Should 'Other' Be a Gender Option in Text Games?

gender confusion

 It's no secret people with traits considered "different" are more likely victims of bullies. Amongst the most common groups targeted are gays and lesbians. Despite the Internet giving anonymity to some types of bullies, it provides moral support and a feeling of being connected to people with certain traits or lifestyles! In a time when young people are succumbing to pressure from bullies, highly addictive social media groups like Facebook and Twitter proved more reactive than proactive on the topic. Unlike past groups of its type, Google+ offers something new and different in regards to gender choice. It offers...the “other” choice. That’s right! Choices include male, female, or other.


 Non-gender specific freedom hasn’t quite made it into our favorite text games from Iron Realms, but respect for gender-based roleplay has always been present. For instance, Lusternia offers the “Bubble of Gender Switching” artifact, which allows players to complete a one-time, permanent gender change. All five text games allow same-sex marriage -- and did it long before the American government began dictating rules for real-life wedding ceremonies! While Achaea doesn’t allow for same-sex couples to bloodline children, Imperian displays bloodlines not only through blood relation, but also through adoption and marriage. Meanwhile over in Lusternia, married couples simply add children to their family after an appropriate period of consideration, all gender aside!


 Real life is finally catching up to Iron Realms in respect to same-sex couples parenting a child. Soon passports in the UK will ask for details of “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” as opposed to details of “Mother” and “Father.” Normal Wells, (5) director of Family Education Trust, disagreed, “To speak of ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’ denigrates the place of both fathers and mothers. Much as the equality and diversity of social engineers might wish it otherwise, it still takes a father and a mother to produce a child.” Wells has a very good point, genetically speaking, but to raise a child it takes two parents, period...not necessarily one male, and one female.


 When I began playing the addicting games from Iron Realms, I made a bard in Achaea. Another bard in the house called Maria was a satyr. But Maria was not like the other satyr boys -- not just because of his name. Maria spoke in a feminine voice and dressed in feminine clothing -- despite having obvious male traits in his personal description. Two men from a neighboring city found Maria unaware, tied him up, and had their way with him. As a character in the text game, I felt appalled. As a player, I felt torn. Part of me commended the player on the dedication to roleplay the scenario to the end, but the other part of me wondered...why didn’t Maria’s player just type QUIT and come back later?


 When reading about the Google+ social networking platform and its unprecedented decision to offer a third gender option, “other”,  for its members, I immediately thought about Maria, and how different his life might’ve been if the same option had existed within the game. Google+ is also adding a privacy setting  for gender. I can totally imagine a future artifact item that allows people to hide their gender from anyone looking at their HONOURS line, like the one Achaea offers for characters wishing to hide their age or divorces. If Iron Realms can add new races and classes, then why not a new gender? Would you take advantage of the non-conforming new term? Do you think those who do would be outnumbered by griefers? Answers to these questions and other comments are welcome in the space below.


Authored by: Sid Jennings

Editor: Tony Celentano

Should 'Other' be a Character Gender?


The Left Hand of Darkness

I liked that book. It was reallllly cool.

and I agree, why NOT genderless?

"Other" is too vague a gender name. If you REALLY want to go all out, how about "Trans," "Herm," and "Neuter?"

Besides, if it was left open to a simple "Other," you'd likely have WAY too many people going overboard with extreme...creativity.


Agreed. I have friends with a few varying identities with regards to gender, but honestly I've yet to meet someone who can't in some way accept a binary gender.


I could see including 'herm', 'trans', or 'neuter', maybe, but not simply 'other'.

although those are good ideas, there are too many to mention. other is simple and easy to understand.

It just makes no sense to include this. We ought to do that which we have the best reasons for ought doing. All it will do is create confusion and the game has enough of that in spades as it is.

I have seen far to many people do a horrible job of playing a female with Male in their honors. This is again another, crappy mechanism in the game because you say "But you are a male" and they say "And how would you know that"  and the happily partially sane answer is "I honors you"


So how about male/female or blank. I am sure that some of the people that enjoy Roleplay would rather have someone look at their decription to try and determine race and or gender. Though we have a ridiculous amount of non scaley xoran running around.

This I agree with, at least in terms of gender. Race wise, I think it would kill whatever racial roleplay still exists. However, as for gender, this could easily do anything an "other" option could, without the questions inherent to defining someone as not having a gender.Perhaps as a config option?

I endorse the config option, overall.  This seems like a good idea.  There's just one problem:


Pronouns in emotes.

Simply have emotes use IT instead of he/she if they were to use the "other" option.  simple as that.

THEY It refers to a thing, and is so immensly disrespectful that it appals me to see others suggest it.


They and the family(them, their, etc) have been used to refer to people whose gender is unknown long before we have this heartening outburst of acceptance to those who do not fit in their binary determined state.


"Why do you care my gender, I'm not ever going to touch you, you freak," they said to me.


This is a pretty decent idea.

That's the reason there are gender changes available, though. Right?

Honours is a perfectly legit and sane way to do it though simply because IC you can actually see the other person.  Honours is the OOC method of saying when I look at your charactor I can see an adams apple or i can see the roundness of breasts pushing against your shirt.  Honours simply shortens it to male/female since any other method of discription would be prohibitivly long.

Out of all ideas I have heard for this game this is by far the worst. Male and female are enough. Isn't it enough for someone who wants to be a trans to dress, behave and look like a trans? I have no problem with trans, hermos, etc...but this is silly.

Bad idea or not, I challenge anyone to come up a good rp justification for this that fits within the background theme of Achaea. Why is this needed? It is not like Achaea has an intolerance problem...

Yeah honestly there are enough rp roles in games such as Achaea to have need for an other gender, what does that even compare with really in real life. 

There is no need for other. I have no problem with a gay/lesbian character but why make characters that have no sex? I was always under the impression that was what the character creation option was all about rather than social gender

Yep, that's why I had to say "No". I don't know about an "other" with a creative mind that has more body parts then should be genetically allowed to anyone.


Plus, they will think they are different and select "Other" for that reason. Then you'll have a whole pack of "The Others" running around like crazy.

Its like when you make a novice craft their own background. Most of the time, you end up with the same generic background. They think they are unique, when in fact they are not unique at all.

I can imagine Horkvali Neuters - simple hive works with no right to procreate.

Heh, I actually kind of like this idea.


Another thing to consider is that perhaps when you select your gender, you're not necessarily selecting the parts (male or female) that your text character has, but what that character is refered to when you HONOURS them or when addressed in conversation (he or she). Of course, everyone will assume that character has parts to fit their chosen gender, but why should that matter? The important thing is to be tolerant of the way a person chooses to express their gender, regarless of whether they appear male or female.

They are the borg! No need to procreate when you can just assimilate! 

There are plenty of people in the world who would fall into the 'other' category. It doesn't take much to be gender neutral in appearance.

I can recall vividly three women I went to uni with who wore slacks and loose shirts each day. Until I had seen them in the ladies lavatory I had believed they were men, as had a number of the rest of the student populace. Their names didn't provide a hint as to their gender, their clothing did not, nor did their features... and no, they weren't unattractive ladies.

Of the three, one actually preferred that people didn't know her gender because she felt that she wouldn't receive biased treatment that way. The other two just preferred the clothing they wore, and couldn't stand that people didn't know they were women but wouldn't change to suit societies ideals.

Why shouldn't people have the option to have this in a game? It doesn't harm any other player for someone to be able to say 'No, you can't tell what gender I am at a glance, you have to get to know me.' anymore so than it would harm someone to be told, 'No, your character doesn't know what my character's name is without being told by someone who already knows it.'

The idea that a poor role player might come along so we shouldn't provide an option for the rest of the playerbase is ludicrous. There will always be poor role players, we either are able to help them improve, or they are eventually written off and ignored. We don't refuse to look at innovative ideas because there will be a few who can't work well with them. If we're going to walk down that road, we should shut down all roleplay games in existence now, otherwise we might bump into someone who doesn't quite get it.


