Hidden 15 days ago Post by PatientBean
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The reason why I am creating this thread and hoping to facilitate discussion is due to a recent conversation with a friend of mine. We were talking about video games and they asked me what my favorite game was. When I told them it was Dragon Age: Origins, they said they liked games where you got to create whatever character you wanted. I proceeded to say I loved games that did that and games that limit you on character type usually turned me off (unless it was super fun and interesting). When he asked me what I usually play as, I gave it some thought and said I like playing magic users and female characters. The look they gave me made me feel awkward. "You play as girls?" When given the choice, yes, I said. The conversation continued, but that look still bothers me.

Before we get into it, I want this to be a discussion, but be civil. You can disagree with someone and still be kind. Obviously we cannot control what other people say or do so if this does delve into turmoil I am happy to ask a mod to close the topic, but I would love it if we can have a nice chat about this.

I think the first time I ever felt weird about liking to play as female characters was when I played Mario kart 64 and always chose Princess Toadstool. I don't know why, I just liked her as a character. I tended to always pick her in games where she was an option. I played the other Mario games, as well as other games where you played as certain characters, but my favorites always tended to be ones where you got to choose who you wanted or, better yet, create your own character.

I mentioned that I am often turned off by games that limit your choice in character. One such example I can think of recently is Final Fantasy 15. What looks like a fantastic game turned me off as you only played as one character. Having played some of the other FF games where you played as multiple characters, this seemed odd to me. I never played it and don't intend to due to this.

Now, let's get into writing and roleplay.

I got started roleplaying in MMOs. Notably, City of Heroes, Guild Wars 2, and Tera. In these games, I played female characters. When I got into roleplay, many people assumed that, because of the character I played, I was female in real life. When I revealed I wasn't, I was met with a mix of people that didn't care and others that thought it was odd and seemed "uncomfortable" roleplaying with a guy who was playing as a girl.

I've delved into the reason why I prefer roleplaying and playing as female characters in video games or tabletop, and now in writing. One conversation I had was with someone who asked me if I was trans or wanted to be a trans woman. The answer was no. I was set in my gender identity. Another reaction was asking if I was gay. Now, obviously, I am (surprise!) but that was also a stereotype. Stereotypes are grounded on some truth for the most part, but I never felt like I preferred playing female characters because I was gay. It was just a happy accident.

Now that I am more comfortable with my sense of self, I am not bothered to let people know I prefer playing female characters (a Vampire the Masquerade game I am in assumed I was creating a male character, but when I told them I wanted to play as a female, they were super cool and inviting and I have been loving it ever since).

So what do others think? I invite people to share stories and opinions. Are people able to play who they want when creating characters for roleplays or are there some things out of bounds (a White person roleplaying another race, a straight individual roleplaying as someone gay, etc.)

Again, please be kind!
Hidden 15 days ago 15 days ago Post by BrokenPromise
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One of the reasons why I roleplay is to see a world from a perspective I can't normally experience. Because I'm a dude, it's easier to do this with female characters. Though I do play both sexes. But everyone is attracted to this hobby for different reasons.

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Hidden 15 days ago Post by Zyx
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>A character's a character, which ultimately boils down to a tool to convey and move the story along. I don't think it's a strange thing, in that case, to write or play as females while being the opposite sex or gender - or a gender beyond the two binaries.

>Essentially, view the characters you play like the Great Old Ones view you, and watch all the supposed weirdness fade away.
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Hidden 14 days ago Post by Ammokkx
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Yeah I'm gonna be straight with you, nobody here on this forum finds it weird for people to play cross-gender characters. I know far less people on here that stick to just one gender than I do people that, y'know, don't.

Your friend giving you a weird look is probably because they're not a dedicated RPer like most anyone on this forum's going to be. Your friend doesn't get the hobby, nor its appeal. It's not the first time a discussion thread like this has popped up, but the conclusion is always the same: most people say "I'm writing a character, not myself" and the ones that stick to only one gender go "I just don't feel comfortable writing an identity that's not close to mine" (or similar reasons on either end; don't take those examples as absolutes.)

I primarily play girl characters and I don't feel a need to justify to anyone why that is. I just do, and I find people that find that weird of me (note: not people who only prefer to play one thing themselves, only people that find it actively weird) to be the weird ones in turn. Writing allows you to express yourself in a way you can't physically. Is completely normal. Everyone here already intrinsically understands this, or they wouldn't be looking to RP in the first place.

I am the single cutest miqo'te this side of Eorzea and nobody's gonna stop me from being that.
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Hidden 14 days ago Post by Ruby
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I don't feel weird when I play Madden, or a Batman game. If I thought twice about emotionally investing in a male character, I'd miss a lot of good fiction.

I'm not sure I care who's playing what female or male. I THINK someone I've RPed with for years is male, they've played a female, but it's never come up over years and I honestly don't care. It's IC. This is my level of care: after literal years, I still don't care if it's a guy or girl.

Whatever, man.

Romance, even, I don't know that I care. It's IC, and I'm not really looking for attachment outside of that, so why would it matter?

I wonder if you can't just chalk the look you got up to toxic male masculinity and move on. I'm sure there are people here who'd probably lean closer to your friend's response, but probably not worth the potential conflict for them to comment. There will always be those people.
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Hidden 14 days ago Post by Dark Cloud
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I mean why does anyone necessarily need to feel that they must justify a reason to write in a different perspective than one's own? I'm fine with playing a female character, especially if I like the character if it is not original or if it is my own character. I don't see why you need to justify the reason, but eh to each their own.
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Hidden 14 days ago 14 days ago Post by PatientBean
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I'm glad people here (thus far) are less judging than what I've come across. As I stated, our experiences are different.
Hidden 14 days ago Post by SleepingSilence
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Only complete tools and moral busybodies care that an author writes or roleplays as a diverse roster of fictional characters. (It's called being a creative. That's sort of how it works.)

