Sunday, December 14, 2008

Being a girl in Runescape

Rather controversial article where the author clams that it is easier to be a girl in Runescape (because majority of male players tend to be nicer to girl characters). He actually spent a few weeks in "girl" disguise to prove that point. I admit, I tried it too a few months ago and pretty much came to the same conclusion: I was never addressed in any kind of offensive language (not even "noob") and other players were rather polite when talking to me.

So why do I call the article "controversial"? The reason is that, while author's main point is likely to be sound, everything else is not. First of all, what about F2P? There is a huge difference between F2P and P2P in this regard. While being a girl in P2P is nice, you pretty much have to expect to be offended one way or the other in F2P. Secondly, author's reasons for boys trying "girls" disguise are way off. Apart from pure curiosity I am pretty sure the biggest reason is that boys simply like to look at girls characters (and Jagex not surprisingly obliges with with PG13 types of female bodies and cloths, which, by the way, some real girls not always approve).

And, finally, the author forgets to mention that while almost every boy do spend some time in "girls" disguise inside the game (if they are aware about such possibility), pretty much every one returns back to being a male character rather sooner than later. And the reason is simple: it is confusing and uncomfortable to role play for another sex for a long period of time for the majority of the players.

What do you think? Have you tried to play for an opposite gender? If yes, what were your motives and observations?


Boombaye1 said...

I play a female character in the game, it's gonna be that way for a very long time.

A week ago, I dropped the usual Green Dragonhide and Maple Longbow combo, changed my outfit into black wind braids + black slinky, sleeveless cocktail dress.

Stepped around in Lumbridge world 1/3.

The girlfriend requests quadrupled to as many as 8-10 per 4 hours.

G said...

I forget which one, but there's a quest which requires the character to be female. During the short time that I was, two people that I didn't even converse with approached me with gifts. It was a nice gesture and all, but I can see how that would make it harder on girls, not easier. Sure it'd be nice to have free stuff, but the automatic assumption that you need gifts or have to be provided for, or that you need help is just insulting.

MSNBC actually had a special on mmorpgs once. They addressed the topic of males playing as female characters and one quote summed it up pretty perfectly, "I'm going to be spending hundreds of hours staring at my monitor, I just want something nice to look at." I mean, I get that.

I can't personally do that. I get freaked out after short periods of time. It's too much acting when I just want to relax and play. It's like the role playing worlds, thats great for the people who like them, but its too much effort for my tastes. Besides, if you're a male player, you can blend in and go unnoticed and I much prefer that.

Great topic :)

Vaskor said...

Thank you for the comments!

Yes, worlds 1/3 in Lumbridge (and Varrock) are notorious for offensive behavior and sexual harassment.

G, I am too not very "social" and vocal inside the game. But I didn't really see any extra difficulties in keeping a low profile while wearing "girl" disguise. I would only get different treatment when I spoke or asked for something.

Boombaye1 said...

Vaskor, I do ya one better ! I have guys attacking me through my private chat without saying anything !

I also asked a friend why her husband plays a female, she said it's because girls are generally helped more.

My assumption normally was "If you're a straight guy, you wanna stare at a guys ass every time your character doesn't face you ?"

Always worked for me.

Jax said...

I'm a girl who plays a girl character. And once a month I get into an idiotic argument about how I'm a guy?!?

I'm sure there are times where it's helped me to be a girl. There have certainly been other times when I've had to deal with some truly stupid moments (my favorite was the guy who followed me around for 10 minutes telling me I was a girl and didn't need Guthan's since girls shouldnt' fight).

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