Playing a Girl Character in MMORPGs

internet white knight

Though RPG games are what I like to play the most, I'm a gamer girl at heart, and was always a bit of a tomboy. Because of this, I never liked that in most console games I could either be a scantily clad warrior, a girly healer, or a male warrior. Thankfully, IRE rpg games let me create my female role playing character however I like. However, gender expectations apply everywhere, and I've noticed certain pros and cons to playing a woman in online role playing games. So, for the woman wondering if she's alone, or for the curious man who might well take this as a 'feminist' article, rather then a comment on gender, here's a list of the top 5 pros and cons of playing a woman in role playing games.  

Create a Character

5) A woman's place is …

Pro) Wherever she wants

Con) Wrong  

As a woman in an online rpg, you can be whatever you want you be. You can be a badass warrior/politician, or you can have a husband, adopt some rpg kids, and be a caring homemaker, fighting only in self defense, and more interested in crafting and helping the young. Here's the bad part though; no matter what you do, someone is going to tell you that it's wrong. If you're a warrior or politician, some will say you're going against the roles of a woman in a rpg fantasy universe. If you're a simple homemaker, you're weak, and betraying your gender to the gender expectations of men. Simply put, you're either too strong, or too weak.  


4) Men are big softies

Pro) men are much nicer to you

Con) because they think you're weak 

If you're a young female novice, male leaders of rpg cities and guilds have a tendency to think of you as a little girl. As such, you're less likely to have men be as verbally/physically strict with you as they would be male novices. They're also willing to offer more help. However, this also means that they'll try to protect you. You want to do a little solo hunting? Some guy will come to protect you from being robbed, or attacked, or killed overall. Someone challenges you to a rpg duel? Some guy offers to take it in your place. This can be ok if you can't fight, or if you have trouble hunting, but if you're a capable warrior who keeps getting white-knighted, it's really annoying.  


3) That time of the month

 Pro) Unreasonable rages can be blamed on a natural phenomenon

 Con) Reasonable rages will be blamed on a natural phenomenon 

At some point, I think most women have blamed PMS for at least one big rage-out online. Maybe it's legit, maybe it's not, but saying "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it,  it was that time of the month," certainly helps you get forgiveness in the role playing game, at least if it's only a one time deal. However, if you use this or not, others, men and women alike, have the ability to brush off even reasonable anger by saying "Oh, it's her time of the month again." This way, even if everyone else knows you're being reasonable in your anger, the whole issue has been given a sudden sense of levity by the joke, and it gives the person who has earned your rage an excuse to ignore it.  


2) I challenge you to a (verbal) duel!

 Pro) Women have less arrows shot at them

 Con) but have more verbal abuse shot at them.  

Unless you've made yourself up to be a glorious warrior woman, you're less likely than men to be challenged to an online rpg duel over honor. This is especially true for rpg non-combatant women who hardly get challenged to duels. However, no matter what kind of woman you are, if you're a warrior, or not, you're very likely to have sexual innuendo poked at you. Men are accused of dishonour and cowardice. Women are accused of having too much sex, or too little sex. And if a man is stuck on how exactly to insult you, they sometimes fall back to " Stay in the Kitchen!" (Ideally, this is shouted as a command to your text game husband to keep you in the kitchen)


1) Tit for Tat

 Pro) Men are more likely to give you free stuff

 Con) For teh cybersecks.  

When I first played an Iron Realms rpg game, I made friends with a smith/tailor who gave me money when I was first robbed, some neat clothes, and a really good shield. Now, I know there's people who will give any novice these things, but I've noticed that male players are more likely to give free stuff to female players. This is not limited to IRE role playing games. This is a widespread thing in a lot of games. The friend I made who gave me all the stuff in my first IRE rpg game eventually got mad at me, and stopped talking to me, since I wouldn't rpg cyber with him after he had given me so much. This kind of experience continued beyond my rpg novice years, and today I'm very hesitant to accept gifts from people in games. If anyone has played a female character for any period of time, you've probably been offered stuff for cyber.  


So, for the female looking to play a character in an IRE role playing game, or a man choosing to play a woman for the first time, I hope this little list proves helpful, either in just giving you a warning as to what to expect, or a few things to be careful of, or avoid. Certainty useful, especially for other women, since we don't notice any of this stuff in our real lives. Right?


M.K. Barry is a role playing game enthusiast who enjoys the best online rpgs from Iron Realms!


Although I -may- have noticed this in IRE games, this is actually a funny story between a (guy) friend and I. He always plays female characters on WoW (because "If I have to look at something's back end for hours, it's going to be a chick."), and I play female characters on WoW also. He gets -tons- of free stuff from guys, or at least guy characters. Seriously, tons. He's gotten upwards of 500 gold by this point on all his characters, free 20 slot bags, etc. I have gotten -nothing- from any characters male or female other than my significant other, and he tends to take more than he gives. Also, my guy friend brags about all his free lootz constantly. What a butt.

I tend to be nice to female characters, because of nice butts.

Back when I played/suffered/endured WoW, I made a female Night Elf after taking one look at the male and finding it so dreadful looking that I simply could not stand looking at it. Still, I stuck with my undead character.


Here's my train of thought: Unless proven otherwise, it's a dude but keep IC thoughts separate from OOC thoughts, IE No Meta-gaming.


"Unless proven otherwise, it's a dude.." 





I had a friend who always played females for the same reason.

But back when I played WoW (since I pretty much only play female characters for anything) I actually did get a bit of that.  Someone actually dualed my ex-boyfriend for my hand, and won.

I sort of disagree with the article a bit on that part, because I've gotten much less free stuff/offers for cybering than I did on non-text-games.  Maybe I'm just lucky =)

I also had a male friend in WoW who played a few female characters, and while he wasn't intentionally fishing for "chick loot" (as he called it), he definitely got more than a few gifts from people. On the other hand, myself and all the other RL female friends almost never recieved "chick loot" - we played tough, strong, independant female characters, while he was playing a stereotypical happy, fluffy, dependant female who needed someone to take care of her. Thus, he tended to attract male characters who wanted a damsel in distress.



I have trouble telling which gender many characters are, and tend to forget that. Also

even if I do figure it out I care little. I cannot think of a single time I treated a woman different from a man. I certainly never white-knighted anyone, and I accept any character to be in any position (except my murderer of course).

