Role Playing and Gender - Poll

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Do you think it is alright to play a character of the opposite gender?

Yes
64
90%
Undecided
4
6%
No
3
4%
 
Total votes : 71

Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby dskod1 » 31 Oct 2012, 10:48

So I came across this article about role play and found the section on playing gender roles very strange. Thought I would post it up here with a poll so you guys can weigh in on the subject.

Niki Fears wrote:A Note About Gender:

While some players do, from time to time, play a character of the opposite gender, when creating original characters this is often rather taboo among many in the RPG world. Due to the high levels of interaction, particular with RPG's that include social elements such as unions/marriages, most players will not react favorably if they learn that you are not the gender that you claim to be. And, since playing as your own gender gives your character a more personal depth it often keeps your actions more true to the nature of your character so it is best to always play as your real gender.


ARTICLE LINK:http://www.alteredgamer.com/pc-gaming/40948-how-to-create-an-rpg-character-on-text-games-and-pbbgs/

Personally I do not see a problem with role playing people of the opposite sex after all it is called "role playing." but according to this guy it is taboo.

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Last edited by dskod1 on 02 Nov 2012, 01:26, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby Xeniphon » 31 Oct 2012, 11:41

Its hard to say with just that little tidbit of the artical but that seems to either be personal bias against playing as a different gender or else if it is from a publication the company that owns it may have specific political views that make that statement advisable when seeking publication.

I've never seen anyone in 18 years of RPing (either in person or over the internet) that was more than surprised by a guy playing a girl and not even that much when its a girl playing a guy. Odds are its a homophobic reaction from someone outside the RP world, my experiance is that it is not often done simply because it is sometimes difficult to think in terms of the opposite gender (particularly for newer RPers) and requires extra effort to accomplish.

Overall my opinion is that people able to RP another gender well are simply more skilled at it than many others, not than anyone though as some could but simply do not do so for other varied reasons that defy generalization.
Oh well, back to the drawing board...

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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby dskod1 » 31 Oct 2012, 12:10

interesting take. It was written by one person and am curios if there is any truth to this "taboo".

Also I have changed the poll answers just to be a tad bit more comprehensive Xen so the poll reset itself.
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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby JohannXIV » 31 Oct 2012, 12:34

I'd have to agree with Xeni. All of my primary PCs in simrtk have been women, and I do carry a Y chromosome. Currently, in my dnd game, we have 6 players and a rotating cast of PCs. Of that group, three always player characters of their gender, and three tend to split their characters in some ratio between men and women. None consider it strange. It is fun though to play to and against stereotypes. My male dwarf is a drunken brawler and my middle-aged female cleric is matronly and certainly not above scolding her party-mates like children. Another guy in the group has a female mage who is kind of an outsider, but always spurred forward by her inquisitive nature, his female monk was (until her very timely death) was self-sacrificing and noble, while his male cleric is a pompous jerk. In short, I'd say that the quality and texture layered into a character matters far more than the gender of the person playing them.

Besides, between Lara Croft and FemShep, I think almost all RPG players of this era have at least dabbled in female characters.
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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby Xeniphon » 31 Oct 2012, 12:45

I actually wrote my first post before you had put the poll up so to address my answer in the poll specifically...

No its not bad, not even strange. I am most assuredly a man (I'm built like a bear with nearly as much body hair) but I've played several very successful and fun female characters (though not on this site ... yet)! While I admit it is harder for me to RP a woman convincingly I have done it and the experiance dramaticly improved my ability as an RPer (most particularly in the area of seperating my real personality from the IC decissions and improving my ability to create a very deep/complex character).

Indeed I would go so far as to highly reccomend that every RPer try the other gender at least once, though I would not suggest it for a first timer, to broaden your RP abilities and examine situations from another angle that you typically do not see.
Oh well, back to the drawing board...