Agreed - I think it is nothing but a good thing to have more options for RP












I agree, but the choice of 'other' will simply create more drama than is needed. From the vote alone one can even see there is much tension over this issue. The game has enough drama. Kill the idea and move on to the next idea. There is no need for this and certainly no rp justification that seems reasonable. People come to Achaea to escape IRL and live out their fantasies. If they want to be a certain way they should just behave that way. What's in a label? Pretty much everyone lets them behave and live their rp lives the way they want as long as it isn't a disturbance. Isn't that enough? It is just a silly label.

The issue is that "Other" could be anything.  I mean, removing my trousers to reveal a Lovecraftian nightmare hardly seems in keeping with the spirit of the game.


Alternatively, if my gender could be "Lovecraftian Nightmare" maybe I would consider that.

i agree

You can always run with the options found on the classic LambdaMOO:

neuter, male, female, either, Spivak, splat, plural, egotistical, royal, or 2nd

Go big or go home.

Where was it I saw...someone had created a neuter character and named themselves "pants." And they actually WERE a sentient pair of pants.

Very much agreed. And I think even the other options, while I'm certainly a fan of the idea of such inclusiveness, could end up being used in offensive manners.

One of the freedoms of a strong role playing environment is the ability to make up a character ranging from run of the mill to extremely unique. You're liable to have consequences to your RP regardless of what you pick, but if you want to pick something other than straight male or female (AND CAN BACK IT UP IC), I don't see that there should be an issue.

And if you're an idiot about it, chances are, the other players will let you know.

Idiots>normal people in numbers....

Especially when you add in the anonymity of the intarwebs.

I agree, if you can RP your strange anatomy and appearance then more power to you. 

I disagree, it's perfectly fine to rp being different the way the games are now. You don't need to tell the whole world to have it be meaningful. I think it should stay the way it is, Other, would encourage the worst people, while right now only those who have planned out their rp involve themselves in more challemging rp like this.

I can definitely see your point, but, if you're NOT a male or female, and your description SAYS you are... People are going to take that impression and it's going to be very difficult to override it.

And while you are indeed correct, it doesn't need to be worldly knowledge, I think I'd rather something more along the lines of 'They' versus 'He' and 'She', were I playing a character like that.

Isn't honours considered public knowledge? Well, it varies based on player. My point is if you aren't male or female your character is singled out and so it becomes worldly knowledge, which the more tactless might act on. There are points supporting both sides of course.

I think having an other gender would be a bad idea, even thought it would allow for some new avenues of rp, it would also take away from the immersion and familiarity of everyone having gender. Which to my mind would not be a good tradeoff.

An article with some meat to it.

As a bisexual woman who's had to deal with this subject her entire life, I've always loved the way Achaean society has simply embraced sexual identies. I've known several transgender people in my life both in and out of game world. Its a subject that I still struggle with my own biases about, despite my own less-than-completely-accepted sexual identity, however I do my best to be understanding of it. Being able to see and understand one's own prejudice is the first step to overcoming it. 

Very well said!

There should not be an "Other" option in these games, though RPing being castrated and other such things is fine by me. Also I would be fine if there was a gender-less race, but a simple "Other" gender for normal races seems too vague.

i voted for other. genderless sounds like a good option too...or genderall... but other would kinda catch it if you just don't feel "male" or "female"


This is what I had in mind when I voted yes.

A race of like, earthworms, that can just spawn kids by themselves! Haha, would be great.

bloodline show kid



Earthworm        M: Nightcrawler         F: Nightcrawler

That made me laugh a little -too- hard…

This is a good word for it. For some, that the person in question RP'ed with, "other" might be interesting and fun, but I suspect that for most it would be confusing and break immersion, etc.  But then, people play pretty strange characters sometimes, so maybe it wouldn't be as tough as it seems to me.

I do not think there shoud be an "other" option as to sex, I am more keen on a race without no gender at all, or a race which shiftes from one gender to another by aging or a race in which the males are breeders. That could lead to some good roleplaying, or maybe not! Truly, I do not know, it is a very complicated matter. Prejudices on sexual preferences will vanish only if the act of breeding gets separated form the act of sex. At that moment there will be no ground for anyone to make distinctions. Unitl then, I think that there will always be prejudices. Maybe I am wrong, I do not know. This is a very interesting article.

As the article itself points out, in Lusternia, children are children with no concern for gender. The children of same sex couples are just as much bearers of the bloodline as those of straight couples. So, the issue of breeding is very much seperate from sex. It gets RP'd a lot of ways, of course. I've met both straight and same-sex couples who insist their children are simply adopted, just as I've met both kinds who insist their children aren't adopted. Stratas has two fathers, and while I'm not 100% on their feeling, I feel that he's not adopted. He also has a boyfriend whose mother has confronted the two of them to say ' I'm sure you two are doing the things married people do, where are my grandbabies?'


But then to get to your point of prejudices... Actually, I have found Lusternia to be very tolerant. There seem to be just as many same-sex couplings as straight couplings, and most people who have been playing for any length of time seem to have no problem with it. The biggest issue I've run into is people who generally have poor IC/OOC differentiation. Since they do not come from a brave new world where breeding and sex are completely unrelated, they still make some comments. Of course, I'm sure there are some IC bigots who roleplay hatred, but I haven't run across them yet.


I haven't seen any prejudice in Lusternia regarding gender orientations and I really doubt there will be, I have played it since Beta and the usual trend is that many players switch sexual orientation as they please. So I would have to agree with Stratas. The switch is usual based on convenience of marriage due to the complex family system in the game. In fact, it is part of Lusternia's culture to accept gender and sexual orientations.

Also if you concider it, non human races may now have male and female like humans do.


Quite like how this was done with Satyrs and Sirens in Achaea. I could imagine straying further from the whole male/female distinction with strange races, maybe even having races without any gender at all. But for Humans, Dwarves and the ones we have now, the distinction seems useful.

Though the potential for an asexual race may be interesting.

Now an asexual race I would understand. 

This brings equality to another level

I support gender-less rather than others.

Or Asexual in some way.

sadly, Maria no longer exists. Only met her a few times, but am sad to see her gone. Glad this article made sure I was not merely misspelling her name. Oh well...


RIP Maria

I genuinely liked Maria, although I think I came across as a gruff jerk-ass.

Indeed. Maria was one of the most interesting characters I have met in Achaea... 





Stop replying to every single article with a fu*@ing smile. It is annoying. Actually -read- one please

It'll be to claim a free credit, of course. If they want us to comment every day they can't expect them all to be sensible, well planned discussion hot topics.

Yes they want comments but they would like them to be constructive. I don't think they would give away credits so everyone can post a smile, at least you should try to contribute.

That's not how it works. You can't offer people a free drink but tell them it has to be water. Well, you can, but that's incredibly tight. Some people don't have the time to write up essays to contribute. Other people, like me, will come along and just pretend to give a hoot by replying like this. If anything, the two character reply is easier to skip past and doesn't harm anyone. A lengthier reply might incite some banter but ultimately, is no better than a simple smile in the context of "jump through a hoop to earn a credit". Speaking of which, ciao!

see, when you post every day, and the article changes every few days...


or, for the people who have multiple characters, there are only so many constructive posts to be made




It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to have non-traditional genders for some of the races across the IRE games.


Unfotunately the grammar requires he's and she's else it would be fun to be nonspecific in general.

There are non-gender specific pronouns available though and although some people aren't necessarily fond of them if you're going to have a generic other gender then there really isn't another option.

Most of the non-gender specific pronouns are barely recognised.


"Maria tilts hir head" just looks like a mistake, to my eyes.


The other option is to let the player choose a pronoun - do you want to referred to as 'he' or 'she'?

No. That is incorrect. You refer to them as "it" or "dumbass"


That is the most utterly disgusting, callous attitude I've heard toward this in a long, long time.

not sure what a good one for his/her is but i really do like s/he.

Ahah, I don't have any thought myself about this except the grammar problem :)



I rather thought they would use the plural third person pronoun? They? Their? It's not exactly grammatically sound from a purist's perspective, but it is easily understandable, I think.


I like the sound of other, but also like the sound of new races being genderless or gender switch and such like that as well. It would be a fun way to roleplay. Kind of like how this certain type of fish I learned about. They start off as female, but if the dominate male gets killed, one of the tougher female fish will switch genders and become a male. 


I'm very interested to see how this turns out! 