I just treat them the same. I assume any man character could be a female and any female character could be a man.

The internet, where a hot twenty something blonde is really a fat balding male in his parents basement at the age of fourty. And a fourty year old man is really a twelve year old boy. And a twelve year old boy is really an FBI agent. Point is, it's the internet, anyone can really be..anyone. Sex doesn't matter here really

That's definitely true. Met a few already. Slightly surprising if it's the latter though.

Agreed,  you get it wrong more than half the time if you guess at who someone is IRL by their online character. I myself live on the coast of NZ, enjoy some scuba diving and surfing,(oh and I'm booked in for a skydiving course for my 21st coming up) and I bet noone expects that by my female character in Midkemia

Of course we do !

I don't think I would, but I'm not surprised, either ;-)


So true.

I play both male and female characters, and all are treated equally.

Sometimes this is made harder with artifacts that let you switch genders.



Those artifacts are fun! :D

Artifacts nothing, I've gotten 'chick loots' by using the Genderbend skill. Once from someone who KNOWS the character is a guy (and has given me shoulders like the north winds for my choice of partners). To say nothing of the time I got a free wardrobe for an alt by mentioning that he was in the market for a skirt...

Agreed; Gender isn't what defines how my character reacts to you. What your character acts like is what defines how my character reacts to you. Plain and simple.

same here

I admit that I am guilty of having the following ideas about women in rpgs:

Female non-combatant = A girl IRL

Female combatant = A guy playing a girl

I admit that there are women who get involved in combat but you really see the top-tiers dominated by men. I don't think its a lack of skill on womens part I just think men are more competitive and therefore care more about being "top tier" ranked combatants.


Now to be controversial, I do think some women  expect a "free ride" (ducks flying objects) simply because they're women.  Some women always say "Women can be hardcore gamers too" or "Women can be top tier combatants" but don't actually like, make the strides to achieve those titles, they just want you to know that women can do those things too. Sadly, actions >>>>>>>> words.

Descriptions focusing on color and delicate mannerisms (A coy smile plays across the rubine curve of her lips each time she lifts a dainty hand to tuck a snowy ringlet behind her delicate ear) = female IRL 


Descriptions focusing on the size and shape of physical attributes (Her boobs are big and perky, the generous mounds balanced by a round rump that just begs to be smacked ) = Dude trying to get some free stuff. 

Very true. 

I've seen a few who've done very good jobs of blurring that line, or even excelled at appearing on the opposite... and that's just within the tiny range of people on MKO... of course, there are those who've managed to do a poor job as well.


As for any accusation of 'white knighting' regarding Kal... that's just about 99% of what most see of him, I think... just as I *do* approach women differently from men OOC, my characters, too, likely always will...

Probably true. Not always. Descriptions don't directly indicate "you're a guy" or "you're a girl" in IRL, imho.


lol'd :p

very true

 On your last comment.. i'm going to  agree with you, even though i'm a woman myself


 Some women DO expect a free ride because they're girls

Some women DO use their sexuality  to get stuff


Some women  don't, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a woman who, ooc or ic, has never exploited the fact that they are female for some kind of gain

@ the OP: Some of your points are valid but a good few of them have been taken to the extreme. For example, my character has never, ever, been accused of being angry due to PMS! I have also been asked to duel many times in the past.

As I said, some of your points are valid, such as males treating you slightly differently but the same is true for women who treat men differently to fellow females. We all do it! Some male characters -do- treat female characters annoyingly but most of those characters I prefer to not interact with anyway.




(Almost) Top-tier female combatant = Dunn


I think the non-combatant thing is true - when it comes to PVP at least, I think most women tend to avoid PVP on an RPing game simply because it can feel very personal sometimes when you get very competitive.

this somehow strikes true!

I've never thought about how females were treated differently within the games. I've always treated them exactly as I would treat the males. But it is indeed something to think about.


They definitely are treated far far differently, especially if you just hang around a meeting area and just watch interactions. Such a difference.


A lot of good points have been made. It is up to the individual to decided how they are treated. If a female is getting white knighted then educate that person. I know a female friend who had this happen a few times and she simple told the person that she would duel Then after she finished wiping the floor with the person from the current duel.

It was quite fun to watch the other person sputter. It was even funner to watch her mop the floor with him.

Individuality is far more important to gender!

I love the accompanying cartoon to this article!  'xcept in my case it's usually me (a guy playing a male character), who needs rescuing.

so funny

I noticed a lot of the things mentioned in this article more in Achaea than in Lusternia.

Especially in Lusternia, everyone is expected to pk, more in some orgs than others. If you prefer to focus on helping novices, crafting, having a family, socializing, tending a shop, or whatever other peaceful activity, you're seen as a waste of space, you're "in the way," you're a leech, etc ad naseum. The only time I've noticed it gets ignored (not accepted, necessarily, just they don't bother harassing you for it) is if you play a helpless, not-so-bright female: don't hunt/influence much so you keep a low experience ranking, don't show much intelligence or ambition, don't take on positions in your guild/city, don't have an opinion on anything, and basically just give off a general aura of weakness. Show any sign of strength - in hunting or intelligence or whatever - and they can't understand why you don't pk.

On the flip side, Lusternia seems better about not having as much of an obsession about female characters' sex lives. You can lead a normal life - have male friends, help a lot of novices - without getting accused of being a slut. I guess in general Lusternia seems less accepting of traditional gender roles, which as you can see is sometimes good and sometimes bad. You can be the weak little maiden in distress, or you can be the bloodthirsty warrior. You can't be anything in between.

I have never once of all the characters I've played been a combatant, and I have never once been in a guild or other org that doesn't place value on those who contribute in nonviolent means. Certainly, the two main guilds I'm part of establish that you should KNOW how to combat, and the lore at least is that we're supposed to be willing to fight for whatever, but beyond the minimal combat lessons and spars required to reach GR3, there has been no expectation of pk ability. Every character I've run, male and female alike, has been allowed to settle into a role as influencer, culture aide, scholar, or whatever.

