Useless comments on being a guy playing a female toon

Well, I thought I’d been passed over, but nope! Kestrel tagged me yesterday. He put a lot of thought into his list, for which we should all be grateful.

I for one was amused at the percentage of commenters that liked his #4. As in, most folks that chose to comment, did so to say they liked his #4. It was an excellent statement about thinking that far more women play WoW than are given credit. However, it also included the following statement;

To quote Kestrel;
I’ve also met a fair share of males (I won’t say “men” because at least one was truly just a boy) who did a reasonable job of passing as females. Some use the line I never accept (“If I’m going to stare at a butt for hours on end, I want it to be attractive).” Have you actually looked at the male NE model from behind, guys? And I’m definitely not buying that line when it comes to Dwarves, Trolls, and Undead. Let’s not even get started on Taurens and Orcs! I don’t have any female characters, because I’m already as in touch with my feminine side as I need or want to be. I don’t have to demonstrate it in a game.

I know it’s an old and tired topic, but as a guy that does play female toons in WoW, and has specifically used the “If I’m gonna look at a butt, I prefer it to be a cute butt” line when asked by goofs why I do, I’d like to comment on the whole thing.

Oh, and reading over this, I want to make clear that it’s MY comments I feel will be useless. Most folks have their minds made up about the topic, and nothing I say is gonna make an impact. That doesn’t mean I can’t at least try. I can’t pretend to know what Kestrel was thinking of, exactly, or who, when he brought the subject up… but the part about being in touch with feminity or masculinity in terms of the characters we play does touch on a lot of the prejudices I’d like to address here. Unfortunately, this is one of my ‘hot buttons’. Anyway, here goes. 🙂

For me, it comes down to how I view the game. The characters I’m playing in the game are just that – characters. They’re not ME. They are not meant to be me. When I chose a character, I did so with the same aesthetic sense that brought me to enjoy Buffy the Vampire Slayer on TV. I watched the show, and enjoyed it a lot… without having to personally identify and imagine myself as Buffy, thank you very much. I did, however, enjoy seeing Buffy kick some massive butt.

I just don’t see what is hard to understand about the idea that the various characters I choose to play in the game are characters, discrete and separate from me. They’re not real, people. They’re not my masks on the world. I’m not REALLY a female Night Elf. On Teamspeak, I don’t freaking giggle or pitch my voice to a different octave.

When I think of characters I would like to see in a game, I like putting genders in non-traditional fictional roles. Conan is BORING. Big naked guy with a huge sword is overused, and overdone. Everyone knows what a phallic symbol is at this point, and what ‘overcompensation’ means. And laughs like hell at it.

I have a wierd sense of humor and an awareness of these traditional stereotypes, and I apply it, for example, in enjoying making a female warrior wielding a big two handed sword. Intentionally. And likewise, for my warlock alt, I made a female gnome with pink pigtails. She’s cuter than heck… and by definition, evil as sin.

But these characters are not ME. It is a character whose appearance and abilities I enjoy, and I would like to read about them in various stories. I can imagine the story that would lead such a character to become a Warlock with some amusement…

I used to play a lot of pen and paper role playing games, and I’ve seen a lot of different playstyles over the years. I do know, and understand, that there are people who live through their characters, they do more than become attached to them, they identify and think of them as an extension of themselves. In role playing games, it was one of the things I would comment on with my best friend… there would always be the person that, no matter what character they rolled, would play it exactly the same… as if it were themselves.

I have seen that a lot, and I do understand it…

So fair is fair. I’d appreciate it if more people would cease using that stereotype against those of us that just play the game for fun… give us the benefit of the doubt, drop the baggage, and accept that people play this game from different points of view. And just because you might imagine the character you play as being yourself… I just like seeing a female Night Elf kick the holy heck out of the bad guys.

I think that the stereotype is about as fair as if I made the blanket assumption taht anyone that DID identify with and live through their character was someone that had never accomplished anything in real life or had low self esteem, and was living through their heroic alter-ego to compensate. Which may have a grain of truth in some cases, but does it apply to the majority? No, I think not. I really don’t think so, not if the conversations I have with everyone I ever meet in Teamspeak is anything to go by.