I think that gender is an interesting subject when it comes to inclusion in MUDs. Most of the world views gender as male and female because of plumbing. Secondly, there are sub-genres based on the emtional/mental state of a person. Most cultures have 2 genders, and many also have the secondary breakdown. Even in America, we have men who are "less manly" or "more manly", which is largely a value judgment of what one believes is manly. The same goes for women. Many cultures throughout history ascribe to the idea of many genders.

If you are asking what gender the chracter is plumbing wise, than we may not want to include another classification, unless the character wishes for no plumbing. I myself will pass on that one. But there is the idea that a character may not adhere to a gender, especially many non-humanoid races in various worlds. If there would be a category of "Other", how descriptive does one get about ones gender when it comes to describing oneself? do we add all classifications of gender that have existed in history, literature, etc.?  Or would we leave it up to the player to define their own gender? All interesting questions.

As far as just adding a generic "Other" to the list of acceptable roles, I would have to be against it. The idea of a genderless race does seem quite appealing to me however.


That aside, I believe that the current male/female is fine the way it is. If you want to roleplay a transgender, feel free. There's nothing stopping you from dressing/acting like the opposite gender just like Maria did. I'd be more impressed by someone going the distance to RP their choice, as opposed to just reincarnating into it.

I agree somewhat, still a strange thing to think about.


a truly thought provoking article. we need more of these.

I think yes if it's in a role playing context i.e. a certain race is gener neutral (or both) or a certain class or society hides its gender, but even in RL, people are often identified as one gender or the other, so individuals should not be forced to accept the designation as 'other.'


Very interesting article.



Choices are always nice.

I'm very pleased with how supportive this article was to "alternative" lifestyles and how when I voted, 70% of people favored "other" as a gender category. It really brings me joy to see such open mindedness and embrace for what is different than the norm! Thank you so much!

that science had discovered a 3rd gender.  I must be behind.


I was just about to mention Intersex when I saw you beat me to it, Faustine. :) There's also XXY Syndrome, also known as Klinefelter Syndrome. (Incidentally, my cat has that syndrome, being a male calico.) Gender is absolutely not binary.


Personally, I would be in favor of some alternative to the two choices we have now, whether that's a third choice, hiding it from honors, or whatever. I knew some more purist RPers in another IRE game that got annoyed when you'd refer to anything on their honors. They held that we shouldn't be able to know all those facts about someone we'd never met. I bet it would add a lot of depth to the RP if we couldn't tell at a glance a person's title and full name, sex or gender (actually doesn't IRE refer to it as gender?), date of birth, citizenship and rank, clan memberships, marriage history, and so on. I used to explain it in RP terms as "I looked it up in the public records." I figured a lot of that sort of information was available in people's public records IRL so it was sort of plausible... but still a stretch. How often do you look up the public record of someone you just met? I've seen mechanisms for discovering this information on an individual basis in non-IRE games, and wouldn't mind seeing it added here.

Adding a third gender option is a very good idea.


Edit: One that I think should be restricted to certain races.

I could not agree more

Yup finally a article that pokes my brain..good one

God, these comment sections are a joke. Guys, you could at least just say you want your free credit. It's not as if you'll be punished for it.


But anyway, apparently in Aetolia, we already have the infrastructure in place for gender-ambiguous/neutral entities. Our NPCs currently support it, with a few areas featuring creatures like "shadowy anomalies" that are properly referred to with non-specific pronouns.


Severn has claimed that "other" gendered characters are definitely something he wants to do in the future.

I'd say I'm against this as an option for the IRE games. While I believe that it may be worthile consideration in the real world, this is a fantasy game that doesn't and shouldn't mirror real life issues.


Should something like this be instituted, however, they should not be able to generate children through the bloodline systems (at least in Achaea).

Asexual reproduction woo!


Achaea's bloodlines are stupid. We need them deleted and replaced with a more useful system, like more iron lotteries.

I agree with both of you.


#1. We don't need -every- real world issue emulated in a game.


#2. Bloodlines are convoluted and full of people who don't even play anymore.

#1. I cannot agree with this more. I don't play Achaea to hear about IRL issues finding their way into the game. One of the many reasons I play Achaea is simply to avoid hearing about these IRL issues. Them following me here is the last thing I want and I know many others clearly feel this way as well. I am starting to wonder if this is the result of a few people in the LGBT community on a powertrip or something.

Point: Keep fantasy to fantasy and IRL to IRL. Thanks. That said, any member of the LGBT community should and ought to behave the way they want so long as it doesn't create some kind of mass disturbance. Just please please...keep these IRL issues and propaganda out of the game :(

Are you in Russia bychance?
More options to describe yourself, including not being stuck within a binary optionlist is not Propoganda. This option being available has no impact on others. It merely would allow one person the option to choose what best fits that character. 


As many people before have said, I think that just introducing a new gender would be a mistake. But if it was canonically introduced, with a new race, then I don't see why not. I s'pose it'd be comforting if someone who didn't identify with a gender could play a character like that. :) 

Very interesting and thought provoking. I'd like to see more like this one.


As for the other gender, I'm neither for nor against it.

OOC i believe strongly in the nuclear family. It doesn't mean that I don't hate those with other sexualities. I don't mind it as long as it isn't forced upon me. I really like the idea that others have said about a race that is genderless. I was thinking that it could be a kind of spirit or a non-corporeal race that is in many ways like a moving shadow or something like it. It would make more sense than to have a human who is genderless or "other". It just takes away the RP value of the games. Instead of making it so there are the current races that can be "other", I think that a different race should be implemented. I have played other MUDS that have a race called the Eldar. They are a mish-mash of other races and are genderless so one can choose a race and have all of those perks minus a few and take on a few other perks that come with it. I'm not suggesting anything just pointing out how I feel on the subject that has presented itself.

is kind of a neat idea.

a person is free to think whatever said person wants to think, and it's up to the people around said person to respect the decisions. In the end though, biologically, right now there are either males or females. Genderless might be an option, but it's not one that Iron Realms offer right now. So if a male character wants to be a female, he can turn into one. If he wants to dress with women's clothing, feel free, but he is still a male. Doesn't have to be attracted to females, or males, or whatever, but for science, he is a male. Same goes to females. "Other" is just a lame term used by people not fully accepting the views and life choices of others, to cooperate with those people. So I say no.

Hermaphrodites.  Assuming I spelled that correctly <.<.


Biologically, they're both.  So to science, there are three.  Hell, a little off topic, but in Indonesia, they treat homosexual men and women as seperate genders (Physcially having the sex organs but with mismatched brain chemistry) so in indonesia they've got 5 genders xD  Buy yeah, tangent over.

Unless I'm missing out, the only canon hermaphrodite in Lusternia is Lord-and-Lady Mysrai, and They're only a hermie when They want to be.


Beyond that, the races in Lusternia come from shattered Elder Gods, not from anything resembling natural evolution. It's specifically stated they split into male and female, even though the gods they came from only were one or the other. So, I'm gonna say 'screw science, we've got MAGIC' and say that hermies just don't work with the current setup of Lusternian mythos.


For some races in IRE games, OTHER might actually be more relevant than male/female

Probably like your race in Achaea.

Why not? Can't hurt anybody.

Out of an article so full of positive tone, open attitudes, and generally wonderful point of view, I'm rather appalled at something (emphasis added)...

"Wells has a very good point, genetically speaking, but to raise a child it takes two parents, period...not necessarily one male, and one female."

Really? Wells is right genetically, and only genetically does it "take two". Households of one parent have been proven quite capable, given the right parent, and households of more than two parently-types have also occured a fair bit more than would initially come to mind, once you rule out the genetic requirement. Many societies have been built on a close-knit family model that puts parents, grand parents, aunts, and uncles under 'one roof,' and to presume none except the one or two genetic parents have a direct hand in the raising of any child present is rather silly to me.

Excellent point.

Kudos to you, My mind glazed over that little bit...

Huh, the imperian adoption thing is new. I was sad when I found out I couldn't adopt with someone else of the same gender in Imperian back when I played.

I'm in favor of having genderless characters as a means of offering the person an opportunity to reinvent or create something entirely new. Why be limited to what life offers; text games are supposed to broaden the mind.