It really depends on how you portray yourself in Lusternia I think. I'm ambitious enough to take on Aide roles and advance highly in my guild.. but I'm not much of a pker in combat terms. Sure I can do a little magic here and there to help.. but otherwise I'm useless in combat. I'd rather sit back and learn more about the lore than anything.. besides helping out young ones and advancing my own.. possesions and goals. But otherwise.. Lusternia is accepting as long as you portrayy who you want to be.. high goal star or low combat fighter


The only person to give me gifts is my significt other, and our close friend of course. Other than that I fend for myself..and give to people who need it..sadly..mostly guys...

It is the only way to do things. I crush most men in my range of might without much effort, so for me it is mindset.


To be fair, I tend to notice male characters are more hesitant to accept gifts or help than female ones. Not sure how relevant it is, since I have no idea about the players, but I do think the general male attitude is expected to be one of self-sufficience and hardship, so they think they portray weakness by accepting gifts. Girls don't have that particular expectation on them usually, so it leaves them more open to gain through gifts.

Again, they try to be as "manly" as they can be since the community dictates that men are expected to be "masculine." Yes, evolving from a more patriarchal society, males have to provide for the women, keep them in like (aka have them do the "feminine" tasks), et cetera or be labeled with the effeminate terms. Nevertheless, I like giving gifts to people, male and female alike (and I make them accept them)!

Learning how to be good at being female online is just as hard as it is IRL unfortunately, and this article covers the matter quite well. You're dead on with the annoying black and white standards, where you're always going to get criticised for being too sexual or for not being sexual enough, for being too girly or for trying to act like a man.

Don't let it get to you. The kinds of people prone to making assertations about what women should be or shouldn't be (other than 'not subjected to every idiot's own personal idea of gender roles') are the kinds of people who are never going to have any kind of healthy relationship with real women; even sadder in cases where the women they can't come to terms with are themselves.

I laughed

Never had someone tell me I can't be a politician because I'm female, but I've CERTAINLY had to deal with the innuendo and sex crap.  

Also the white knighting, and having to be polit about it otherwise you're just an ungrateful bitch.  All of these are huge problems outside of the RPG world, but I think way too many guys fall into the (not-so) Nice Guy Syndrome when playing text games, because, let's face it, we're not always the most socially adept crowd.

Ironically the men of Gaudiguch seem to pay Bridget almost no attention at all. Its the women who fall all over themselves giving her gifts.

They're all probably played by guys.

I actually disagree with most of the article and most of the comments. In 3d games, certainly this is true, where all to often the first interaction with an avatar is seeing them. Associating an identity with a virtual body certainly enhances the significance of gender. What's more, the female characters in these games almost universally are outfitted in, at best, dresses or, at worst, some ridiculously inadequate garment or armor. Some very rare instances, you will actually see a woman in plate. In text games, all you get is a name unless you actually choose to look at people. It's more likely that someone's going to talk at length before you take a look at their description. And then the first impression is their personality, not their avatar. So, given the same male(and occasional female), I think they'd be more likely to gender descriminate for or against in a 3d game than in a text game. But then, the same gamers aren't playing Achaea as are playing -insert 3d game-. For one, the text game audience is older. And beyond that, I'm confident insisting they're more mature too. So I just don't see or imagine it happening here. 

Obviously, you're allowed to disagree, but regardless, it happens and most of the predujice is still out there. The amount of inuendos I ignore, harassment my little alts deal with is ridiculous.  And the amount of "PMS" comments I've had thrown at me for having an off day is rather disturbing and makes me think that we are overrun with 12 year old little boys.

To say that the playerbase is older, no, I will disagree with that. The players who are established are older because we grew up on Achaea/Ire games. I think it's still a "young" playerbase, (worse in the summer when school doesn't weed them out), and I don't see the generations getting better. 

It's pretty much like Tekla said, there are little things to notice if you are trying to decide if someone is a Female IRL, and only one person has ever thrown me for a loop (<3 Thi) after that I had zero expectations. 

I often go through my first interactions with people without knowing their genders. My first impression of them is based on what they say or how they say it. It isn't until later that I think to look at or honours them, but nothing changes then. If you RP a helpless, bubbly girly-girl or a tough independent type or anything in between, that's how people perceive you, regardless of your gender (at least for me). I don't think I have ever done any of those things in the article, but I can imagine some people do. The topic is definitely generating quite a buzz.

I find the third pro/con to be a bit out of place, seeing as the article is about role playing a female character, whether or not the player is actually female. And unless you are doing a very strict role play of a woman, you aren't going to have a "time of the month" (which would, what, let you be pissy for 1-2 hours every IRL day?).

I've known a guy who plays predominantly female characters to come back after getting into spats with folks (because he's mouthy and rude) and use the "time of the month" excuse. It's one reason why I say "I know a guy" instead of "I have a friend who" because he couldn't figure out why that was insulting :/

This article made me laugh! What a great read!

I never role-play my time of the month.

Thank god.

I would hope most people wouldn't. Maybe I've just been lucky but I've never even heard the excuse.

I don't really see female characters having that much more advantage over male ones in IRE, tbh. It isn't like WoW where you can pretend to be female and chances are people will believe you, because they're just that stupid and/or desperate.

As someone who is a girl, I played WoW both on US servers and EU ones, and let me tell you, people are creepy. Not so much on the EU servers where people tend to be older and less caring about who you are as a person (they really just care if you're good at raiding), but definitely the US servers were a problem. I made the mistake of trying an old school raid with random people and ended up paying for that mistake when they heard me speaking on ventrilo (which ensued the, 'Are you a girl? Are you single? How old are you? Where do you live?' etc). Needless to say I started using a voice-alteration with my mic so I ended up sounding like a gay guy when I had to do random pug raid, but it definitely deterred male attention.

Never really had that problem with IRE. If you're a girl no one seems to really care because a lot of population is made up of female players, and if you ever end up having a problem you can snub the person and wash your hands of it.

Having people not be able to tell that i'm actually a girl, because everything's in text, definitely has its advantages.

It's even funnier when you're a female, playing a female character with a name as blatantly "feminine" as mine, but act tomboyish and cold in-game, and you still get called "Sir" by people…

I find it weird when guys play female characters...

I tried to play a female kephera once. I'm not sure if it was the female thing, or the kephera thing, but the character was just a little to alien to me to really get into the RP.


As I understand it though, that's half the fun for some people.