Saying it is, though, is just as fair as saying that all guys that play female toons want to pretend to be live women to deceive other players.

And yes… the male Night Elf models DO look that stupid. I wanted to play a Druid, I wanted to play Alliance… so I ended up with a Night Elf.

I like my male Drainei Paladin. He’s big, he’s bald, he’s blue and he has a HUGE two handed mace.

Perhaps I shouldn’t play him? After all, I’m not actually blue. Although my wife says the bald part is coming fast.

I apologise if the tone of this seems hostile… it just gets frustrating, having people apparently automatically assume that guys playing female toons are either perverts, or are trying to trick people into thinking they’re girls. As if there could be no other reason.

I could totally understand if I played on a Role Playing server… as I understand it, the folks who do so almost unilaterally are immersing themselves into their characters, AS their characters. And that’s cool, more power to them. A lot of damn good fiction comes from such gaming.

But that just ain’t me, my friends.

38 thoughts on “Useless comments on being a guy playing a female toon

  1. Pingback: Whats in a name? « Dechion's Place

  2. I guess I will chime in way late since I just visited this blog to agree with the above sentiments, but I have to say that I think there are a lot of deeper reasons people sometimes play female characters- almost never conscious. Maybe you had a strong mother that was critical of men, and you have trouble finding positive adjectives that apply to masculinity. Maybe you want to take a break from the expectations levied on you as a man. Maybe you are curious how women are treated online. Maybe you ARE transgendered. None of these things are anyone else’s business. I’m a heterosexual male that prefers playing male avatars because I get sick of watching guys act goofy around the female avatars I’ve made, but I think that saying “it doesn’t have to mean anything”, or “I do it because I like looking at female butts” just kind of perpetuates the sense that it is ok for other people to police your identity.


  3. It all comes down to preference. If I wanted to roll a Night elf, I would choose a female because the males just look kind of creepy. Not to mention their animations/emotes are annoying to me. If I were to roll a Blood Elf, though, it would be a male, because I don’t like the female Blood Elf animations, or their voice. There are a multitude of races where I’d do either male or female (undead, orc, human, dwarf, draenei), but at the same time I’d never roll a tauren female or a troll male. It’s just preference. It’s not just the butt you’re looking at, it’s the way your character runs, the way your character casts or shoots, the way your character looks on a mount.

    Oh, and I’d never roll a gnome, male or female.


  4. My ratio is 5 female to 3 male toons. My daughter has two toons on my account. I totally agree with BBB. I am not female, or a Night Elf, and yes, must admit, not a Rogue, or Mage or Warlock. But I do enjoy playing them on WoW. I think it’s those of us who are comfortable playing toons of any gender who are secure in our sexuality, and probably those who have a problem with it, may be the ones who haven’t quite arrived at that level of maturity. In the end, we all pay each month to play this great game, and we should play it any way we desire, well, except for those ding dongs who stand around in Stormwind begging for gold. Anyway, just started reading this site a couple weeks ago, and have really found some good information here. Thanks for your effort.


  5. I’m a chick playing dude chars because I find them sexy. Male Night Elf Druid – yessir. Male blood elf warlock? Yessir. Most of my chars are male, and I do RP them. I don’t try to trick or deceive people, and honestly I avoid playing females because I don’t enjoy being hit on, or getting preference of gear or items based on my char(and there fore my IRL)’s gender. I like going under the radar, and just blending in with the rest of the guys.

    And I think the NElf dudes are the hottest models in the game. Big. Tall. Long hair.


  6. I am in total agreement with you BBB on the fact that my toons are characters I play. They aren’t extensions of my ego, id or whatever psych mumbo jumbo you want to use. With me the first thing I usually do after I decide what kind of toon I want to play (Race and class), is to come up with a name. From there I decide if the name sounds more masculine or feminine and go from there.

