think about it, I'm a guy so my avatar in a game tends to be a guy

#195 Posted by mems1224 (265 posts) -

I never play as a woman in games. Mainly because I play games that give me a choice in character from my perspective and make choices I would make.

#196 Edited by Strangestories (118 posts) -

I just want to thank everyone for being extremely respectful with the transgender and queer topic. It makes me happy to see that giant bomb is still a (mostly) safe place.

#197 Posted by bartok (2571 posts) -

When it comes to games where you create your own character I always play as dude with one exception, Mass Effect. For that decision it comes down to the simple fact that I can't stand the male VA for Shepherd and Jennifer Hale just nails it especially when it comes to the Renegade options.

When it comes to other games that give you a choice of preexisting characters it is based solely on how they play especially fighting games. In MK2 my best character was easily Kitana and in the Tekken series one of the few fighters I am competitive with is Ling Xiaoyu.

#198 Edited by sprode (113 posts) -

The point of all of this is is: A study referenced in the article shows most males playing as female avatars do so to gaze and control them, a domineering relationship. Do you, in general, feel that you embody the character you are playing, becoming a different or similar person to yourself, be that in race, gender, sexuality, ethics, or personality? Or do you only identify with similar characters to you? Or do you choose a character to gawk at? Or is it a more complicated mix?

I don't think it's a controlling thing for me. Honestly I think I'm more likely to do a controlling thing when I'm playing as a guy - like in Bioware games when I'm supposed to be deciding between renegade and paragon and what relationship I'm pursuing. Because in that case I'm controlling the character to make the choices I'm inclined to make.

In that case I suppose I embody the character. When I play as female characters I don't feel I embody them, so I guess that would mean I'm domineering them, heh. Although I've never thought of it that way. It's a bit of an opportunity to be someone else, especially when there aren't major personal choices on the line. When I play the Prime series, Samus, it is about identifying with a character similar to me or a feeling (isolation) regardless of gender. Plus she's cool. When I'm playing some random female mage, I'm expressing my usual choice of being a mage but at the same time I'm doing something different by rejecting the need to adhere to strict masculinity. I think there's something to be said for most characters I've played as growing up having been male. Complex games like Elder Scrolls give me an opportunity to be different from myself. Even if there's an overriding personality homogeneity that I have yet to escape. I guess it's a more complicated thing than I'd give it credit for.

#199 Edited by Strife777 (1610 posts) -

Women are pretty. That's it really. I guess it's also like Dave Snider says, if I'm going to stare at a character for hours, might as well be a lady.

I mean, I don't pick females all the time, but I try to mix it up. In the Destiny beta for example, I'm playing a female Awoken, simply because I like how they look. They're pretty (hot)! OT but I don't really like the voice they picked for them, it's too "girly", which just doesn't seem to fit.

I guess playing as female for that reason alone might be "creepy" or exploitative, but I don't feel like it is. I'm not necessarily always looking to identify with my character, not much at all actually.

Edit: Oh and I guess I sort of want idiots to think I'm actually a girl and act like creeps, which has never really happened, but that's not really a reason, more like an afterthought :P.

#200 Edited by Skyfire543 (738 posts) -

I'm the kind of person who'll sit in a character creator for hours and create the character I think is perfect. Whether it's a lady or a dude doesn't really matter to me. When it's something like Diablo 3 where it's just a choice of gender and not anything else I just choose the one that looks better, like the female Demon Hunter looks way cooler than the male one, but I prefer the male Barbarian model so that's what I'll choose for that class.