But to your point of preferring to play as female characters in RPGS/MMO's & the like, isn't all that unheard of either. My older brother is the same way. And sometimes, there's simply more aesthetic/customization choices for female characters. Or alternatively, the class you wanted to play is gender-locked. So you don't have much of a choice, especially if you tend to favor certain classes. And, for min-maxers out there, sometimes men and women have different buffs and stats too. So, if you needed any other reason than "do or write what's fun for you", you could probably find them...

But you shouldn't let someone else tell you there's anything unique about that. (Whether to shame you, or to make it out to be something more special than it really is.)

It's just a personal preference, and everyone has it to some degree or another.
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Hidden 14 days ago Post by PatientBean
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@SleepingSilence I never thought of that but you're right. There have been games I've played where a class I liked was locked to only female characters. And the customization and armor choices for females tend to be better than the male options.
Hidden 13 days ago Post by Bork Lazer
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The gender of the character doesn't really matter per se whenever I think of a concept. It always comes secondary compared to whatever I conceptualize. If the character's identity, race or ethnicity plays a factor in how I roleplay that character, then, I take consideration of that.

Your concerns are far more valid for 1x1 RPs whereby the individual who makes a interest check specifies that they want the character to be of a specific gender (Or hell, in worst cases, the player to be of a specific gender). I often find the latter to be more annoying given the anonymous nature of the internet. Don't ask me to do a psychological analysis of why the heck anyone would want to RP with someone of a specific gender.
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Hidden 13 days ago Post by BrokenPromise
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Don't worry, I'll do it for you.

One of the reasons this is so prevalent in the 1x1 section is because some of those RPs tend to be more... personal, than group RPs. For some people, it makes them feel awkward to engage in "romantic" acts with a character that is not being played by a genuine member of that sex. I think we've all seen a story involving a super hot/cute girl avatar seducing men and it turns out to be some ugly dude. Learning to separate people from their characters is a skill and most new role players don't have it. There are even really good roleplayers that can't do it simply because doing romantic stuff like that is a sensitive topic.

Another reason is that the player is simply part of the fantasy. The idea that granting the character some sort of gratification is also granting that gratification to their player. Other times it's the opposite. Maybe they feel guilty about a certain type of fantasy they want to play so they seek out someone with a different gender than their character.

I am the single cutest miqo'te this side of Eorzea and nobody's gonna stop me from being that.


Good thing I reside on "that" side of Eorzea less I have to challenge you for your title, as there is no miqo'te as cute as me!

If I ever get back into this game we should meet up and touch tails.
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Hidden 13 days ago Post by Dark Cloud
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once more a character shouldn't necessarily be a vessel for one's own ideology but just a writing tool to express a different perspective.
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Hidden 13 days ago Post by Ammokkx
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If I ever get back into this game we should meet up and touch tails.


taking you up on that offer
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Hidden 13 days ago Post by Kuro
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Personally, I struggle to see anything that would be wrong with people playing than the one that they identify as be it in whatever form (roleplay, video game, etc.). To be frank, the idea that one must play their own gender is an ignorant take. No one cares if someone plays a Dragonborn in DnD, which has scales, a tail, etc. No one cares if someone plays a blue-skinned Toydarian in a Star Wars setting, which has a trunk and hummingbird-like wings. Are we going to tell people that they can't play as these species/races because they aren't human like their actual selves? Of course not, so what's the point in complaining that someone dares to play a different gender?
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Hidden 13 days ago Post by Zyx
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I think that's a poor analogy because species/races are NOT the same 1:1 as roleplaying as a specific gender. The backlash often comes from CIS men overusing tropes that often sexualize female characters in a setting, and even the motivation behind certain actions done ICly can be seen from a male perspective; aka ooga booga me see boobies. In fact, there are like entire twitters dedicated to women shitting on male authors writing female characters because even they notice the male POV/bias. The same can be said vice versa about women playing as men too.


>While that does happen, is it not just as easy to treat either gender like a character first and foremost before focusing on the traits conveyed to them by their physiology?

>Like it isn't a real person. It's a figment of your imagination. A tool.
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Hidden 13 days ago 13 days ago Post by Zyx
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<Snipped quote by Zyx>

If it's just a character, then why make a woman? You can still make a male and write it from a more genuine perspective. Most people can't do that as woman because it's simply just a perspective that cis men typically don't do well with.

I've noticed that men who almost exclusively or predominantly play as female characters often do it outside writing as well. As other people in the thread have mentioned, they will play as female characters in videogames. This topic is a common one among roleplayers/writers because humans notice patterns and like to draw conclusions. Maybe not everyone fits the generalization, but I find it very hard to believe that everyone is an exception.


>A fair question, and one I personally answer by generally making characters who can either shapeshift or just aren't human but basically walk around in our skin. Not in the Skinwalker way, just the appearance way. But at that point I suppose I've largely written myself out of the discussion perspective wise, since gender to me isn't an issue so far as fiction is concerned, not to mention the fact that I tend to stray away from the human experience if possible.

>As for the rest, that makes sense. Though while not everyone is an exception, everyone also isn't necessarily a fit to the generalization either.

>When it comes to characters out of writing, I don't particularly mind what gender they are, although it's been a while since I've played an RPG.
Hidden 13 days ago Post by Dark Cloud
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@Crazytrini85 That's like saying "Why make a character at all?" It doesn't matter who or what, and not even why. Some people write in the feminine perspective others do not, really when it comes down to it who the hell cares. Just write in whatever way you are comfortable with.
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