Online Text RPGs: Roleplaying A Female - A Guide For Men
By Chris J. Johnston
What is this? I can CHOOSE whether to be a male or female when I create a character in a text game? I've always been a male though! However, I have always coveted a nice set of b- erm, a nice set of emotions. Yes, those. Being the manly man that I am, I am just way too manly to ever be able to show emotions like the fairer (arguable) sex do, even in a text RPG. Well, I suppose I can try this whole 'be a female' thing. What do I do though? I don't know how to be a woman!
Never fear, woman-to-be! I'm here to help. Believe it or not, it's not terribly difficult to roleplay being a woman in a text-based RPG. Why? Because in a text game, no one can tell that you're a man from the start, and they'll never know at all if you don't act like a fool. Here are some tips for successfully roleplaying a female in a text-based RPG.
This may be hard, but do NOT ask, "Where is the kitchen?" when you step out of the tutorial. There is a small chance you could offend whoever is paying attention, and more importantly that's not very womanly of you. Everyone knows that women have a "kitchen sense" and can find one without having to ask!
On a more serious note (yes, that means I was joking just now - simmer down, sexism is bad, even in a text game), you need to avoid acting like a total hussy. Nowhere in your description should the words "she has a completely massive rack" appear, or anything to that effect. While typically the voluptuous women are quite rare, your character in a text game is usually intended to be out of the ordinary, so it is alright to have a physically gifted character.
If you choose to have such a text game character, you have to be careful about wording your description. As mentioned earlier, unnecessary focus on the uniquely female parts of her anatomy is not typical of a woman. It IS possible to convey that your character has that kind of body subtly. Consider using words like "mature" or "feminine", or phrases that similarly get the point across without putting a spotlight on it.
Finally, don't go out of your way to act "girly". You don't have to spam the giggle or titter emotes to roleplay a woman. Remember that your character's personality, not gender, should be the driving force for how they act in a text-based RPG.
I literally just said it in the sentence above, but I'll repeat it for emphasis: your character's PERSONALITY should be the driving force for how they act in a text-based RPG. Gender should be a backdrop for your character's personality; it is a description to which other players will attach the real "meat" of your character. Remember that women, just like men, have very varying personalities. While some may be more prevalent in women than in men, they are all possible, so don't feel like you have to roleplay one of a small set of personalities.
Have your character act the way you want them to, but realize that some personalities draw more out-of-character attention than others. For instance, a cold and calculated woman is less likely to get more eye rolls or raised eyebrows than a veritable box of giggles/snuggles/sex appeal. While on the subject of being out-of-character, remember that in-character relationships can form with your female character. If you are uncomfortable roleplaying loving a man in a text game (or even just as a woman in the first place), then don't do it. You are not obligated to at all!
Really, the only thing you need to do to successfully roleplay a woman in a text-based RPG is to act normal. Don't go out of your way to change your roleplay just because your character is a female. Personally, I find that roleplaying is actually easier as the opposite gender because your character is automatically somewhat different from you. For me, it is easier to draw the IC-OOC line.
Anyways, have fun being a woman, but don't forget that you are actually a manly man! Really manly, right?...right?
If you're a guy in the mood to female it up, check out these text based RPGs and try your hand at RPing the opposite gender today!
Chris J. Johnston is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from http://www.IronRealms.com.
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