Thank you for this. It was very well written and is something I am sure an awful lot of us can identify with.

I can relate to this article soo much! My Imperian character was married to a warrior and was a warrior herself. She gave someone combat advice which he IGNORED only to listen to the SAME advice from her husband!!! I was furious!!! I was decent at combat and to have this happen, considering I beat this guy in combat everytime we sparred.. just because I was a girl - meant my combat advice was nill! MEH!!! 


Ok so making a female newbie, watch out! I made one recently and some guy was trying to get with me no matter what I did - I picked my nose and offered the booger to him and apparently it was a turn on. I turned it into a game, how gross can I be before he goes away? >< 


My impy character was a warrior woman, mother, wife and a crafter and yet never taken as seriously as her husband. I have been challenged to duels, it was rare but did happen. Great article! 



I found in other MUDS that this is a major issue, but Lusternia is truly equal opportunity, for the first time since starting MUDS back in '04. Truly, Lusternia allows each person to be who they desire to be, and I appreciate that!

Fight back! White knight the guys and watch them implode.

well now I know why some are extra pissy at times now

There are indeed a lot of females that are actually played by females, but then, there are also a lot more females that are played by males. So when you're hitting on that female that may or may not want it, consider the fact that it could be a male. Meh. Just treat everyone the same and stop being lame. 

I've honestly never even understood why the question of a person's RL gender is ever even an issue. I hate it when someone questions my RL gender, I don't understand why they do it, and yes, I am a girl IRL. How can you even make those assumptions and why would you? I can't think of anything people can found their assumptions on other than sexism.

Very amusing read, I'd never play a female myself though.

It doesn't matter whether you play a gorgeous woman, a mediocre one, or a downright ugly and disfigured one - it doesn't matter whether you play a tiny faerie and everyone around you is three feet taller than you at best - you will be approached for cybering. I usually don't even get the free stuff in exchange for the requests.



I second this

don's the white armor.



Ferrous is not the best combatent out there, far from it in fact - but I feel she is certainly above average in "goodness" in comparison with a majority of female players. What I struggle with most is understanding what setups my opponent is using against me, and how to best counter them. I guess, practice makes perfect haha.


Funny story about Girl Power (at least to me):

At the age of fifteen or so I attended a summer program at the local College on creating webpages, 3-d graphics etc. (I was paid to attend --- 500bucks for having fun woot). Towards the end of each day the instructors (who were about 19yrs old) would set up Counter Strike, and set us all against each other over the Server. My younger sister and I had always been very good at FPS games, and kicked ass. The other girl who played CS was pathetic, and would stand hiding behind something and fire if someone walked past. Due to this belief that girls suck at gaming, the "boys" thought my sis & I had hacked into the game from the internet. The instructors knew better though and would come over and sit behind my sis and I, watching us play. We would even score on par or higher than the instructors - who had downloaded cheats such as super-powered weapons/armour. It was a blast showing off our Girl Power and destroying the "girls suck" belief!!!

Oh wow, gender roles and gaming. Nice. Though, I guess there are exceptions to every rule.

You are right.
I was given a lot ot free stuff and now and then there is the male character that wants to pick me up. Sometimes I try to flirt with them, expecting that they give me more free stuff but that doesn't happen.

Maybe it is a law: the more a guy wants to pick you up the most unlikely is that he will give you free stuff. 

and so sad to see guys play as females for the attention.. Weirdos

I once made an alt named Syrah. Within seconds of completing the novice introductory tour, I was getting tells from dudes hitting on me. The internet is the place for sleaze, and MUDs are no exception.

The first text game I ever played was a MUSH, which was basically all emotes and role play. I was asked to cyber with someone within minutes.

In IRE games, especially Lusternia, this has never been a problem. I've been flirted with once or twice, but other than dating my ingame husband, which we had setup OOC ahead of time, I have never had anyone imply that they want physical interaction with me. Lusternia is very and accepting of all sexual orientations and gender identities. I know someone who started out as a male, and after several ingame years switched to female. Everyone sort of said, "Oh, you're a woman now? Okay.", and just carried on as usual.

I think it makes it a lot of fun.

I've always been tempted to create a female character just to see how others act differently - one of these days I might!

Don't!  You will be disappointed at all men

Guys who have people tell them they -should- be a woman.  Yes, everyone, I know that Agrias was a girl in Final Fantasy Tactics, but in Achaea, he's a man.  Get used to it.


I am really shocked to find out Agrias is a man. All these years...

I treat everyone as neutral gender online.

... just a more proper way of stating that you're a follower of the simple truth that there are no girls on the internet?

...are there? :P

I suppose I'll join the chorus and state the above as well. For the most part everyone just gets treated based on how they treat me.

I treat whoever based on what I know about them RP-wise. I don't care if a boy or a girl. If they act respectable, then they'll get respect. If they act like a slut, I'll pretend they wish to be suitored and more than likely, shrug at them until I see reason to act otherwise.

What he said.  It is easier to just treat a player like a person rather than a girl or guy.


I'll admit it -and have in numerous of my clans- that I go into RAGE mode when I PMS. But just having a child with fluctuating horomones makes RAGEing even easier. So yeah, most of the time people play me being a t-total bitch off as being in PMS mode.

I play a girl, because it's what I know heh. I've been given things with no expectations, and I've also been approached simply because me character is attractive, so she must want sex. Playing a haughty noble is always good for rebuffing unwanted attention, I find.

With no genitals. It makes life niiiiice and simple. HORKVAL FOREVER!

No one ever gives me free stuff.. 

Obviously not enough adjectives about cleavage in your description.

I have to say, while I've certainly encountered most of these reactions while playing other MMOs, it seems to happen much less often in the IRE games. It's nice to feel that other people aren't judging me based solely on the fact that my character is female, but rather letting my actions and RP dictate how to react.

Never played a female character in any game, so I never knew the draw of it to be honest. 

As a female newbie, I always got stuff free whether it was clothes, inks, clothes or other things I needed. But also my third day of ever playing Achaea someone wanted to marry me... I've learned that being a female in the game it is easier to get someone to teach you the different things that you need to learn to progress and become better. But guys make horrible teachers to females.

Mystere doesn't pay attention to gender. Heck, he has even had to honours people he's known for a while when forced to use a pronoun in place of their name.

nice article

nice article... also. 90% of the girls i know are novice aides in some way too heh 

i noticed that too... But maybe that is because I don't know many combatants.