Voted for the other option, but I think a more pressing concern is the ability to hide a characer's gender. Some people like to play characters that act and dress in an androgynous manner, and the fact that gender is immediately recognizable on any character is really hampering their roleplay.


Probably too hard to code properly, but we can always dream :)

Genderless is an interesting concept. It allows for a great flexibility for more roleplay, for those who see themselves neither female nor male entirely, but in between.. I have always wondered if Grooks could be genderless. They're frogs after all. >_>

Are you retarded? Frogs have gender. 

An 'other' gender sounds fine for some races but I wouldn't know what that meant for dwarves, humans etc. I might be getting confused with physical sex and self identification.

I think "other" could simply be RPed out rather then need to be a choice in SCORE or something, if the person interacts with me and lets me know their "other" then I'll consider them that from an RP perspective and ignore their HONOURS or what have you.

The only problem I can see with adding another gender is the one that I'm surprised nobody else has mentioned: the logistics of pronouns.

Achaea, it seems, strives to keep itself as grammatically correct as possible.  It's an entirely text game, and if it did that wrong it wouldn't have much of a leg to stand on.  English isn't quite as gender dependant a language as some, but it still leans on pronouns that are heavily gender oriented.  Adding additional genders would make the choices of pronouns very difficult.

I'm aware that the gender communities have largely adopted different pronoun choices in an attempt to solve this problem, but none of them are grammatically correct and wouldn't be recognized by most English speakers (and may be particularly difficult to handle for those who aren't native to English).

This is, of course, ignoring the programming aspect of adding new pronouns to every single instance where pronouns are chosen based on gender, which would be no small task.


Still, if these challenges could be overcome it wouldn't be a bad thing to try.

Pronouns that fit perfectly into grammer, and have long-while used to refer to either more than one person, or one person of whom a more proper pronoun is unknown. 

I think I'd rather have the "unknown" or "unspecific" in place of "other," personally. I don't know why, but for some reason using "other" to specify something has always carried a negative connotation with it in my mind, and I wouldn't want that applied to someone else. Being someone who's played both male and female characters (and effeminate male characters, and masculine female characters), I think I'd rather be called an "uknown" than an "other" any day.

We all know you are a male in real life playing a female character so you can sleep with many men. Learn to show some respect. If not for yourself, then for others please.

Who let Raini write an article?

I lol'd.

Actually, I've been thinking that this whole time, too.

Polygamy first imo

A very good point...


  Not everyone is human.


I don't think having an "extra" gender would be an earth shattering addition nor do I think it would be a great improvement. People will play the game in whatever manner they want to no matter what gender their character has to be. Gender doesn't affect anything except rp anyway so play your male character as a neuter if you want or your Giant Troll Infernal as a trans who's going to check anyway?

it increases character creation options so why not!

Unless someone would like to play a neuter, it isn't cohesive for roleplaying to have a neutral sex.

The point most people miss, is our reliance on two pronouns and their variations to determine gender.  Gender, is something that we as a sentient creature, have given to everyone and everything.  To me, it's not exactly a black and white case.  As the maxim goes, there are many shades of grey.

A thought-provoking article, to be sure.  I commend you.


Cause now people can't thwap me when I call them "it"

One of the best ideas I heard. :P

I definitely agree with the social concerns regarding the topic of gender. Thematically, though, a gender-neutral race would likely fit in better than a gender-neutral gender.


Additionally, I think there's some appeal in roleplaying someone whose gender identity is "other" and dealing with the challenge of portraying that through mere text. Granted, I've never played someone with an "other" gender before, but if I did, I'd do it for the challenge: much like I'll sometimes challenge myself to roleplay a male character when I'm really female IRL.

I'm not sure I would want to deal with these sorts of social issues in a game setting, at least one I use to escape everyday reality. Depending upon species I could see gender neutral or even 3 or 4 genders. But that would require a lot of extra world development that I would rather see put into new areas and features.

 There are better forums to deal with social issues, science fiction and fantasy liturature being one of the best in my opinion. However any fiction can work this way regardless of if it is Huckleberry Finn or The Left Hand of Darkness. 


It's not as if it would take several years of coding, it's a misc option. No reason to not have it, saying that it causes social issues is just laughable. At least in Imperian there is alot of messed up families and "social issues". 

Go, go incest, hermaprodites screwing their under age daughters to think of one example off the top of my head.

I'm sure a lot of examples could come to mind very easily. Same reason I wouldn't want to see "sexual preference" or "in favor of abortion" as options.

I like how all this got lumped together. Lewl.

It doesn't have to be an issue. It's not like the gay marriage issue, where people voicing opinion dealt with what other people would literally be saddled into living by or being persecuted by for generations to come. We're not trying to force anyone else, in the case of the IRE muds, to live by an "other" option in their gender. (Also, "other" doesn't really have to say "Other", it's just a placeholder for whatever another option would become.) The argument that someone doesn't want to think of it can be easily overturned by the action of "Alright, no one gets a gender, then, and no one gets to be a political leader, and no one gets to PVP, so that all THOSE real-life issues don't get in your way. Here's a blank white space to play in. Have fun." Honestly, if you remove every real-life issue that crops up in the games, you're left with absolutely nothing to play. No one's saying it should become a huge movement struggling for equality every step of the way, with every in-game debate coming down to will they or won't they. All we're saying is throw something in so someone besides the "norm" are able to be comfortable, too. The only ones making an in-game issue out of an out-of-game issue are those saying "People who identify themselves this way have no right to make the rest of us refer tot hem this way." Which makes me wonder how many of them would do well with the roles reversed. Shall we just assume everyone who doesn't otherwise specify is a eunuch?





Too deep for me today.... need to wind down

I think if I saw "Other" as an option... I'd flat out avoid those people, to creepy :D


How is that creepy?  Why would you even care what someone else identifies as?  If you're not attracted to a person, then there's no real worry about any sexual scenario, and past that, just treat the other person as ... a person!


Wow, shocking concept there.

Agreed, people are whatever sex or gender (some of you will be shocked to know that these aren't synonyms) ar just that, people.






Your smileys can give any argumentative thread of comments a delightful break, and also fit any comedic, or otherwise amusing, trail of commentary just as well. It amazes me a bit.


Not to sound closed-minded, but I really don't think this is the sort of thing that needs to be set up in the game.

Thing of it is, everyone has one, just because one is different doesn't make it wrong, makes it exactly that, an opinion.  I think an other option is ridiculous, there is no other in real life, there is no other in reproduction.  I saw an idea for genderless races, sounds great.  But in a standard racial archetype (i.e. dwarves, humans, elves, etc.) there really isn't any room for that, besides killing the main reason Achaea exists for the sake of a sensitivity no one is offending to begin with....ok, rant over.

Not to sound condescending, but 'not to sound' is a great way of saying "I AM INTENDING FULLY TO BE THIS WAY."





Real world "others" have a true gender and appear and act as the opposite and whatnot. If someone wants this for their character they have to take on the roleplay of it.

I might as well get my credit

Real world "others" also have surgery options and the ability to legally change their identified gender. Also, go tell a transexual they are acting the opposite of their true gender. See what that gets you. I am *begging* you to do it.

Thank you for that image.


A serious and noteworthy topic. Thanks.

It doesn't take two. That implies it is impossible to raise a child with just one parent, and unless you were born yesterday, you'd know that isn't true. I take things a bit literally, perhaps you should reword it.


As for an "other" gender option, I'm pretty indifferent on it. They'd have to make the emotes work right though. Picking the right word for their gender in emotes is important, otherwise it'd just be silly or immersion breaking.

I agree with others that the emote thing could be problematic.

In my humble opinon this is a cheap alternative to having players actually roleplay and create their own personalities and characters.  If people want to play a transgender character, they can do so through roleplaying and dressing their characters how they would like.  In Achaea, there's no lack of customization when it comes to a character's appearance.  The vast amount of clothing and custom descriptions available allow people to create the persona they wish to convey; it just takes creativity and a little elbow grease.


In my humble opinion, of course. :)

Other seems fine to me, especially with the really weird bug races the games have.

Very insightful article. 

People will roleplay what they will roleplay and I'm sure people have done something like this but with choosing one sex over the other out of preference or lack of ability to choose properly. People already go overboard with RP, a simple technicality wouldn't amplify that so much.