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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby Sun Tang » 31 Oct 2012, 13:29

I was going to reference JohannXIV as playing a Female in V5 (Pei Chanti) who became Ruler. Just about everyone in the kingdom knew JohannXIV was a male and Chef in real life outside the SIM and played as a very highly charismatic female who was very successful in the Sim. I can't recall one instance anyone thought less of him or even more of him because of it. Well, possibly more of him for pulling it off so well. I wouldn't expect anyone to raise a flag if one of our fellow Sim players was a female and played a male nor be anything more than slightly surprised. Perhaps that is a perk of Sim RTK, players who generally are mature and creative and treat each other respectfully. Perhaps it has taken a few Versions to foster that atmosphere, but as a player i see it and appreciate it.

Now, i will openly admit that the only situation i would possibly act disapprovingly, would be IC depending on my characters temperament and beliefs. I would dare to say that most likely, even if i chose to have a female character myself, i would lean on acting standoffish or dismissively if i noticed a female general or warrior, at least at first until she commanded my respect or proved her merit in that taboo gender role for the time period. I wouldn't be a jerk or mean, i just wouldn't approve naturally by default. I do not apologize for that one bit, it just hasn't happened yet with any of my PC's. However, if she earned the respect of someone very significant that my PC respected, or served, i would not object openly or confront the situation, just ignore. This is Ancient China after all...and historically i don't really know of any female warriors or generals, except maybe the one from Wu and i think it was mostly a fictional account. That is because women were treated very differently and were very much given or often basically forced into specific roles and what was socially acceptable for them. I know this Sim actively looks the other way on how women have been portrayed at this time in history and for the most part, it gives them as much of an equal opportunity as male characters have. I have no issue with that and it is a testament to the maturity and common decency of this community. Besides, just about all the guys here are openly enthusiastic when they discover a female player.

So if a male here plays a female and vice verse, it is not looked down on either as the character or the player.
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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby Smith » 31 Oct 2012, 14:35

For the last 8 months, elsewhere, I’ve been playing a male gay character (I am male) in a relationship with a male bisexual character played by a gay female. I see nothing wrong with it. We play characters. It has little effect on an OOC level, other than that it strengthens our OOC relationship because of the amount of extra time we spend together doing the RP.

The quote on the OP looks like it was written by a teenage boy who substitutes RL relationships with RP ones, likely with frequent ERP and creepy OOC behaviour towards female players – a disturbing archetype that is very common on MMO RP servers in my experience.

Though. The words used are very interesting – “will not react favorably if they learn that you are not the gender that you claim to be.”

I will confess, generally speaking, I would not react favourably to someone claiming to be the opposite gender OOC. It just rings alarm bells of deception. Though it depends entirely on the nature of my relationship to the person.

However, if you automatically assume that the player is the same gender as the character, well, that’s your own damned fault.

The last sentence about being true to gender is just utter rubbish. We don’t play genders, we play characters. The idea that only males can play “true males” and females can only play “true females” is actually irritating.
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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby dskod1 » 31 Oct 2012, 14:42

So far all the posts here have been against the question IE it is okay to rp a character who's sex is opposite of your RL one.

Someone has actually voted yes and I would love to see debate from the people who say yes to the question just for having a somewhat even debate.

everyone please feel free to post your thoughts on the subject..
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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby Tian Long » 31 Oct 2012, 15:14

Well aside from the previously explained reasoning, there is also the facet of helping to flesh the RPG experience out by including members of both genders in the content despite the actual gender of the player behind the character. I too have role played a females before despite being a married man with three children. I find it fascinating some of the tendencies that are present in game which coincide with the real world view of a male dominated society. In fact one of my favorite characters in my own DnD circle is my female rogue. She is cunning and fully capable of using her feminine wiles to overcome otherwise impossible situations.
I find that through thier inclusion it helps to bring the RPG world to life at a level beyond what some might call the sausage fest :lol:
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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby Kakirot83 » 31 Oct 2012, 16:36

