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How to Spot a Gender Faker

Posted May 22, 2007 by Jon Wood

How to Spot a Gender Faker

Today, new MMORPG.com Staff Writer AJ Glasser writes her first piece for us. In MMOs, women are often given special treatment by their male counterparts in-game. Problem is, that pretty elf maiden you're "just trying to help out" could really be an elf lord in disguise. AJ gives us some pointers on how to spot a faker.

A girl has got it made in MMOs. Gear, gold, XP; you name it, and a girl can get it either by asking (pretty please) or by doing raids with the right kind of suckers (er, guys). From helping a girl out in a hard dungeon or handing over some gold when she was short for that new Longsword, men do all kinds of favors for women either in the name of good gamer-ship or out of pity for a gamer girl who doesn't seem to know the ropes. Alas, the condescending generosity is often misplaced - that damsel in distress that men are always out to rescue is probably a guy in disguise.

According to a Reuters article published in July of 2006, nearly 60 percent of guys in MMOs will use female avatars to add an edge to their gameplay rather than out of some closet obsession with gender-bending. Going as a girl is a good PvP tactic; a nice pixilated rack will distract some people, and there's a bent appeal in letting people think they've been owned by a girl. And no one can deny that the inherent sexism of MMOs breeds pity for girl gamers - and pity breeds freebies all around. There are other reasons that a guy will take up a female avatar, of course. When you're locked into a serious gaming frenzy of say 40+ hours a week, it's more entertaining for men to focus on a feminine backside swaying from side to side - and most female character models are more aesthetically pleasing than their male counterparts.

Read the whole article here.

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