    Silvers=Female Human Rogue, Dooddad=Male Nelf Druid, Frostriven=Male Dwarven Hunter, Gearsworth= Male Gnome Warlock. Starblade=Female Nelf Warrior. One of my personal favorite names I came up with was “Sallyforthe” a Female Human Mage. Just before I made the toon I had watched a Bruce Campbell movie. The name is NOT From the comic character but from the line the Undead Ash struggles to say with his broken jaw in the movie Army of Darkness.

    Male, Female, It doesn’t really matter. In the end they are all just pixels on the screen. Whatever you like to look at while you play them for hours is what counts 🙂


  7. oddly enough, i get more “racist” comments directed toward my male gnome than i do “sexist” comments toward my female night elf. in other words, idunno bout all of you, but for me it’s a complete and utter non-issue.

    btw i’m a guy and my main is a female night elf bear.


  8. Hi all,

    My main is a Tauren female druid in an RP server though I am not a female and, surprise, not a Tauren IRL. I never got this thing about people thinking its strange for a guy to roll a female toon because I don’t feel that my character is me in any sense (I actually rollplay 3 Tauren siblings of which my main is the younger sister) or that is even an extension of myself. Is a character I created in a fantasy world. Have you never played Tombraider? Have you ever thought you were Lara Croft? Well, I never did and I loved that game. What seems odd to me are those people who treat their toons as they roll themselves IRL, that don’t realize that this is all a game and that actually think that they’re gonna get laid when they flirt with my toon and then get really angry when I whisper them that I’m a guy, because this is the real issue here: they do feel cheated when they discover that the toon that makes them horny is a guy IRL but that is not our fault… Well this is what seems really weird to me.

    My 5 cents,



  9. Holy hell, I logged in right after making the above comment, and no sooner got hit on in Shatt.

    In Aldor bank, a lv55 Gnome Rogue asked me if I could use him… as, well… to keep it PG, I’ll say an “assistive device”.


    WTF is wrong with people?!


  10. Ok, I’m male, and ALL of my toons are female.

    Even my bank toon.

    Like BBB said, it’s about playstyles and preferences.

    I’m not an RPer, and I don’t project myself into my characters or identify with them, beyond being in the game I like playing.

    I also have ZERO desire to get a 3rd person view of ANY male model’s backside for 70+ levels.

    Ain’t gonna happen.

    I’ve gotten the “Hey sexy” comments. I usually tell them I’m male, and invariably get the “gay” comments, to which I have a standared macro’d response:

    “I’d like to point out that somewhat over half of all the toons in WoW are female, while it’s figured that female PLAYERS only make up 10-15% of the userbase. Next time you flirt with a “hot NElf chick”, do the math. Chances are she’s packing meat.”

    That usually shuts them up. 😉


  11. Funny that some people get hooked up on gender. What’s also funny is that I’ve played the game for a little while now and i can’t recall anyone ever pulling me up on my choice to play a different species. Gender – Yes, Species – No. I don’t see the difference.

    I’ve had the ‘pst’, and what I perceive to be an accusing tone ‘you’re not really a girl are you?’ But never have I had ‘you’re not really an Orc, are you? Imagine if we all played humans. Boring.

    Seems odd to me that, to some, it’s ok to play a completely different species, just not a girl. Unless you are a girl. Or an Orc.


  12. @Redneckizm
    The male Night Elves aren’t doing lame John Travolta dances. That would be the male Humans. Male Night Elves are doing a Michael Jackson dance. Seriously. And for those of us who grew up with Thriller, that’s not really a bad thing.

    I’d never heard the male Night Elf prejudice until I read these comments. I gave my Druid (resto/feral hybrid) the old worldly wise explorer look. He’s a badass. Plus Male Night Elves have a rich, smooth voice. Compare it to the Blood Elf whine, or the Gnomish nasal. The “glance around” tick actually looks cool. Much preferable to the Human sigh. I love my male Night Elf.

    And he’s got one of the funniest jokes in the game. “What? I can’t hear you.” My nine-year old had to explain it to me. Then I must have laughed for, like, 15 minutes straight.