I'm on board with a right to hide your gender on the internet, but I think identifying with "other" as a gender is something of a delusion. You are free to choose whether you're heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or asexual, but, hermaphoditic exceptions aside, you are definitely one of two genders. Best to be honest to the world about the former, and honest with yourself about the latter.


I personally think it is a good idea, though not quite worded as "other". It would be hard to fit "other" into a description for a character. the term Hermaphrodite may upset people, but it is a scientific term for a gender (or multiple) just the same as Male and Female. I personally like this topic because I have a cousin who used to play Aetolia, but they were confused at first on which gender to pick. They were born a hermaphrodite, but they have always felt like a male, but their body is more feminie than masculine. They eventually ended up picking "Male" as their option because they knew females are much more forgiving and supportive of such things than males. It's a simple but sad fact of life.  They avoided telling people about their real life situation: After all, whose business is it? But I wonder how their gaming experience would have been if there were a "Hermaphrodite" option available. Sure, that would have DEFINITELY made their role-playing experience much more interesting, but would they have had to  worry about other players finding reasons to kill them, or treat them as Maria was treated? Being shunned by city and guild for being "different"? Being held out of activities because of the simple fact that they were born differently from other people?  I have witnessed myself that Males condem differences such as homosexuality, hermaphrodity, and transvestality more often and much crueler than Females do. It is sad but true to say that even in todays day and age, predjudice and stereotyping still occur.


Sorry the post was so long, guys. I just really liked this topic because I could relate to it even if it isn't -directly- me!

agreed, as long as closeminded people exist in the real world so too will they in the games.

I voted yes. Yes to also having a race exclusive to the 'other' gender as well! :)

In reality are there really people that identify themselves as Other?

Usually it's a girl who identifies as a man, or vice versa. They can do the same in text.


Not something I would likely take advantage of in game, but if someone wanted to RP as other, why not?


I agree.

I concur

Pretty even vote

I find it amusing the vote at the time of this writing is 50-50.

Because a whole lot of people aren't comfortable about it, don't want to hear about it or recognize that it is a silly idea with no real good reasons to carry through. My reason is of course that there are no good rp justifications for it, and it brings IRL issues into a world that is not supposed to be based off IRL at all. That is part of the big appeal.

LGBT can behave however they want in game. They are loved and accepted (by most). Why is a label needed? I just don't having labels imposed upon me that connect to IRL. I play to escape these issues!

This is adding to more griefing than is necessary and will create times of confusing for RPers. What will you call them? Sir? Lady? He? She?...or worse...IT?? It also seems silly to put in a "gender" that doesn't exist in the real world. There's no such thing as "other" in our world today and nor will there ever be. With the exception of the extremely rare, each person is still born with male or female anatomy, regardless of what their sexual preferences will be later in life. We have the ability to change genders now, so rather than giving the option of "other"...give the option of changing genders and let people be creative in their descriptions.

So many comments, so little time. First off I find it interesting that there were more than a few people that made the point that 'There is no such thing as "other" in our world so why would we have it in a text game?' Um, FANTASY people...there're no such things as sirens, satyrs, horkvals, dragons, etc, yet we put them in our realm(s). To say such a thing about an alternate gender is quite hypocritical to say the least. I do agree that something more along the lines of 'unspecified' would be better than 'other', though.

'It takes two to raise a child' *buzz* You have just failed at real life. I have been a single parent. While it's not easy, it's not 'wrong' either. I know some wonderful single parents, both male and female. And of course the 'community family' has been around for centuries. Depending on the circumstances, I'd say it may even be better for the child/ren to only have one.

@Lothenshal: ' Why is this needed? It is not like Achaea has an intolerance problem...' As much as I would love to agree with you, you are sadly mistaken. There are plenty of instances of 'hate crimes' in Achaea (and obviously the other realms). So long as there is intolerance in the real world, so will there be in the fantasy world. See comments from the person listed below for a great example of ignorant intolerance.

@Sedric: Stop being a friggin troll, and I don't mean the Achaean race.



Wow, you really got some very good points.

On my side, infact, I still find myself a little biased on the matter. I admit it although I do not like it. 

Eventually, the advacement of science will vanquish all biases, when procreation will be completely separated from sex for genetic advantages, and children will not be raised by their parents. I do not see that happening within my life span, however.

I do not see the point in having "other" sex description, homosexuals are male and lesbians are female. Transex are either males or female if fully operated. "Other" could be used to describe hermaphrodites, which are very rare, or people with no sex at all. Then, I would rather use "all" or "neutral" respectively.


P.S. How you can play Achaea being a single parent is a true mistery to me. I have a child and a wife, and I have so little time to play. Maybe it's the wife?

I think a better solution would to be to allow a person to select if their gender is discribed in the description automaticly by the game. This would lead to better RP in IMHO

Other should not be an option imo.

Hrm....I like the idea of the choices as long as they are not so vague. We have been shown that these text games can promote tolerance and new ideas, so even though it is introducing a controversial topic I believe to leave it out is promoting the idea that it is not ok.

Futa with or without balls?




I didn't know you had no preference. Good to know.

To see other as a part of the game. Don't get me wrong I've played another mud where they have offered Other as a viable gender option and I did choose it, but it made more sense to at the time to be an 'Other' due to my race. I played as a Shadow in the game, and that in its self is pretty self-explanatory.


Now I'd have no problem with the 'Other' option of the gender if there was indeed a race in the games that was rather hard to define as either male or female, I'll even gladly accept it for the rest of the races if 'Other' was well played out, or if the character was castrated or unable to reproduce. I'll gladly support if the developers feel that it is viable and essentially rather good roleplaying tool. I do see the ability for its abuse, and some shoddy rp from it as well. So my question here is, the possibility from a roleplaying standpoint and opportunities outweigh the potential abuse?


Also another question, what about the Kephera race in Lusternia, they get a racial difference to stats depending on their Sex. How would the Other option work out for them?


As for why Maria didn't quit the game when (s)he was getting had with would simply be because some muds punish the player for quiting a game in the middle of an rp moment to escape a horrid fate. As much as I pity the Maria for getting had with unwillingly, I applaud them for sticking it out. It offerd them a chance to further deepen and shape their character.

The arguments in the comments that bash the mention of how many it takes to raise a child fail to make an accurate point. The fact remains that to raise a child it must be birthed. I raise that because the arguments are made on an out of realm and real world political view. The Earth is less forgiving and tolerant than the rest of us and no amount of how we “feel” about it is worth a damn to the Earth.


(Those wanting to persist with those arguments might find the games mechanic of character creation for actual decent leverage, ie the game materials may be more in favour of childbirth never happened arguments, but the real world has no sympathy [without the politics])


It is inseparable to an entities history and for a mortal race without other planes of existence and coming to being it would require a minimum of two participants to bring an entity to the point guardianship. The OOC political atmosphere is far more damaging than the physical limit of the structure of a race (given that at least one race is Human).

This even comes into consideration if a race was formed with the ability (or sensible analogy and mechanic) to change a gender. The change of a gender only affects the change of a gender from the point of change in role (from a theoretical standpoint).


The argument that it takes two is quite valid and in no way discredits single parenthood. Single parenthood is achieved with a minimum of two participants regardless of the relationship status or distance of the participants while guardianship continues with one of those. In other cases of exploring the “gender debate” you would be able to suppose a potential of three or even four participants in the raising of a child. No matter the spin, politics or even your simple feeling of the genetic history of an entity. What is done in the world is done in the world.


What perhaps would be more worth discussing is how the whole matter fits in place and how in the practice of OOC and Realm separation. As well as discussing the matter of the conflict and player opinion of character versus player opinion of player.


I gather the point of the article was how to deal with tolerance without being intolerant or bizarre.

Personally I’d see ‘other’ popping up without a definitive existence as bizarre without being intolerant of the intent. The intent wouldn’t be well served with a blanket “other” and permitting “other” out of immersive context.

Other suggestions relating to drawing from the pool of race and its defined existence should prove a suitable means to an end of implementing, short of dedicating another game title to the matter.


