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More babbling about gendered gamers…

2009 April 7
by Baibh Cathba

I was wondering if maybe identifying with a male character makes me an avatar “trans” or something. I have a male priest alt[ernative character on WOW] (I admit, the muscles and off the shoulder dress really influenced this decision), but it’s often seen as weird or deviant. (My tanking is with women toons; I take my tanking seriously.)

Also, how many women in this class prefer the online gaming to that of console gaming? I mean, I’m sooooo not a console gamer because I hate gamer thumb that happens. I love HALO to bits, but there’s only so many runs of it and LOTR that I can do before my thumb starts bleeding on the controls and affecting my game :P. (LOL guys, I stop before I bleed… most times).

Furthermore, in one of the previous links, I mentioned an article from pandagon which talks about female and male gamers physical differences. I was wondering what other people thought about the whole male and female body builds affecting gaming. We’re focused so much on the psychological (from no! don’t do anything rash… like pretending to be someone else! to don’t invest yourself too much in this character!) rather than the physical that I often wonder if there IS anything in the physical realm that would so affect gaming at all. I think there are mentions about boobs getting in the way of console gaming… This I admit to having no trouble with, perhaps because my mammary glands are not the size of Laura Croft’s… or smoked hams. Anyone else find this stereotype going on? And maybe my elbows really do bend differently than a man’s because I’m meant to be holding babies as I swing through the trees, but will this affect my gaming? (Warning, the ESRB probably rates the following sentence as M for mature) If I’m not jacking off in front of my computer, or engaging in licentious cybersex, will I be less likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome when gaming for hours online?

Also… (I know… I type a lot… it’s just freaking stream of consciousness) I was wondering about avatars. I think Melinda mentioned something about the body shapes and sizes available currently on some of the avatar sites we visited. What about flat-chested women, or paunchy men as avatars? How close to reality does this imitation game with avatars have to go? What if I want a more realistic cartoon of myself? (I mean, I’m certainly not “unleavened” as matzoh, but do I have to smuggle beach balls in order to be a female avatar? What if I want to be a skinny emo dude/ette thingy that has indeterminate gender?)

Also, on the subject of small hands can’t comfortably play on men consoles? It may not be comfy… but dudes… there’s a vibrate function. (Speaking of… do y’all think people ever cyber in console gaming… or is it more of an online gaming phenomenon?)

The rest of this is basically complete spam… I have a survey that only like, eight people got back to me on, and I was hoping that maybe people on the internets (yes, I did spell it wrong on purpose) who play WOW might feel inclined to fill it out. I’m desperate for thesis response.

Baibh Cathba yells: WILL PAY 1G FOR COMPLETION! (Also… I has mats)

(Okay, the above is a WOW in-joke, but I’m serious about the survey response… if you have e-mail, you can totally send any responses to … for reals.)

Survey for Gender Identity Online

1. What gender are you?

2. Why do you game?

3. What kinds of games do you play? (please list the top three games in order of time spent)

4. Do you believe that a member of the opposite sex could play the game as well as you do or better?

5. Do you believe that on average members of the opposite sex game better than you?

6. Do you think women or men game more?

7. Do you believe men or women are more serious gamers? What are the three most important critera for a “serious gamer”?

8. What do you think is the main reason women play RPGs?

9. What do you think is the main reason men play RPGs?

10. What do you suspect are the top three reasons men/women play the opposite gender?

11. When you see a female character, do you assume the player is female?

12. When you see a male character, do you assume the player is male?

13. When you first started playing, did you use in-game tutorials?

14. Do you believe that a person of the opposite gender would use in-game tutorials?

15. Do you think your gender affected your choice of your character’s gender?

16. Do you believe men or women play healer-types?

17. Do you believe men or women play dps-types?

18. Do you believe men or women play tank-types?

19. Do you believe you can conceal your gender from other players?

20. Do you think you tell whether someone is a man or a woman by the way they play?

21. Do you belong to a guild? Why/why not?

22. Do you prefer to party or go solo?

23. Have you ever played the game with a significant other? Did you play as your own gender?

24. Do you play on PvP, normal or RP servers more often?

25. What’s your favorite race to play? Why?

26. Do you have more characters on the side of the Alliance or the Horde?

27. Which race has the best flirt lines?

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