Your Internet Gender Bending is NOT OKAY! (In China)
I have never played a MMORPG. Mostly because I cannot afford subscribtion fees or another addiction. But I have several friends who do, which is the plus side of attracting geeky friends: I have some of the best stories. Former housemates had epic stories of the Bard Protest and the Million Leprechaun March in Dark Age of Camelot. A Warcraft friend told me about a Horde raid during an online funeral. And my friend who indulges in Final Fantasy XI once explained gender politics in the game this way: “If you see one of the leather clad catgirls running around? It’s a male player. No questions asked.”
Now, I understand that China has it’s share of problems, but asking people to verify gender via a webcam? That’s more than a little ridiculous.
I guess I’m just upset because role play gender bending is occasionally amusing. While I have never been part of an MMORPG, I have…and still do…participated in online text based RPGs…in many of them playing a male character. I will not claim that I play it as true to life as possible, but it’s the fun of getting to act like a “guy.” On top of that it’s a great study in gender politics and attitudes towards the opposite sex, what does a girl think a “real” guy acts like and vice versa. And I think that’s even more revealing in a repressive society like China’s.
Plus, let’s face it, in a lot of games you can’t really hack and slash with a female character. This is why I will run to Kilik just about any day of the week. Well, that and there’s ample opportunities for “staff” jokes.