    I have to admit that while the cross gender thing doesn’t bother me, I still can’t bring myself to make a female character (maybe it’s society, I don’t know), with one exception. A few local IRL buddies and I made a guild so we’d have a game to play together online. Trying to convince one to join with us we were explaining roles and when we described what healers do, he derided the role with a bunch of offensive, sexist vocabulary. When the role fell to me I made a total girly girl (Night Elf resto druid) just so I could make him call me “princess” if he wanted any healz.

    Then I got attached the character. It was fun to play. The picking flowers, enchanting, buying bags and pets and nice clothes. It was an aspect of the game that had totally passed me by until I tried to exaggerate it. I’ve since stopped exaggerating it, but it’s still a small part of how I play. Even with male toons now.

    There’s only been once when I know gender mattered. A high level Blood Elf Pally ransacked Sentinel Hill. Killed everyone but me. Then stripped and danced for me until I /slapped him and tried to walk away.


  13. a good friend of mine had a female undead warlock. said he though of his toons as less an avatar of himself, but more of a gigapet or such. a little thing you raise, and in that sense, female toons for male players doesn’t not make sense


  14. I have a female Druid because they looked KUUL. And Yes, I’m a guy.
    I also have a chunky Dwarf Male Pally because they LOOK tough and onery.
    (Kinda like Me) 🙂

    As a much older player than most, I’m very secure in my masculinity. I have had people comment about my druids name, as they thought it was a funny bimbo name, but I have never been harrassed because I am a male playing a female toon. You will get catcalls and such, and its just part of the ride. Enjoy and play on.


    If someone is being a jerk, then /ignore XXYY and be done with it. Simple. And that can be harrassment or just a regular turkey, but it 99% door no.2 in my experience.

    I HAVE Found over time though, that most male players get protective of female toons, regardless of their true RL gender. It just IS.
    Running instances, I’ve seen where female toons get a little bit more protection and healing than their male counterparts. It is just hard-wired into most males.

    A previous blog had me cracking up, when a little gnome rogue female got hit and SQUEEKED, and it make everyone want to go protect her or heal her. (Even though they all KNEW it was a big hearty male playing in RL.


  15. Pingback: Whats in a name? « Be Nameless

  16. I like playing orc females because of two of their jokes:

    “Ugh, I have to get my chest waxed again.”

    “What’s estrogen? Can you eat it?”

    Plus, as a female orc, I will probably never get /sexy or /flirt thrown my way.

    But I got a free run through RFC, not to mention Knuckletor and Luzran.


  17. @ Bigpriestessbutt ROFL! I would have loved to see the GM’s response when you complained that the Pants made your butt look fat!

    I started out relating to myself when I rolled my Male NE Hunter. When I became further experienced and found Female Dranei… I HAD TO HAVE 1! So I rolled a Female Dranei Shammy…. Have you seen them dance? WOW!! so much more appealing than the lame “John Travlota” immitation that the Male NE’s do.

    I do get a lot of /Whistle, /flirt & /sexy emote Harassment… if I have the time I stop long enough to play on it for a couple secs and on many many occasions I had people giving me a couple G. Hey… if they want to give me free Gold… i’m not complaining!

    The Victories are much Sweeter. The 1’s I love the most are when I’ve been picked on by Male Tauren and they get thier Butt kicked by a GIRL! You can tell it’s a definate ego buster when after the get beat.. they get camped…. and they have to call on fellow MALE Charachters to come beat up on a girl! I’ve seen his “Back-up” arrive and won’t attack me simply because it’s a “Female”, and while they just stand there watching me kick his butt again & again…and then in front of all his guildies/Friends blow him a /Kiss before I leave. I KNOW that his TS/Vent/Chat is chopping at his ego like a Rogue on Meth!

    Some of my best experiences were playing with Women that actual played Female Charachter. My smoothest questing/instance group was a Female Dranei Prott Warr, Female Gnome Warlock, Male Gnome Mage, Male NE Hunter (me) and a Female NE Resto Druid, and yes… we were all playing our own gender of Char’s. I also raid with a Male NE Shadow Priest that is played by a Woman, and She’s very good at it, Her Boyfriend plays a Human Ret Pally.