I think it's funny how much people will give for the mudsex.

It's not me, but I've seen girl characters wanting -credits- for it and, more miraculously, getting them from men. How strange!


New point of view is always good.


LOL, I love the way this article was written. Well played.

One of the main reasons I'll never play a female character is hearing how many propositions women I've played with receive before they become relatively established characters (and even then!).

Play one of the insect races. In my experience, it seems to seriously lower the number of propositions you get.

Very true though I can't say as someone who has played both male and female characters that I haven't been given stuff with the expectation of a little cyber even with male characters, though it is most often by men, gotta love queers on iron realms! <3<3<3

Also on a side note though i see the policy's of harrasement as necessary, people sometimes need to get there head out of there you know where, cause ive gotten in lots of trouble before from some girl going bannanna's from thinking i was making a move on her, when I wasn't. A long time ago though. >.< Even got me kicked outa my house, and no one would hear me out, bah.

that would be a woman using her gender to her advantage, wouldnt' it  be? I mean, in all honesty, do you think if you went to your GM and that you were worried she was making a move on you.. would it have happened the same with you as it did with her?


omg, rping time of month would be hilarious, getting snarky for a couple hours at a time seems like great fun.

Very good article. It made me realize why I tend to avoid female characters in-game as much as possible. It could also be that most of the female characters tend to be very much into creating social 'drama'. Personally, in-text - you can only believe what is presented in front of you. There are pros and cons to playing a male character. Maybe someone can write an article about that...

But I still find most of the "mating dance" things, like the free stuff and the proposals of marriage(!), to be sleazy when applied to newbies. Give 'em a chance to learn about other things to to RP. House, City, Order, etc.


Sadly it is true, there are good and bad things about being a girl. 

I've only ever played a female character on IRE games, and without a doubt most of this article is pretty spot-on.

Aye.  This may be the best article yet written.  As someone whose first two characters were female, I can certainly agree that the amount of gold/items/unwanted attention thrown at you is highly amusing.

I just made a female character to test this stuff out.


Great article!!

I dunno. I can't say that these things have never happened to me (frankly, I don't really remember if they have) But what I have going right now doesn't suffer from any of these problems. I guess people know, I will mess up your face if you look at me funny?

I am a girl IRL, but only half the chars I create on IRE games or things like WoW are female, just because I like variety. I've been asked 'are you really a girl?' all the time on female characters, but never 'are you a guy?' on my male characters, which I find interesting. Peope are only really interested in RL gender if the answer is you are a girl playing a girl. On the other hand, my male characters tend to get more free loot than my female, because they generally treat women the way they want to be treated, which can earn a fair amount of gratitude.

What I do like is that, at least in Achaea, gender doesn't seem to play as much of a role when it comes to marriage.

People DO give you free stuff if they think you're a chick IG...proven fact! Just RP it well and they won't catch on

I agree with this post. There are always guys who think little of Ruth just because she's female. It gives me satisfaction to know that I can prove them wrong.

Exploiting creating a female character to get free stuff from men is always an extremely fun thing to do. Their reaction when they find out you're a guy IRL can be priceless.

That's the thing about RP, you can be whatever you want!

I guess that would explain the dress Chaotzu found in your inventory XD

cross dressing in RPG's XD this is priceless XD



I know somebody who did this. He eventually said to the other guy, "You know I'm a guy, right?" After that, that person didn't talk to him again. It's such a shame that friendships can be ruined by this sort of thing.

I've seen the giftly behavior before in games. Right now though, the most I get is candy, ice cream, and flowers! Lots of flowers!



I love the lusty add tucked into the article! 

Hmm, I think this article is a little bit offensive and has nothing to do with Pros and Cons...I think it has to do with -maybe- Pros of playing a female character and then you explain why instead of the Pro being a Pro its actually a Con.

I personally, playing a male character, somewhat take offense that you have lumped all male characters into one basket and made them look pretty crappy.  I am not sure what IRE game you play but I have seen very little of this in Lusternia.  In Lusternia the females are treated completely equally and in my case the woman are actually leaders in the Commune.  I do give free items away, however only to people I like.  ive given items to both male and female characters.  I have never seen the Knight in Shining Armor tactic.

I think in games like World of Warcraft or Guild Wars this would apply but in Text Games, I seriously doubt its as bad as mentioned...

You know, the other stereotype that I've seen play out on this thread is the assumption that if your description or mannerisms are in some way "off" you must be a male character. As someone who frequents Warcraft myself, you'll find that until someone has heard you on Vent (online voice chat program) they will assume that you're a man.


I think that you will find that in Achaea there are far fewer of these "cross-players" than you actually would think. As for those that are cross-playing convincingly. I applaud you, you seem to have realized that gender is performative.


One of the greatest time in game was an ongoing house chat war betewen me and Bradhadaira. Newbies would assume, based on our names that we were both male. (Before checking honors of course, which they rarely bothered to do) Thus, Nicia getting the nickname of Nic..and of course I called Bradhadaira, Brad.


As far as I know, for at the very least the last 150 years of Nicia's life nobody has in any way considered her to be a soft, caring, compassionate, or otherwise nurturing figure. In fact, I know a few who would laugh at the absurdity. And, yet, I am sure that nobody has questioned me being a female in real life.

My first Achaean was male, simply because I wanted to avoid being propositioned and what not.  I never hard-core roleplayed a male, whatever that means, though those I let in on the "secret" were always surprised (apparently no one tried to figure out if this "male" was really male or not, the way some try to figure out if a female character is female irl).

A few observations about him and Kaitlynn:

- He actually got hit on a lot more than Kaitlynn ever has, and there was definitely the expectation that he would jump at the chance because he was male.

- Kaitlynn has seen much more combat than he ever did, though anyone who knows her knows that 'combatant' is a generous term.  The only combat he ever saw was in the arena, as part of his guild requirements, though he definitely had more strangers be aggressive toward him over nothing.

- Kaitlynn has always been the more bloodthirsty of the two when it came to bashing.  He never even made it to level 75, though they have about equal game time.  He was a novice aide and was more focused on nurturing young ones.

