Another perennial topic that seems to pop up around the MMO world is whether folks exclusively play their own gender or if they’ve played the opposite gender.  I’m not too sure why this is such a “hot-topic,” but it does rear its head fairly frequently.  “Back in the Day,” you didn’t have a choice – if you wanted to play a big-time caster/nuker in D2 – you played a sorceress – period. Again in D2, if you wanted to be an archer/ranger type you played an Amazon – period. The Assassin was also a female. So guys who say they’ve never played the opposite gender avatar have never played D2, or those character types in D2, or they’re simply lying.

Another game where you don’t have a choice on gender for particular classes is DAoC. If you want to play a Valkyrie or a Banshee, you have to play a female avatar – period. Most of the people I game with usually play their own gender, but there are a few who routinely play their opposite. I don’t know that it really means anything, but there it is.  I’m a major “alt-fiend” and my avatars are usually pretty close to a  50/50 split on gender lines.

One thing I have noticed is that my female avatars get asked to groups far more often than my male avatars. They also get far more unsolicited IM’s and tells. It’s kind of annoying actually. Only a few times have I really been “hit on,” but I’m sure it happens all the time.

I can’t really say why some of my characters are the opposite gender, other than to give my gaming a sense of balance.  In some cases it’s purely cosmetic reasons. For example, my first necromancer in Guild Wars was male, but I thought the costuming was much inferior to the female necro, so I re-rolled a female necro ‘cuz I thought they looked much “cooler.”  I kind of did the same thing in HG:L with the summoner – the male armor just seemed blah compared to the female summoner, so I re-rolled a female, whose armor sets are much more sinister looking than the guy’s IMO.

I also sometimes like to play “ironic” characters – for example in DAoC I have a lurikeen Hero (basically a Leprechaun Knight).  For irony’s sake, a female bad-ass sometimes fits this bill, with a male “support” character when I dual box. That’s not how I always play, but it’s sometimes an interesting diversion from “typical” representations & roles. Also in DAoC (where I usually dual-box) I also have the “stereotypical” male Paladin paired with a female Cleric healer.   For me, I guess variety is the spice of life.  (oooh, a cliche, lol)

Anyways, I just don’t see what the big deal is with folks playing opposite genders.  In games I tend to just assume everyone is male anyways unless informed otherwise.