    It’s a Fantasy… Live it out!


  18. Sorry, I play on an RP server because I have friends on an RP server. I rarely (if ever) RP, because I believe role playing is meaningless in a computer game. I have 5 male and 5 female toons. Why? Cause I wanted to hear the emotes/etc. I think female gnomes have funny /silly’s. I like the female nelf dance. The Male night elf had the most violent face. The Male Dranei is the neatest looking male model. The others were just kind of random.


  19. I didn’t realize until this post that people really cared what gender your character is. Thanks for brining it to light.A big chunk of my guild plays characters of the opposite faction, including the GM and previous officers. I can’t recall it phasing anyone. A lot of it happened when belfs hit the market. Guys just didn’t like the male model.The female tauren seems fairly popular on my server, too, because it’s a smaller model.On the flip side, I’m female and play all female characters. My main is a belf pally, rerolled from a nappy undead, who was rerolled from an ugly troll. I’m certainly not in it for the sexiness. It’s just fun to be cute and smallish. I’d be a Horde gnome if I was allowed.I’ve never had anyone send me weird whispers or try flirting. I’ve had issues on Vent, yes, but never just running around in game.I think most of the pugs I do think I’m probably a guy, anyways. And they’ve never said anything about that, either.So in summary, I’m sorry that crap happens to you. I wish I had a good solution since it is harassment. Just keep your chin up and know that not everyone out there minds. 🙂


  20. My 10 characters are all female although I am a male. My proclivity for female characters began with the original Diablo. I greatly enjoyed playing the female rogue. She, not I, kited Diablo to death six times. I went with the Amazon in Diablo 2 as I preferred ranged weapons. Neverwinter Nights provided my first game opportunity to choose both class and gender. I chose a female warrior because female characters trigger a very strong protective instinct in me. Their victories are sweeter and defeats more painful while my sense of danger is enhanced.It has been more than 50 years since I last played with an action figure toy. I do not identify with my female characters. I am instead their coach, mentor and protector. This is incomprehensible to the many children of all ages who play WoW.Other than a few “WTB my GF?” queries from idiot children, I haven’t been subjected to anything untoward in the game that was a product of my character’s gender. That will no doubt change.


  21. I’m a woman player who plays a lot of toons, and I generally play females. 70 Night Elf warrior and 70 druid (feral!), and a 70 human priest. 50 undead rogue. I’ve occasionally had to fight the, she’s female, she must be a bad player concept, but I haven’t had these other problems, perhaps cause I hit ignore really quickly. But then I’ve found close friends to play with, and have abandoned guilds — either the players are too immature, or drama always gets the guilds with older players. I’m open about being a woman, even occasionally in general chat, with diapers to change and housework to do. I think it deflates the jerks a bit. I’ve had a few guys act like, “I’d play with her as a tank any time,” which comes across a little condescendingly. I do however identify with my toons some, especially early in my game. I like being a tough protective mother bear tank. I like being the vicious evil witch of a shadow priest melting faces in arena. There are ways to project gender and identity that aren’t the first thought of. From my experience, most women I know have played female toons … but I’m sure there are tons that don’t!


  22. Wow, i never knew anybody actually took this sort of thing seriously. I /whistle at all the draenei girls i see when i’m on my main, sometimes /flirt a little, but it’s all in good fun; it’s just a splash of RP and appreciation for their model.Now that i think about it, one of our ex-guildmates gquit a while back citing transgender prejudice as his (…her?) reason for leaving. I don’t know if he was TG in real life or if he was just referring to how he always played female characters.Now, i hadn’t ever heard — and still haven’t — any disparaging remarks, and since i’m not an officer i haven’t inquired into it (as i know it’s none of my business). I hate to say it, as we got along well enough, but given the total lack of evidence for his claims, i wonder if he was just making up an excuse after getting mad about something else entirely. Or perhaps he was inflating out of proportion some harmless, joking mentions of how he always played female characters. I can’t remember any of those specifically, but i wouldn’t be surprised if there were. You can’t interact with people online and expect to never have anybody joke around with you. The way he talked about it, though, made it sound like somebody was really hounding him, maliciously. Must have been all in private, if it wasn’t just imagined. :PIf there’s a significant amount of this sort of harassment, folks, i’m sure that a GM would be happy to hear about it. I doubt Blizzard tolerates harassment about sexual identity any more than they do about sexual orientation.