- He definitely was subjected to the "give me free stuff" attitude from female characters.  Both characters are generous with their belongings, though I notice that people are more hesitant to take things from Kaitlynn than they were from my male character (though that more likely has to do with the people who surrounded each character).

Gender expectations can go both ways.

This reminds me of the time I walked around Sapience and gave away over 200 red roses. I was a young siren at the time, recently engaged, but some people would still ask me if that meant that I would put out.

... Okay, in the interests of making this constructive, I'll reword that.

Having a button to create a character off the article is brilliant.  But the wording currently feels pithy.  "Can you play a girl?" just comes off wrong.

It's much more fun to see effiminate men, asking on market for female attire

Female players do the most interesting things! They're also weirdly charismatic, and in the case of Lusternia, at least, I find the female characters to have a certain flair when it comes to leadership positions (e.g. Aison, Narynth, Talan).

I find it amusing that almost every female novice has someone trying to hook up with them. Perhaps all of you don't have that problem, but almost everyone I know does. I find it rather annoying to be honest.

I've played women many times in other games, but have never done so with an IRE game. Interesting points.

This articale made my day :P

A lot of women enjoy playing men for the simple fact that they won't be harassed by men in games just looking for... 'a good time'.

I noticed I only get harassed when I'm a female in Cyrene.


I always role a celebate male so I treat all genders equally.



Lol at the ad.

Doesn't matter to me. If you're strong, you're strong, if you're weak, you're weak. Plus, I have a girlfriend so cybering... would just feel wrong lol.

It has no real people.


I love these kinds of articles that try to see the differences in gender and it would be nice if that went further and explained where that came from. But alas, it's just an article on a game site so what really can I ask more of?

Yum free stuff

Heh this is interesting. Mostly true, and interesting.

If they ask me for cyber sex, I would give them one tight slap

I've been both sides. The happy house wife while her husband has to "protect" her and the politician who can pretty much take care of herself.

I have to agree. Men will fall all over themselves to be the protector. It's kind of sweet, sometimes

I didn't get things free which other newbies didn't get yet.

my alt is a female chacter in cyrene and she is usually flooded with tells whenever I am about, the pour girl. Mostly from guys hitting on her and what not. Before she was even in a house or member of any city she had been getting them


My IC interactions with girls isn't really different to guys other then when I'm trying to make a point of getting one of them to go buy some clothes after a RL month or more of them just wearing their robes from the tutorial



(bonus points if you know the reference)


I've seen the 'men falling head over heels' phenom on all of my characters every played in any IRE game, and I've come to think it's a bit annoying. While I appreciate the help I'm often afforded (gaining levels through leeching, occassionally getting gifts, etc), my characters are rarely the 'damsel in distress' sorts who need a Knight in Shining Armor, and going past the occassional amount of help into 'protection' mode when it's not warranted...well, it irritates me.


The gender thing is mostly what gets me. While I might be a female playing a female character, you can't expect every single female character is played by a female player. That would be silly.

I actually haven't had most of these problems. Or perks, for that matter. Friends of mine will give me a couple of credits every now and then, usually for my birthday or some other OOC holiday, but no one is going out of their way to attract my attention. The one time my character was propositioned for sex, she turned the guy down flat and brought it up with her mentor who did a hell of a job making sure nothing like that ever happened again. Maybe it all depends on how you play?

Yeah, guilty of the guy playing girl thing. But I like the idea of a woman kicking someones face inside out instead of being some demure, meek lady dependent on the big swordswinging guy to come and save her. Like in Conan the Destroyer, sure the amazon lady was crazy as hell, but she jumped on a guy 4 times her size and tried to eat his ear off. Though I've never gotten any special treatment playing a female character so some folks must be trying for the free stuff.

This stuff happened a lot to me as a novice, but as I became more prominent and self-confident as a character, it all started vanishing away.  Now people hardly ever bug me.


Reputation is everything in these games.

In fact I lose some interest in trying out games with classes/jobs that are tied to gender.

This is a fairly good article. I see some of this happen in Imperian as well

Immediately after I get out of the intro, I have two guys wanting to take me hunting and hang out with me. Coincendence? I think not.

Guys are funny and are definately lead around by the opposite sex at times. But at least with a game with good role playing they can't be too bad haha.

This is very interesting to me.  Makes me want to create a cross-gender alt, just to see.

Done it before and seen it happen.

Ugh. So much truth in this article.


I have never played a female character on any online game and can't see doing it simply for the reason I can't rp well enough to pull off a female character. There is a lot that I'm sure they have to deal with. Back to the article though one of my favorite fantasy characters of all times is Cattibrie she could kick the heck out of anything but was still always soft when she needed to be.

I as a guy play a girl. to me it's very interesting to explore the other point of view.

I disagree with literally every point you made in this article :/

Sexists exist in every culture everywhere, but that's not a good reason to tar the entire community with the same brush.

I know those who play male and female, both are good.


though most of the times it's not.

Greatest slight difference I've found is the guys who will be wayyy pushy


and use emotes to basically define the situation, and it's very hard to RP out of some of the things some of these guys do..


Very deepkissy, and persistent, and impossible to fend off, especially since they have no sense of embarassment at all over the text, and can let their completely ravenous guy selves out...


a bit gross sometimes, how far it gets and how much it feels like IG forced affections...


and then how weird it is how people act all shocked and! What a prude, or something!






(I love you!)

This character is currently caught in this situation, except with a few more additional problems. I am RPing it out, but sometimes the right answer is just to issue.



Can't say that I've noticed.




I have played many female characters, and nothing like any of this has ever happened to me.


:: hug Hawk :: 


Hey, Sappho - I'm surprised they let you keep the name. Then again, they probably were not aware of the original Sappho. Nice to meet you, if only in passing.


The "frilly description" and mannerisms check doesn't work on me - in real life, or in the game. I'm all woman, but no frilly girl.




Uh, not that there's anything wrong with frilly girls.


:: shudder ::



Maybe it's just me, but I have never had any of the problems here. Eschilde had one guy try to take care of her, and that was Rean, her dad--and her mom helped her just as much, if not more, during that period. Since then, she's had a lot of comrades and been pulled out of sticky situations by fellow citizens and relatives (Ellodin <3) but she's never been seriously hit on, sexually abused, or been seriously disrespected because of her gender.

