Gender issues in gaming can split whole friendships in half. For some reason, holding onto your gender, in a game where it honestly doesn’t matter, is either of paramount importance, or viewed with utmost disgust.
Before I continue any further, I should say, gender issues in real life do effect people who play these games. I should mention up front that I am a humanist… I believe in equal rights for ALL, straight, gay, transgender, female, male… with no group favored over another. And here is where I run into problems with gender in gaming… one, or the other, seem to want to take the high ground of ether being persecuted, or finding the other disgusting, and wishing to ban/change/ignore them.
I enjoy playing as a man in games. Why not? With some, you can not even choose what gender you can be. Putting yourself into the shoes of a game character who is similar to a person you may not be able to relate to in life, can change your perspective on how people are viewed in the world. I know that as a man in games, a lot of the dialog is short and too the point. Any little chit chat is fairly related to the game.
I also play as a woman in games. Why not? It’s wonderful to see yourself emulated in a fantasy, being able to look like you could never look (although, some of the armor is pretty silly), and being able to do the things you could never do, while also being able to relate fully to the character you’re playing.
I’m sure other people have the same feelings in fantasy roll playing.
When it comes to issues with genders in RPG’s, which people seem to think neckbeards with no life take advantage of… is the ultra sexy woman characters, with their skimpy clothing, nipples almost falling out, and light voices. But do not women also find the ultra sexy man attractive? The ripped muscles, deep grunts, and amazingly fitting medieval clothing? (I used to voluntter at a medieval festival… clothing does NOT fit like that back then…). Why is it so bad to enjoy playing through a character that you may look up to, in both physical prowess and beauty?
I come to the conclusion now, that it doesn’t matter what gender you may play as in a game. Neither does your real gender matter while you’re playing the game. While most people do complain (and sometimes rightfully), that women have a hard time in gaming in this way, it is fairly inevitable that it will occur. Not only are some (SOME) men who play online not very adept at speaking to women, women make no issue with flaunting their gender ‘status’ in these games, despite the fact that it DOES NOT matter what gender you are. You are still a human, like the rest of us.
These games give us the best opportunity to be as equal as we ever could be, while also being able to play out our innermost fantasies. (Usually with those fantasies leading to some pretty messed up fan art)