Probably 3 out of every 4 characters I play are female, and I'm a guy. I think one of the reasons is, part of RPing to me, is being something different. If I wanted to play characters as myself, I just wouldn't RP. I'd go live real life. :wink:
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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby Wytwyld » 31 Oct 2012, 17:45

I have only ever RPd as a female in an online BBS game, and it was an accident at character creation (lag happened). Anyway, rather than delete the character, I went with it. The game was Legend Of the Red Dragon, and there is quite a bit of interaction with other players. I feel I played the part well. I did receive a poor reaction when it was discovered that I was actually a 15 yo boy.
As a D&D DM, I have had to play the role of females in many situations. (playing a succubus is rather embarrassing) I have had trouble playing the role, as most of my players are immature clowns. My players that do change character gender don't seem to have much trouble, although they are either gay or bi.

In the end, I don't see it as bad, just not fr everyone.
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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby OneEyedDrgn » 31 Oct 2012, 17:57

Can I get a link on this article? This seems more like referring to those mmo games that have some RP elements here and there like WoW or Maple Story or something, where people exactly aren't true RPers. For true RPers, I think the only problem rises in real life meeting DnD games, which in case I think a sorta awkward air is created when you directly see a man act like a female.

That said the idea is completely silly. If you have a problem with someone playing the opposite gender, you're probably one of those people who self-insert into your character and use him/her as relationship wish fulfillment. It is time to move on.

RPing is like creating a story but doing so with other people for me. It's the same as if I was trying to write a novel or short story, creating a female, and trying to understand her, create her concept, and such.
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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby Marzy » 31 Oct 2012, 20:01

Yeah, I'm gonna follow the vocal herd here. I've never seen anything wrong with playing one gender even if you're the other. I'd like to see where the article came from just to gain a sense of where they're coming from, because that's not a philosophy I've dealt with when it comes to writing. Wouldn't being able to do both genders well be a sign of good writing?

Generally, I follow Winston Rowntree's philosophy on this. Men and women really aren't as different as we're led to believe. Gender's only a piece of the puzzle. If gender is the defining piece of who your character is, you're doing it wrong.
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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby Mat » 31 Oct 2012, 21:05

I'd be surprised* if anyone here says roleplaying someone of the opposite gender is 'bad.' Personally I never roleplay as women unless I'm DMing. I just prefer roleplaying men because I feel I can pull it off better. Most men who roleplay women do a poor job of it, in my opinion. But if that's what they want to do, more power to them.

For the most part I disagree with the quoted material. I will say that people should be cognizant of who they're roleplaying with and how your characters are interacting. There have been cases of players becoming emotionally distressed after finding out their online crush's true gender is not compatible with their sexuality.

*edit: I'm surprised. I checked the poll. ;)
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Re: Role Playing and Gender - Poll

Postby Aureal » 31 Oct 2012, 22:24

The question asked and the answers do not match very well, unless the first answer is supposed to be the rather unlikely-seeming response of "yes it's bad, but I do it anyway."

Sun Tang wrote:This is Ancient China after all


No, this is not. This is SimRTK, and gender equality is the norm. I'm not even going to add Rob's usual disclaimer about "but of course you can play a character that's a jerkface if you want" because so many people already do, they really need no further encouragement. There are already a bajillion places you can go to look down on women, this doesn't need to be yet another one.

OneEyedDrgn wrote:For true RPers, I think the only problem rises in real life meeting DnD games, which in case I think a sorta awkward air is created when you directly see a man act like a female.


What does "a man acting like a female" mean? Or do you perhaps mean "a man entirely too caught up in himself doing a lousy job trying to play a female because he thinks women are stereotypes instead of people"? I just finished a D&D season where everyone in the party was playing a female since we were drow in drow society and females have higher status there. Granted, there's generally very little in the way of actual roleplay in this group, but you'd never know whether we were playing males or females because gender is so completely irrelevant to almost anything.
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