Most men can't do females right.

And I don't really see a reason to it. Though I suppose some find it funny.

when will they do one for playing a guy? That will be amusing.

Very interesting article.

I haven't gotten all of these things...but definitely the constant propositions (especially when you're a novice) get old! I made my character "look like a man" but that doesn't seem to stop people.


I guess those free gifts aren't much ones considering what they ask for them.

feels weird for me... somehow.

Not too my liking personally, but I don't mind. if that.

Have not had any of these problems.

i've heard of female mudsexalts who get gifts for their company... so for me to try playing a girl? no. i don't have the proper mindset in case some creep comes along propositioning me.

I do not think my character has been propositioned in probably over 50 ic years. Anyone that is constantly getting propositioned should probably evaluate how they come off to people.

I agree.

Not too long ago, a new character started to send tells to me out of nowhere, remarking on my beautiful voice ect. I actually had a laugh with that, throwing questions back like how he even knew how my voice sounded. I'm quite pleased I got him to not bother me further purely through IC tells. Character was deleted soon after, so it was probably a mudsex alt or something.


I've always wondered, do male characters get this as well? I can imagine those who play charismatic or womanizer types might get a flock of females after them.

I once got a random tell, asking for buttsex once. 


On the female on male side, however, It's much less likely to happen. When looking for a guy, the attractive traits tend to have to be seen. To be learned. With a woman, the fact that she is a woman is usually enough. 

Yikes, poor you. Valid point though, at least I consider myself choosy both IC and OOC.

So it's basically the same as in real life.

I have gotten tells (as in more than once) from "bored" newbie females fresh out of the portal looking for something "interesting to do". Typically Aslarans* that find Loboshigaru very "fascinating" because they've heard things about them that aren't appropriate to discuss. 

Really? If you shouldn't discuss it, don't pop out of nowhere and discuss it. I don't know you, I'm busy. 


*This is not some stereotyping of Aslarans because they are a fine race, merely that in this case it usually is because they want to play the cat and dog game 


Guess I have noticed this

Chicks get coddled and dudes get bullied. Oh. Also I usually assume that any chick in cyrene is a dude. I don't know just something about cyrene chicks...


It goes both ways. I've seen elder IG women pouncing flamelet men as well, not to mention giving them free stuff.

I tried to play a girl in Aetolia before, but all I could find in footwear was stripper shoes and high heeled boots for burly guys in drag. So I gave up and went back to lusty, where I only play guys.

Where did you start? I play in Bloodloch and there is a nice arrangement of very normal boots.

Never had a problem with this in Lusternia. Then again, my character is not one to draw attraction, and her description is on the plain side.

Lusternia seems to be unique among the IRE games in that it blurs genders and sexual orientations. This is often confusing, but it prevents a certain amount of bias, too.

Have any examples on how Lusternia does so? I don't play.

That sounds.. interesting.

people can easily be taken advantage of by men posing as women online. It can be slightly less sick than child predators, and always more sick than stalkers.

My IRE girl characters were hit on a lot right after creation by fake noobs looking for mudsex. Hardly amusing and it detracted from my enjoyment of the game.

I play a girl character because the RP and situational reactions come naturally to me. It's difficult for me to continually play guy characters because it feels very unnatural.

Anyway, I've never had anything too extreme happen to me, but my friend had a ton of loot offers in exchange for cybersex, even going so far as guys offering credits for it. She refused every time.

This happened to Nim, but has since stopped. I decided to make it part of her backstory anyway!


I've played/play a few female characters. I try to play them as a serious adventurer type, without much frill and gratuitous detail about my curvy shape and so on, as it seems to suggest non-serious players or players looking for mudsex. I haven't gotten any unwanted attention, really.


because guys will take the extra mile for a woman. 


Funny stuff to read.

Lotus has had a bunch of female House leaders, of course the title they get is Grand Mother. In Hashan, at least, even though there's joking on the issue, its not that noticeable. Those playing girls do tend to get a lot of attention, especially if you create a Sentaari alt.. uogh.

I don't play other mmorpgs like WoW or Aion, or Lineage even.. mostly FPS, so I can't say what its like on them.


Good article

I've tried making/playing a female character with many games. I am a male IRL, but I feel odd to picture/be myself with boobs and ... Well.. less Fedex/more Old Faithful.. So RP'ing as such just feels too weird. But my girl has that exact problem (men giving her free stuffs in hopes of getting in her virtual pants) on any female toon, to the point of she just stopped making females and made a male, just so she'd get less drama.

But as I am a guy, I will always play a male.

Cam or it's not true :P treat everyone as a old man hiding like a hermit in his parents basement.



First point, I find that to be untrue, at least in Lusternia.  My female character is treated as a person, not based on her gender.  She does both feminine and masculine things, and nobody ever says anything about that.  As for white-knighting me.....that occasionally happen, but only if I'm going hunting in a fairly dangerous place.  Most of the time, if I go hunting solo or with a group, we all attack and no one gets more or less protection based on gender.  The protection is mainly based on your level and your skills.  As for PMS, I have never, and never will, use such as any reason for acting bad.  And I have not heard anyone saying of this as any reason for another female character acting "bitchy".  I do on the occasion get asked to fight in a dual, but mostly, I prefer hunting, or joining a wargame, which is just a duel, with multiple characters on a team dueling another team.  I haven't really been given free anything.  I've only been given such to me by my IG brother, and two other people, because I was begging for it and they didn't want to hear me whine anymore (lol).   but that wasn't because i was female either, because another male character also was whining and got the same as I did.

Because none of this is really true, there. For whatever reason, the whole culture of gender identity is entirely different, if not completely nonexistent. I'm not sure if they're still around, but there used to be a few prominent players who would almost daily use the sex change artifact, but more as an extension of the race change one than anything. Even then, outside the random newbie who thought it odd, it's always been "Yeah, that's just Nejii. So what?"

Outside of the natural tendency that my closest circle of personal friends tend also to be female, I haven't really noticed any other common gender stereotypes at all. Especially the ones in this article. My main even walks around stark naked most of the time, or "skyclad" as their tradition calls it, as a spiritual thing to be connected to Nature. Less than one reaction in twenty to that that is a proposition for sex, which astounded me when I first started playing her.