  23. Male player, mix of male and female toons. One of my female toons is a human priest. So, I’m out in Westfall on a Friday night, and I mention to my friend that her pants make her butt look big. He says I should appeal. Best 15 minutes I ever spent with a GM 😉


  24. I play a female tauren druid. I do this because of the BBB – I can see past her big bear butt better when tanking! Yes, the female taurens are a little smaller, so I get stuck on fewer walls, I *can* squeeze past that stupid torch (if i’m careful), and my fraps video makes a little more sense to people that want to see more than a gaint enemy’s crotch when tanking.This choice didn’t have much to do with being a woman IRL.I started with a NE Hunter female, and I really think more people were surprised that I was really a woman and not some stupid kid. I had played half-elves and rangers in other games and it was just a natural progression. Having said that, my main is also female, a troll priest. I have some male toons, I just got into the priest and druid the most.I didn’t realize there was this much crap for the gender issue on this game. If it makes you feel better, there’s some weird stuff from the female perspective. I did used to get alot of “Oh you’re married? What is your husband’s toon name?” and subsequent confusion when they found out he doesn’t play. LOL Guess you can just say, PPL are DUMB.Mel/Takira


  25. For the last part of his 60’s, Dax paired with a female draenai shammy. I found out in short order that a guy was behind the toon, big deal. /shrug, whatever.Since then, we’ve become pretty good online friends, and I make all sorts of /sexy comments to him when he’s on that toon, BECAUSE I know he’s a guy. If I knew a gal was behind the ‘toon, I wouldn’t dream of harassing her like that.When I play my female Draenai priest, I love getting the /sexy attention. I’ll play along with them and give it right back. /emote is wonderful for either upping the fun factor or taking them down a road they really don’t want to travel…heh….heh.I have lots of different reasons for playing the combinations that I have. For Rysteranch and Dwarfvader, I WANTED stereotypes, NE Hunter and Dwarf warrior it is! LOTR, the books and movies influenced this.For Daxenos(human) and Daxie(Draenai), I wanted a priest and a new to me starting area.DANG, I wrote a book already…suppose I should post about it…lol


  26. Is a good post, Mr. BBBB.I always try to remembers that when ya make an assumption, you make an ass out of you and mption. So when I meets a new adventurer, I don’t assumes I know whether they’s TS voice is the same sex or not. And if it ain’t I sure don’t assumes about they’s motivations for it. What difference do it make? Why would I want to make an ass out of mption?Does they help me kill things and be not dead? Is they fun to hang with? Is they not a ninja? Can they tell me where to go to get good take-out Arakkoa wings? This is the sorta things what matters.


  27. Based on my experience, women in WoW tend to NOT choose to play characters that will lead into “sexy” whispers from random dudes.I have never encountered a lady who plays a female blood elf, for example.They seem to tend to play male gnomes, male tauren, female undead, that sorta thing.The kind of situation where only joking innuendo can be made. (Of course they’re real. Not mine, but real!)Case in point. RL boyfriend/girlfriend pair play WoW together. He plays a sexy little blood elf paladin in skimpy plate. She plays a massive Tauren Hunter covered in massive leather and spikes.