At least from all the material I have managed to gather so far in such time. This is the insight of new blood coming into the IP and being greeted with an article of political correctness straight off the bat. Not all that of a comfortable introduction due to past observations of the OOC pervasions of other role-play environments that at times contravene their own codes.

" I can totally imagine a future artifact item that allows people to hide their gender from anyone looking at their HONOURS line"

That actually sounds interesting and benign, even if people try to 'abuse' it in unperceived way.

"then why not a new gender?"

The hiding of a gender is not explicitly a new gender (see above).

"Would you take advantage of the non-conforming new term?"

I wouldn't be able to commit to taking advantage of anything without a suitable committed context on my part. You can default my answer to "no" until proven "yes".

"Do you think those who do would be outnumbered by griefers?"

I do not have the anonymous statistic experience across several platforms available to make an educated guess whatsoever. What has been your experience and can you speculate from it?



to keep in mind is that this is a role-playing game, not a miniature model of the way things really are. So, as someone said, if this were a Left Hand of Darkness MUD, then yes. But Achaea at least is a pretty traditional fantasy roleplaying game, and having lots of non-binary-gendered people to contend with would be tonally off. 

I should also add that in IRE games, you're playing a character, and not a little model of yourself. Therefore there's no obligation for the game to provide a gender that perfectly aligns with the player's IRL gender. As it is, plenty of players play as a gender other than their own, including a number of gods over the years.

I doubt that anyone will see this, being too far down on the commentary, but can anyone actually give a good reason why this should be allowed? I mea, cross-dressers make there characters that way because they want to play that kind of character. What is the benefit to allowing an "other" option? What does it mean, anyways. Does it limit roleplaying options? no, people do what they want anyways. Does it equate to not allowing equality or other viewpoints? again, no. Forcing people to take on an initial "what they are perceived as" gender shouldn't cause issues. Unless a race that ca physically defy genders exists, it breaks biology. I am not per se against this, I just can't see why it would help with anything that has been brought up

Maybe add races that have no gender?

The Xiur in Imperian are rock people, I don't see how they have a gender.

Do they chose a gender, then, or is that left blank?

I think it would be an intersting option if it wasn't abused.

I think the game is fine without the option of genderless races as it is now. Sure, it'd be interesting to see how the addition would affect roleplay and the community, but there's always that chance of it going wrong.


other ftw

"Wells has a very good point, genetically speaking, but to raise a child it takes two parents, period...not necessarily one male, and one female."

As long as we're being all happy and inclusive and non-judgemental and whatnot, might as well acknowledge that there's nothing special about 2; there are perfectly well-adjusted folks out there who were raised by one parent, or more than 2.

  Personally I think it would be best if gender were left blank in both description and honours. Being able to tell someones gender before you've even looked at them is a little rediculous, RP wise. An Other option would just be a big target sign for Griefers, believe me, a griefer just wants to cause trouble for whoever they can and will use whatever they can. Some people roleplay a female with male in their honours quite well, and vice versa but an other option really would just produce another type of target.



I agree with this also.

more agreement


I couldn't agree with you more.

I don't think it is ridiculous. IRL you can judge by their name whether someone is male or female. IG the player cannot, since they are made up. The character, however, may have the ability to somehow judge solely by name - even though they are unique.


I don't worry about the griefers, I think the community is more open minded than that.


I just fear that people can be way too creative sometimes.

though, if we're going to judge what should and should not be changed based on whether or not someone is going to pick on you for it, we shouldn't have the game at all, because some asshole is going to pick on somebody for it, if it exists. You can't deny someone something because of the eventuality it'll be abused.

This reminds me of this episode of Bones where the crew was speculating during the whole show if a guest was male of female. In Achaea, it is not only your honours that reveal your gender, it's also the emotes (peers at herself) and the bloodline (if you are listed as a person's mother).

I'd like the option for other in gender because I think it would be awesome to have a genderless race. It would add depth to world and make for some pretty interesting character interactions.

I actually rather like the anonymity of the Internet. I'm female but I like to believe I have more stereotypically male personality so I love when I'm mistaken for a guy. However in game I think it should have more of a roleplay context to it. Perhaps only some races could have the option? With of course a reason to back it up. It would be negligible for the majority of the races because the chances of being born with both gender/neither are so small as to non-existent with humans and all of the races have been humanoid. I'd also love to see a genderless race that reproduces by budding or something.

...I mean, why not, right?

I can say that you may be on to something with that. I could see a few ways of it being abused, but it could provide some measure of protection for  those being picked on.

I don't know if "other" is the best choice for naming the category. I don't even know if only a third category is enough. I mean, these are fantasy games, so why get stuck in real life categories? Why can a character's gender be "wobz'nook", being wobz'nook whatever the player wants to be? I mean, why can a player type whatever word he/she wants and make that his/her character's gender?

Yes, of course, it would be very complicated to program and all. OK. But I think at least the games should offer a list of genders, real or made up (i.e. male, female, hermaphrodite, neuter, sporoidal, packoid) and ALSO a list of sexual orientations (hetero, homo, bi, trans, uninterested, anything-goes, etc.).

I think a list of orientations would be going to far into endorsing erotic roleplay. Aside from two emotes which can be debated (fondle and grope) there is no explicit company-generated content in favor of erotic roleplay. The multitude of lingere, tattoos, and all other adult content is player generated. If administation allow us to show sexual preference, it could be construed as endorsing erotic roleplay.  This could lead to legal hassles with minors playing in ways their parents disapprove of. (I.e. If a 17 year old gay male player was allowed to label his character 'homosexual' for everyone to see..and enraged parent finding adult logs could possible try to stick IRE with legal action for 'condoning' such engagement, or for at least not properly identifying age.)   In short, posting orientations opens of a whole can of worms to endorsing erotica on a game open to minors.

I think IREs are already tolerant enough, with people easily accepting the wide variety of flexible characters. I think it's accepting enough to play an hermaphrodite with your own description and noone's going to call you on it.  I think Trans characters can just be roleplayed, but it would be nice for some to have a 'neuter' option and perhaps a 'hermaphrodite' option, (with a 'set for which pronouns you want Like gender 'Hermaphrodite male' showing only as hermaphrodite but pronouning you like a male.

That actually sounds easy to implement, but I may not know what I'm talking about.

A neuter gender would be nice for some races, but I'm not sure it's worth the time to recode everything to include an 'it' option when it can be roleplayed out. It would be a bonus, but not sure its worth the code time.


A general 'other' might be too confusing to code, and its way too wide open. We are a tolerant community and I think that people can roleplay any others without code support. (Though if you have the spare time, go for it!)

Race related maybe, but not for most races in the game.

I agree that the concept of a genderless race is extremely interesting.  In regards to having an option for 'other' for all existing races, I don't really care enough either way.

other isn't specific enough to be used I don't think realisticly. we could add in other gender terms used like transgender or some others.

I don't think a single answer is appropriate. It really depends upon the game, and I'm sure it would be absolutely fine in the more free-form games.

However, if the game has any mechanic (e.g. Strength) which is different for each gender, then it might complicate the game design/balance.

Also, in the case of Achaea where some races are gender specific, would you allow or disallow those races for someone who chose 'other'?

I voted no in the poll on adding "Other" as a gender, I have seen this on games in the past, and never really cared for the option. I am not opposed to adding new genders to the realms, I just feel that the "Other" option is a little bland. If we are going to add new genders, which I think would be a good idea and allow for more freedom of expression. I feel that more thought needs to be put in to it so that better options are made avaliable as opposed to just the generic "Other".

I didn't read all the comments - I'm sure this was mentioned before, but if you have a non-gendered person, wouldn't that really skew the bloodlining code?  Especially if you could procreate all on your own.  :)


I voted yes just because it's nice to have options and diversity in characters


It would work for some games, it wouldn't work for others. While I'm all for people being themselves - whatever that might mean to the individual - we should accept that the games we play are not necessarily designed to align with modern/real life values and perceptions.


Lusternia - could work, given how free the family system is set up and how the mythos of the game is, in general. Mysrai breaks that male/female barrier.

Midkemia Online - wouldn't work, if the game follows the books written by Feist. The game is set in a very male/female world, with extremely few exceptions. 


We are all actors who play characters who don't necessarily reflect our ourselves, in worlds quite different from our own.