It's probably the reason I ended up sticking around, all those years ago. I love how it doesn't matter in the slightest that I'm a girl, but instead treated entirely depending on the way I act as the person I want to be on that particular day. A fantasy world that I'd like to be my home.

Speaking as a married mum of two children...I honestly dislike it, when female char's use the excuse of, "Oh I have PMS". To me, it goes from being an IC char to OOC motivated. I think I find it tasteless and degrading for the female race and probably the worst excuse I have ever heard (Sorry). If you're feeling 'tetchy' with someone or yourself, then RP out your drama and write it well. Nobody needs to know if you have PMS or not and I honestly couldn't care less for the female characters who seem to have that constant, 'Chip on the shoulder syndrome'.

As someone who is relatively new to text gaming (I've been playing for 3 years and only ever played the one text game) I have never understood what it is about women who automatically take on the superior/competitive/bad attitude/bitter RP towards other women. Again, it feels OOC motivated to me, especially when I then see the same attitude on forums and OOC channels (Even their alts). I'm honestly not interested in it and it's really boring to RP (Generally because I see RP as a book you are writing for yourself, for your own enjoyment to read and it if it isn't well written or captivating, then I will just roll my eyes at it). Everytime I come across something like this, I can instantly tell if this person is going to be exciting to RP with or just a run of the mill 'I'm a girl with a sarcastic attitude blah blah blah'.

I don't mean to be rude here, but sometimes -JUST- sometimes, women can bring it on themselves and tarnishes the rest of us, which is a shame. I sometimes see men posting things like, "Women players are psychopaths etc.." along with the other female insults they can come up with and it makes me think, 'Wait, no I'm not. I'm playing this game because I enjoy it and I have a break out of my daily routine of work and home life.' So I think you need to be careful as how you come across, so we don't end up with this judgemental stereotype. I think we should stand up to our beliefs and say stfu men! We are womenz! We can do this alone!

I have always strived to keep -EVERYTHING- IC, even one of my char' who is married, that relationship stays IC and goes nowhere else and I make sure she has always been independant and never had to rely on anyone else, not even her husband. The more independant you are, the better, I think (I THINK). The same with my IRL husband, his char's have relationships and they stay IC and he treats women with respect, because he doesn't have anything to make up for IRL- IC. I can't say that this goes for all single men, however, because that would be blatantly sexist, rude, uneducated and arrogant of me to assume. The same goes for men though, where there is always that small select group who do put out a bad rep for their gender and it spoils it for the rest.

I suppose what I am trying to say a woman, you should have respect for yourself and everything you do. Don't pay attention to the bitter edjits in life, because they know nothing about you and they are usually targetting you, so they can feel some sense of self gratification in life to make up for what they don't have in life and they try to ruin your game play. It actually makes me feel sorry for these people though, because it's just that pathetic, especially the ones who are so good at the game, they actually start to believe they are achieving something and if you aren't as good at PvP as them "Oh nohs!"...but hey...I have a Batchelor of Science degree IRL, amongst other things and married with what do I care!?

I think women need to stop and think about what they are doing, "Is this OOC motivated or purely IC? Am I making myself look silly here, so men 'White Knight me' or am I making myself look like someone who can stand on her own two feet, can play nicely with others, has self respect, a sense of purpose and I'm building an Amazon of a woman here?"...*shrug*...on the other hand, you have to play what makes you happy, but not to the point where killing/verbally abusing people is making you feel too good IRL, because I think that's fairly unhealthy. Sometimes you just need to pull your head away from that screen and look around you at your surroundings and see what you are achieving here.

The White-Knights don't even register on my radar or the novice mudschecs alts. They aren't even worth replying to, because you just know their character will be deleted in the near five second future if they don't pop themselves some female text.

Respect is earnt and not a given.

I couldn't care less what gender is playing the role behind the screen, either. Sometimes I get a good chuckle if I find out that it -is- a man playing a female and I conjure up some image of a man dressed as a female elf with a big fluffy scarf and I get a good giggle out of it...especially the voices I conjure up for them, but that's just my sense of humor and imagination. I also think that's another thing you need to bring with you as a female in the gaming world, 'A sense of humor'. I think this goes a long way to not being the sulky type and instead, you can RP a damned near perfect character, without the sulk.

Believe in equality and we will go a long way.

Maybe I'm just a housewife who escapes to her little fantasy world to get away from the crying of her own children, only to be confronted by text characters who make my wall scribbling daughter look like a little angel with a hint of demon and gets frustrated at those characters herself?

Who knows! It will be an ever lasting journey of, "What is the female character in the gaming world really all about and should we, as men, really question her?"

Cast Castrate Man.

Apologies for the rambling aggression, I am woman afterall, with PMT ;)

Holy shit, Vasi. You left a novel. o.o


I sorry :( (Vasi on hubby account) once I start typing I can't stop and even now I just deleted a paragraph in this here box. Steam comin' out the keyboard and everything <.<

Sometimes, you just gotta get down and do it. And for when you do it, theres tigers blood!(tm) Guarenteed to work 50% of the time, ALL OF THE TIME. Or something. So Download more RAM today!

The real gender of the player is not relevant. Your character only know what it is seeing and if your character is seeing a woman then it's a woman so you should roleplay it as your character does with other women regardless of the player gender. It is really fun to play a character of the opposite  sex, I already did it and I enjoyed the experience, I have even married Erikka with someone that created a female character but was a male in RL and, to be sincere, it don't bothered me at all. Use your creativity.

The problem is that many people confuse ROLEPLAYING with REAL LIFE and it is exactly why roleplaying is getting worse and worse, at least in Achaea.

EDIT: Yeah men tend to be more friendly with female novices and women in general than with males, and it is understandable. I don't really think it is a bad thing.And I agree with that woman up there who said that RP is like a book because it is how I feels it is. It is a book you are writing, a character you are building and roleplaying so do it good and exciting! 

I don't get what this article is about I get all sorts of gifts from those of the opposite gender all the time in game and out of game. Seriously just have to be respectful of what the lady wants. I don't even know what half the crap is I'm receiving! Some women just don't get it pants have pockets for a reason, quit sending me this junk seriously! Thank the gods I don't have a carry limit in game. So much dead fish too grooks don't even eat fish oh my the stench of it all.