  28. There are other non-subjective reasons to rolling a female toon. It is a legitimate and valid reason to roll females based on the lineage of games that you have played and influenced you in the past.The previous main game for me before WOW was Diablo 2. In that game we weren’t given the choice of gender. The Amazon was female, the Assassin was female. Warcraft 3 was the primary influence to me choosing a female. All the Sentinels were female. Tyrande being a priest was female. In fact most of the Night Elf heroes were…well heroines (Maiev, Shandris, Tyrande and even Slyvannas). Not that I rolled them wanting to be Maiev, or Shandris or whoever. But the fact that the army units were all female.When WoW came, I thought bonus (since I always loved the Ranger class in AD&D and fortunately never connected Drizzt or Legolas to WOW) I followed “lore” and rolled myself a NE female hunter. I’ve played many since – but she was my greatest love. Nothing beats exploring WOW when it first came out and no toon after can beat the first.Unfortunately, things tend to go downhill – specifically due to this “guys rolling female” prejudice thing that seem to have seeped deep into the fabric of WOW community – just as any prejudices seem to grow in society.First it started off with assumptions – that I am female because I play a female toon. Then the benefits start rolling in, wierd whispers will come, special treatment will be given, and then offensive jokes and proposals will flow.Being new (at that time) I didn’t know how to respond…no one, absolutely nobody did those things in D2. Nobody asked an Assassin to date them, or gave gold or items to a buxom Amazon, or tell a Sorceress that they are sexy everytime they logged in.That kinda really ruined my social experience with WOW. Sure that NE female toon ended up in a raiding guild went all the way through AQ40 and did all the great stuff before TBC came out, but playing her tend to be really limited due to prejudices. It end up Catch 22, people harrass you because you had a female toon. Then you tell them you are a guy IRL, and then they harass you for being gay. So you end up not talking much either in chat or vent.And on another hand, it doesn’t help when you get other female toons running around going “hehehe” and talk female like and then the first time you hear them in vent and they floor you.Things like this shouldn’t matter at all. I mean if ppl accept or don’t particularly care in games like D2 or WC3, or even NVN, why should things like that matter in WOW?So I ended up abandoning my great NE female hunter when TBC came out an rolled male toons. Then wanting to roll a priest with fear ward (ages ago pre 2.3), I rolled a Dranei female (because subjectively dwarves do NOT appeal to my aesthetic and Dranei males are just wrong in robes) – and then the problem started again! Harassment! “..your tail is sexy”. Join a new guild, get asked “are you a guy or girl?” it’s just not right. I don’t get asked that when playing a male toon.Finally, another thing, I definately found more “freedom” to be myself when playing a male toon. I’d give crap, swear at wipes laugh and talk rubbish. Then on the female toon..quiteness. Contrast this with male and female toons;* Interaction seems to be better when playing toons of your RL gender. Even if you’re with good friends who know who you are somewhere in Azeroth there will be some creep who will tell you that you have “sexy back”…just wrong in so many levels. And if you rebuff them, you will be “gay”* Female toons are the only toons I try things on in the change room. Any new armour I find I’d try them on the female toon. Never everrr try anything on the male toon, it’s like meh who cares.If you have thick skin, it shouldn’t matter. Personally I’m sick of the following prejudicial logic placed on males rolling female toons:Logic 1: You are female and are sexy (and will be subjected to any and all innuendoes and harrassment), if you deny this, you are gay (and will be subjected to any and all innuendoes and harrassment).Logic 2: Assume all female toons are guys (until verified), in which case before verification you are gay (and will be subjected to any and all innuendoes and harrassment). After which you are verified, you will be classified as sexy or fat (and will be subjected to any and all innuendoes and harrassment)Stupid human prejudice! ><


  29. Considering how many games over the years where I have played and not had any choice at all its never been a problem for me. Would you play Diablo II and allways create warriors/paladins and never play amazon/mage/assasin?I follow two simple rules. Never play a Male NE and Males often! look stupid in robes. Of all the characters I have created the only the only choice I have regretted was a female nelf hunter. Created it in decemeber 2005 mainly for a bank just because people were so anti female nelf hunters and dang if 2 years later it isnt 70. If I had thought about it I would have rolled a male or female dwarf as I dont have one over level 10.I created a belf mage recently to do the lore and after looking at a level 1 female deleted and went for a male. But grr 20 and 1st robe and he looks stupid.


