This is somewhat inspired by this post here: https://vgboundaries3.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/how-do-you-enjoy-gaming/
I’ve been thinking a lot about avatars recently- how I present myself in games. In the post above, the author mentioned how he believed most people to want to create versions of themselves in games. To be honest, unless the game sticks me with a stock model, I almost always diverge from my own image. Maybe it’s just because the most common stock character is a white dude, and I take the opportunity for customization to create a very different person than one who bears resemblance to me.
I don’t really have a reason, or a justification- I don’t know, should I need one?- but these days I almost always play female characters in online games. It’s not for any perverted reason, or any kind of fantasy I have- I’m just playing the game, I just tend to do so with a female avatar. As I was thinking about how to go about writing this post, I realized that it probably started way back in the days when I played Runescape, placing this story back before middle school. I remember that there was a quest in which you had to be a female character to damage a certain boss, which meant that I had to have my male character model’s sex changed by the mystical Make-over Mage.
This cost money, so I never switched back.
There were plenty of hidden benefits to playing a female character- the first one that comes to mind is that plate-skirts, which were identical to plate-legs in armor value, were cheaper. While you could wear a plate-skirt as a male, it looked just a little silly- they were obviously designed to be more at home around the waist of a female character. In addition to that, I once met a guy who wanted to give me stuff in exchange for acting like his “gf”. Thinking back on that, it was pretty weird, but it never led to anything more than me asking for stuff and him giving it to me for free- to be honest, he was probably around the same age as me, and just as clueless. It was a parasitic relationship; I don’t know if I ever even added him to my friends list, and I lost touch with him in less than 3 hours.
Alright, so that was a strange time. I didn’t really realize what was going on, being so young; I just liked having free stuff, I didn’t know the full extent of what I was doing. The story gets less uncomfortable, promise.
In Guild Wars 2, I created a Sylvari necromancer who was female. Sylvari are plant people, grown from the godlike Pale Tree (the humanoid representation of which is a female), and mine had flowing locks of multicolored leaf hair- about as far from myself as one can get while still being humanoid. I have no story about this- I played this game starting just last year, so I was a fully-functioning adult with a full understanding of why manipulating people is bad, internet safety, etc. Interestingly, my experience as this character was just neutral. I never got any gendered comments, no one ever assumed anything about my based on my character model. Maybe this is a result of the game I was playing- I’ve never heard anything about GW2’s community being toxic. Perhaps it’s a more mature audience than other games, I really don’t know.
Anyway, this post doesn’t really have a point, I’m just kind of rambling. I’ve heard much worse stories about using a female avatar, so I thought I might share my own experiences. In any case, I recommend Guild Wars 2 as a laid-back MMORPG with a pretty friendly community. Runescape, on the other hand, has probably not gotten any less weird since my time on it.