That there's a multiple select checkbox rather than a radio button.

I once played a mud where you had not only "other" but the option to be a hermaphrodite, genderless, a flock, or a third alternative gender.  That's the beauty of a text-based game, no pesky graphics to bother with, just boundless imagination.  It could work delightfully for some odd rp.

A flock? You could play a borg-like-collective character in that mud? Name and shame please.

For instance, if you're a human, choose other, then describe yourself as a dog, you've just made an anthropomorphic dog, as opposed to a man or a woman who just happens to look like a dog. *scratches head*

This many comments, and no one has brought up the difference between sex and gender yet? Not that it makes deciding whether we need a third one any easier, but IRL, there's a distinct difference between sex and gender. Sex refers to someone's physical sex characteristics, while gender is the role taken on by an individual. If we wanted to use correct terminology, a third physical gender would be intersex (assuming that trans people who had gone through surgery are identified by their biological sex), while gender would need a broader category to group all of them (other or unspecified), since there are too many for every single one to be listed. Deciding whether the term 'gender' in the IRE games currently refers to physical identification or psychological is another story, though.

Much as Sothantos said above - gender and biological sex are two entirely different concepts. Sex refering to reproductive organs and gender refering to a complex set of socialized behaviors that are performed for 'male' or for ''female.' 

In this vein, I am torn between adding a new classification. Part of me thinks that we should have this 'other' category with no demarcations to follow to allow each adventurer to fill in that other with creative RP.  I really do like the suggestion of an artefact that would obscure one's gender more - that allows for interesting possiblities.  

It's hard to say what is best since each adventurer will come from a different standpoint. We cringe at certain possbilities of roleplay with an 'other' demarcation - yet, to each (insert gender pronoun here...but what about neuter?) own?


Those 'obscure' gender identifications actually abound even in the real world. The traditional binary of male and female is far from all there is to be found. From various stages of transsexuals and transgenders to less-heard terms like 'gender-fluid', people are finding new and more expansive ways to define what gender means.



I'd be all for some explorative possibilities in this regard, but I don't know that current-gen IRE MUDs would be the best place for them.

Occasionally, I wonder if a race without a gender at all would work.

let me guess, there's gonna be another artefact veil or mask to hide one's gender for 99999 credits. Wait, throw in a gem to change gender every month/day too.

what about instead of gender at all it could be like amphibians which are genderless? Maybe a Genderless category.

what about instead of gender at all it could be like amphibians which are genderless? Maybe a Genderless category.

what about instead of gender at all it could be like amphibians which are genderless? Maybe a Genderless category.

what about instead of gender at all it could be like amphibians which are genderless? Maybe a Genderless category.

As a player of a Grook on Achaea, I approve! I always tried to play my character there as rather gender-neutral as possible.

I would think I would find it pretty offensive if I were categorized as an "other".  For one, you are assuming that they would not choose to identify themselves as a man or a woman.  Personally I do not think it is up to this group to decide if it is correct or not, unless you're:

A) actually planning to play a transgendered or hermaphrodite character.

B) actually a transgendered or hermaphrodite in real life.

That's just my two cents.


A lot of people categorize themselves as "other" when it comes to traditional ideas about gender categories. It should be up to individuals to classify their own and, by extension, their character's identity.

Other as a gender is just not feasable unless your race is way way out there. Our characters aren't barbie dolls.

I'm not strictly against such a concept. In real life I couldn't care less what someone refers to themself as or what their sexuality is.

However, using such modern views in fantasy games can sometimes really take me out of the roleplay. For instance, 90% of anyone who plays a homosexual character on a roleplaying game is:

A. Usually a man if they're playing a lesbian.
B. Cybering constantly with the thinnest of roleplaying abilities.
C. Screaming for attention.

I rarely see anyone play a three dimensional homosexual character that isn't just made to play out their sexual fantasies, or isn't just some outrageously stupid stereotype. They're fantasy settings, not sexual fantasy settings. So unless you're actually going to play the character like a living person with emotions - then please spare us. As someone said earlier, in terms of sex, I think a "Blank" option rather than "Other" would be a lot better too.

Other, or some form of it (blank has been mentioned) would certainly be a good option. Or, just leaving gender out altogether. People can lie about their actual gender very easily, so why bother with it. Let them just roleplay however they want, whether it be in a feminine or masculine or neutral way.

I'd like an 'other' gender option, but only to facilitate asexual races. I was hanging out for this in Tears of Polaris, so I could play a robot, or some kind of alien with DNA that went beyond heterozygous inheritance. Or a slime creature, ghost, spirit, elemental, something like a mind-flayer... That would be awesome to roleplay.


Might be interesting for roleplay. I wouldn't be opposed to seeing this implemented.

Many psych experts have made the determination that "sex," as it refers to the nature of a person's nethers, is physical, while "gender" is mental. Using this, a male-sex person could be gender-female; acting and/or dressing like a female. I'd much rather see this in RP rather than as a choice someone makes when creating his/her character. Further, if someone wants to play an intersex/transgender/whatever, he/she (no pun intended) should choose the sex (male/female) that the character most resembles and go from there. Neuter and androgynous characters can be played the same way with descriptions, names and actions. There's no shame is solid RP, folks. The other gender is just an excuse for more mudsex.

Completely agree with this.


In general, I hate it when people rely on things that are built into the game to explain their character. Things are infinitely more fun when you take the time to question, dig and RP it out. So what if you find it awkward, or even offensive. It's a game. Difference should never be an obstacle, just an invitation.

While I think it's at least an interesting idea, I worry that people will just use it as a way to make fun of "non-standard" sexual identity.

I'd like an 'other' gender option, but only to facilitate asexual races. I was hanging out for this in Tears of Polaris, so I could play a robot, or some kind of alien with DNA that went beyond heterozygous inheritance. Or a slime creature, ghost, spirit, elemental, something like a mind-flayer... That would be awesome to roleplay.

I don't really see a need.

Since physical gender is based on a races biology rather than a persons' preference, it seems to me that "other" should only be available if the race is known to be made up of or at least include "others". as for people's identified gender, that can be done through roleplaying

biology is a myth



I was kind of on the fence for this one and ended up leaning toward yes.

sure, but not in every game, it'll have to make some sense

uhmmm.. what for? .. no not really useful



No, there definitely should not be an "other."

Let's turn Hashan into WoW's Goldshire while we're at it....:<

People are going to pick it just to troll people it matters to.

... comment is posted in an age-old thread, and nobody reads it, does it still net you a credit?



why limit your options

I feel as long as it makes sense for a race, it should be included. If a race has no distinction between male and female, other is a perfect choice. However, i hope they have a realistic cannon for how the race comes about!

i don't think it's necessary to add an- "other" gender for IRE games. Gender doesn't matter in our games (to nitpickers: there are still biases, I know, but that's a different matter altogether.) Adding "other" as a gender means the admin is addressing an issue, when clearly, there is none (or at the very least, a very negligible issue.) And arguing for practicality, a male character can always RP someone effeminate, and vice versa. No need to have a third gender altogether.

This was an important topic and i would like it very much if they added this for a few reasons.


1. I play a spy type and it suits me to be neither sex

2. I think people deserve to have the opertunity to pick other than male or female

3.Why the hell not! it makes for fun rp

This is a dumb idea. And so are your reasons.


not sure, maybe

In order to roleplay it is imperitave that I be able to identify with my character. What does he/ she look like? What emotions does he/she feel? Why would he/she do such a thing? How would he/she react to a given situation. Notice all the "he /she"?  An "it" might not do the same things. I can't even wrap my mind around what an "it" would be like at all because nothing like that exists now or has ever existed.   Now I realise we are playing a fantasy game but I still need a little reality to base my fantasy on in order to make it plausable. I mean if we are going to go genderless why not go headless too? I mean isn't it possible that a creature could exist without eyes, ears, a brain, ect? but come on, are't we just being silly now?

You are right - it is imperative to be able to identify with your character. This is exactly why we need to have non-binary gender options. Individuals with non-binary gender should be able to play the game just as comfortably as folks with binary gender identities.

No one is saying you have to play a character that does not line up with your identity personally, just that everyone should have the same ability to choose a character with which they are comfortable identifying.