  30. Great post. Thanks for explaining this in detail; I’m always interested in this issue. I play a male Tauren shammy. I had no idea when I first rolled this character that cross-gendering would be any issue at all! I loved the broken horn. I NEEDED that broken horn! It was too cute and it made me love him. So I rolled the male. I never imagined in my life that people would say to me “that’s just wrong; you’re a trannie,” and some of the things I’ve heard. (Admittedly, I’m guessing most of these were kids acting like tools.) But you know the reason why it never occurred to me? As a female gamer I’ve played male characters ALL my life! We never had avatars that were worth a darn until Lara Croft came along (and even she was way too well endowed to count at first). No strong women to even play. So I think most girl gamers got used to playing male avatars and it was no big deal. (Kinda like how I modeled my leadership skills after Captain Kirk rather than the Bionic Woman or whatever.) It is, as you say, A GAME. I mean, really, when people play Monopoly is it a moral issue when I play the Shoe instead of the Car? Weird.


  31. It goes beyond the looks for me. I play the character with the characteristics that they have(and this includes gender) because I want to image a storyline about a certain character. When I rolled a female orc hunter, it was because I want to experience through my own imagination a story line about a non-traditional character playing a role in a traditionally male oriented activity. When I rolled a male tauren druid it was to fulfill my desire to expirment with what I have equated to be the most morally good horde character. I am not projecting myself into these roles. I am just observering (with control) various storylines that I have concocted with my own imagination.I equate playing wow with a fantasy novel. Just as I like to read books with different type of characters, so do I like to experience the fantasy world of WOW through multiple perspectives.Thanks for the great post. I enjoy getting to contemplate on why I do things within WOW and your post has done just that.


  32. yep, I’m one of those “men with female toons” – I agree with Calandris and BBBB. Its an asthetic thing, I prefer the female models in a lot of cases. Cept for undead, ick! 😛


  33. *drops by via Kestrel’s link*I want to say, thanks a lot for this article.I’m afraid I’m one of those people who immerses themselves in the character… the fact that I was able to create my very own video game hero and give her her very own backstory and personality, is probably the single biggest draw of WoW for me. So she’s going to be female, like me, and she’s going to be a lot like me in general, because I have a big imagination and I’m into that kind of thing.For a while I’ve been confused on why so many guys play as girls, yes even on roleplaying servers (which are the only ones I play on)– heck a lot of my boyfriend’s characters are girls. I didn’t have a problem with it, so much as it was always hard for me to understand the reasoning behind it– mostly because I assumed everybody was like me and wanted to create a parallel-universe avatar of themselves as the character. So I wondered why so many guys chose to represent themselves as a female.But your article really put things into a very concise and nice perspective and cleared things up for me, so thank you very much. Your reasoning makes perfect sense, it just hadn’t occurred to me before. I guess not everybody is a crazy roleplayer like me after all! =P


  34. Why is it never an issue that a woman wants to play a male character? It has always seemed like a double standard to me. I’m female and I like my male Tauren Druid. I’m not trying to get in touch with my masculine side, I just think he looks cool. I say play whatever sex you want, it shouldn’t matter what gender you are in real life!


  35. I was pretty sure, Kestrel… and I tried to be nice :)But it is a topic I happen to have strong feelings about, because when I rolled my first toon 2 years ago, little did I realize the assumptions that would be made about me in the years to come.Honestly, I had no IDEA what I had in store for me.But in true Bear Butt fashion, rather than change myself, I want the REST of the world to change FOR me!


  36. Going to comment here, and probably make a longer clarification on my blog. First, great article, BBB. 🙂 Just to clarify, you playing a female character had nothing to do with me tagging you: I respect your opinions and enjoy your writing, so I simply wanted your perspective on “5 lessons.”Second, I am posting a longer “reply” on my blog. Check it out soon!


  37. I get a ton of questions about playign a female charcter as my main. personaly I just didnt like the looks of the Male Dreanei Priest so I choose a female. I do like the looks of Male Tauren Warrioirs though….and i have one of those characters too. And I personaly think that the male NE looks like crap…but thats me and my opinion…and we all know about opinions being like butt-holes.


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