Project GenderBender: My own experience

christina-hendricksIf you haven’t been paying attention to Rivs’ site, you should be. He’s a fun writer to read with a very conversational tone. He’s upfront and direct, without getting bogged down too frequently in the minutia of gaming, and his oft-irrevrant attitude blended with a general good-natured superiority complex makes him a pleasure to read. Lately, he has been experimenting with one particular project in his current main MMO, WoW. He’s been playing a female character, and trying to behave in game as if he was a female. Not the internet’s overly sexed, hyper-accentuated, wanton-lust queen idea of a female, but an honest to god female. Until recently, he hadn’t any real blips on his radar of sexual behavioral inequality, which I think speaks as much to the lack of population early on in the game as it does to the quality of the typical male gamer. However, his posts made me think of my typical past having played female characters, and on incident sticks out in my mind.

I don’t always play a female, and I don’t only play males. I shake it up some. When I tried out Final Fantasy XI (about 6 years ago now), my character was a Mithra. I wanted an agile warrior type, was thinking maybe an eventual samurai or monk type of class, didn’t really know the game well (still don’t), but I had a concept. Mithra were only able to be females, and I named the character Kitty or something obviously referencing the female aspect of the race.

At one point, I was in a group, farming mobs in a desert-type location (the whole world seemed made of neutral colors), and one of the group members kept sending me tells. Repeatedly. He was being super chatty, talking all about his personal life, how successful he is, where he’s going to school, what kind of car he drives, and all the typical machismo bullshit you expect teenagers to spout online. I was being polite at first, just trying to keep the group from breaking up and thought he was just a talker. I realized eventually that the guy was trying to pick me up, and that this was his attempt at flirting with someone who must be a female.

I dropped the bomb on him, “I’m a dude.”

He laughed, and said, “Oh man, I’m sorry. I just like to chat with girls, and as you can tell, I have some game.”

I shit you not, he really said that he had game.

The image of Christina Hendrix is my contribution to this endeavor, the nerds out there might recognize her from a brief appearance in Joss Whedons’ Firefly, or those enjoy other genres may recall her role in Mad Men. Either way, she’s a smokin’ hot babe (I love redheads), enjoy.

About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

6 Responses to Project GenderBender: My own experience

  1. theerivs says:

    Good call on Christina. I wonder if other dudes, playing chicks had similar moments.

    The…”I’m a dude” moment as I am referring it.

    Thanks for the complements, and the link love.

  2. canazza says:

    I’ve petitioned Blizzard numerous times to add “There are no Girls on the internet… until you hear them over Voice Chat” to the Loading Screen Tips, but do they do it? nooooooo…

  3. greenkirk says:

    True story: I ran a guild in DAOC (Midgard/Percival) and we recruited a guy and a girl who were friends (but had only met in game). Their game names were Cruniak and Chenda. They were really into each other and spent long hours going off and chatting. They fell in love, etc. They passed pictures back and forth through email and became very close. This went on for two years. Two years. Cruniak even bought Chenda a new computer when her old one crashed.

    Well Crun finally decided to fly from Florida to to Ohio to meet Chenda, to surprise her and spend time with her. When he arrived at the airport he was able to find her phone number and called her. The guy was surprised when “she” answered the phone and finally confessed “I’m a guy” in a husky voice.

    Of course Cruniak was totally traumatized and embarrassed. The “girl” left the game and felt sorry for his actions (I believe Chenda was gay and just really liked talking to Cruniak. He truly fell in love with him). This was almost a decade ago, before ventrilo was a common tool in MMOs.

    • shadowwar says:

      That’s definitely a side of the whole gender issue that you don’t hear too frequently, it being carried out to that extent.

    • Miriven says:

      I was in this guild – Joragnir, troll/Miriven, shadowblade – Cruniak and Chenda were both amazingly nice to me and helpful during my time. I remember when it all went down and it felt like mom and dad broke up. Any time I play a game, male or female avatar, and witness someone hitting on a female, flirting, gifting stuff, or anything like that, I remember C&C. Clearly it stuck with me as I type this more than a decade after it occurred (2004 maybe?)

  4. blah blah blah Christina Hendrix blah blah blah


    Nice pic!

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