I simply see no valid reason for "other" or "it" in Achaea.

You can be Cousin It, but only if you have the hair.

heh i would enjoy that

the whole "other" or "genderless" classification just runs into a  whole new world of freaky :) I'll stick with the classic MALE and FEMALE then let them decide how it works


We have unique races and it is often okay to RP racism and enjoy some IC laughter and consequences so forth.

Most form these same sex marriages to avoid RP taking it out of context to the game world as seen in previous statements. Putting a whole new queer twist to just simply calling someone out as the asshole that they are in the roleplay setting. It can be seen as a form of griefing trying to incite cause for PK against another. If it does not matter who is behind the screen then why not stick with traditional marriage setup? And lastly notice in our own history homosexuality did not enter until later times which Achaea is more war like and uncivil at times therefor such would be out of role with the time setting.


I've read quite a bit of this thread, and I believe "Other" would be an inappropriate category. It implies that you are not a male, nor a female, but positively affirms that you are something else.


However, I think the "Unknown" category to be more suitable. It leaves some ambiguity wether you're genderless, a hermaphrodite, a Lovecraftian Nightmare or simply a guy dressing as a girl, or a girl passing as a man. In all cases, I'd like to this about this as a way to say: "You haven't seen me with my pants down, so you're left to ponder" instead of "You don't want to know what's hiding in my trousers". Think Vaarsuvius from Order of the Stick for a well-played "unknown gender".


It could be implemented with three pronoun preferrences: male, female and neutral, this way people could set up how they'd like the game to refer to them (and allow them to switch if they want to preserve this unknown factor). On the other side, it could be allowed to switch between a set gender and unknown at any time, but never to cross from one set gender to the other in this manner.




Those starting as Unknown could switch according to their set preferrences, or something like this.

I love this article, meaty and well-written. I like most of the ideas discussed and personally feel that this is not a necessary game change. Just like most people we are born male or female (i'm willing to discuss asexual reproduction in other races.)  It's up to us to Role Play how we identify.

I said on the new artifact ideas thread about a year ago that I wanted an artifact that would let me switch Agnlaa's gender to a third-other.

It's equal parts amusing and sad seeing people say it would be inappropriate, that people in real life always adhere to binary gender. Maybe one day we'll have it. I doubt it, but I can hope.


There is no reason why your character should be labled "other" unless you were roleplaying something like a robot, a genderless race such as an elemental, etc. If anything they would be called its.

personally I would really like a other gender option, or unknown, or just the option to not show a gender, have it blank, etc.


I don't identify as male or female so I'd much rather have the option to play as a adrongynous character

I'm actually very surprised at the number of people who apparently have never heard of Intersex. Granted, traditionally babies born intersex were medically altered to adapt to the parents' choice - make her like a girl, cut off the extra bit; make him like a boy, close up the opening - and then raised as a "boy" or a "girl" - so a lot of people never knew their neighbor was born intersex. There seems to be a slow emergence of awareness now. Maybe someday people will be allowed to just be however they were born, or however they choose when they're old enough to choose, instead of having parents or society choose for them. But anyway intersex is a real thing, there really are more than two genders. This should be a widely known fact by now.


As for the argument/excuse "this is a fantasy world, stop making me think about RL issues," I say this: "this is a fantasy world full of infinite possibilities, why the heck couldn't someone be genderless?" The arguments against this remind me of RL arguments against non-traditional situations like gay marriage or interracial marriage. "Why aren't you content with civil unions, why do you have to stir the pot and make us think by wanting full marriage rights?" Hey if you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married. Allowing someone else to do what they want isn't going to ruin your life. Or this for interracial marriage - "I just feel bad for the mixed-race kids, they're going to deal with so much bullying." - Yeah, from bigots like you. So wipe out the bullying, not the innocent people born that way. It just makes you uncomfortable because you can't easily label and categorize them. Just let people be how they are, live and let live. Quit acting like that's some big exasperating hassle for you. :P

I voted yes for one simple reason: It wasn't that long ago now that the government were saying "It's alright to BE LGBT, but dn't expect us to let you get married." In a sense, voting against this can SEEM to carry many SIMILAR expressions. Sure, most of us voting will be able to identify ourselves as either male or female. But that's precisely why most of us shouldn't be voting. We're not the ones who have to make that decision.

Most of us, I'm sure, do what I've always done, and associate our characters, despite whatever personalities they might have, with parts of ourselves, including but not limited to the gender, reflecting the player in some way. For instance, I have two very different characters in Imperian. But both are female because I am female. I identify as female. I think and act and feel and look female. I've never had much cause besides overall frustration to consider myself in any other light.

I've been lucky.


But there are those who aren't as easily able to tell what gender they are, or it may not be as readily apparent to the people around them. Why should we, who get to feel comfortable and safe within our labels and designations, get to overrule the idea that others are every bit as entitled as we are to find something the accurately reflects who they are inside the game?


I'm not gonna climb up on a soap box and preach about the evils of labelling each other, or treating each other with any sort of bias - it's natural, it happens, and we deal with it as best we can, I don't have time to argue that - and I'm not saying we should add twelve different options in to cover all our bases and PC it to death. What I am saying is that the arguments "They don't need a designation, why not just roleplay it how you want and leave the possibility for options that sound even remotely like you" are getting a little too close to "Do whatever you want, but don't ask us for the same privileges we enjoy."

Personally, I think the most useful suggestion so far has been an artifact that will hide gender. There's a lot of artifacts that I've bought in Imperian specifially to help me with roleplay and nothing else (And I can tell you how ridiculously expensive and painstakingly long that's taken me. Now I hardly get time to enjoy them like I would have had they been only slightly easier to obtain). Why not add something like that in? Instead of making another dozen combat-related artifacts, for instance. Cause I think we have enough of those.

Or even make it so that you have the config option, as someone stated before, whether to display your gender or not? That way you can choose an arbitrary gender (Many hermaphrodites, for instance, are raised in a particular gender until they are old enough to decide how they identify for themselves), and then hide it so that people have to actually go through the roleplay. Also, it opens up the arena for those whose characters genuinely DO hide gender behind large suits of armour, baggy clothing, being Akrabi or Xiur, or an assassin of some kind. Our favourite stories are littered with cases of such mistaken identity, but someone seeing you on QWho and then HONOURS'ing you automatically discovers that the masked, armoured individual riding by in the distance just happens to be a seventy four year old woman? If you're going for realism, that's not it. And that's even aside from the fact that some people simply aren't visibly a particular gender, even when they're in jeans, a t-shirt and standing two feet away from you. (I like to call it the Bowie conundrum)

My point is, asking men and women whether they think there should be an option available to those who DON'T identify as men and women is like asking Westboro Baptist Church their opinion on gay marriage. Their opinion is not only irrelevant, but entirely predictable to the point there is no reason to even ask.


Edit: As an aside, as far as I know you can only have one parent of either gender in Imperian, whether adopted or not. People used to use the Moradeim gender-switch option to get around that, as well as the Transmute Gem gender-switch option, both of which have been eliminated. I think this needs to take a step back to where it started. Let people of the same gender both adopt the same child. There really is no reason, besides coding, to make this distinction.

I was actually a bit surprised and bummed out when I created my character that the only options were binary sex categories. I think it would be great to allow folks to chose 'other' for gender and use they/them/their pronouns. For one thing, it would more accurately reflect the diversity of gender in reality. And perhaps even more importantly, it makes the atmosphere of the game more welcoming of non-binary players. If memory serves, gender is one of the first questions asked when you create a character. To sign up for the game and immediately have to make a decision between two ill-suited options is definitely a deterrent to a lot of potential players.


conditional yes. If it's not lore-friendly for a race to have a neuter gender, then absolutely not. If you want to be a hermaphrodite, find a game with a race that reproduces asexually in lore.

I am pro any decision to make the game more inclusive of players and characters of non-normative gender identities.

I think that there should also be an option, if the player roleplays it properly, to change the name and gender of a character. Gender variance and fluidity has existed and continues to exist in nearly all cultures throughout time, despite the lack of attention it is given by most historians. It would seem odd that in a fantasy realm, this aspect of human (and non-human, given the context of the game) diversity would be somehow absent.