Project GenderBender: My own experience
September 24, 2009 6 Comments
If 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.