This seems like a silly question if I said it out loud, but the above acronym extends to the meaning “Guy in Real Life”, which gets – from what I’ve seen – a lot of negative attention as they are seen as weirdos, scammers or trolls. However, this can be rather unfair as girls who play as guys get little negative light in comparison. So today, I’ll be giving you examples that prove that there exists some positive reasons as to why guys decide to play as girls in an online game.
This is more prevalent on roleplaying servers or even in Dungeons and Dragons, but some people like to have a back story, a personality and find it easier to make a more interesting female character than male. It could also be argued that, when given the option of a male or female protagonist, players will choose the female to give any antagonists another reason to hate them, and add a new degree of satisfaction when beating them. Mass Effect has FemShep, who has been received better than the normal Shepard due to not only Jennifer Hale’s magnificent voice acting, but also the way the character reacts be it in Paragon or Renegade fashion. MaleShep seems much less emotionally involved in the story – surprising as the dialogue for both Commanders are exactly the same, which can lead male players to choose whether to have themselves be Shepard, or a better story experience.
An example is that whenever the big bad is trash-talking a female protagonist, they will inevitably make a sexist comment, seeing the woman as inferior. The dialogue in a couple of games just about borders on unacceptable in a social setting, one game that springs to mind is the female protagonist from Pokemon games. The team that is causing problems tend to make little snide comments that dismiss the girl due to her gender. There’s also the numerous games where there’s so much cheesecake you can get diabetes and the girls have a lower IQ than their shoe size and have the combat usefulness of a slice of cheese. Princess Peach, I’m looking at you – stop being useless when the plot demands it, you can fight! You keep beating me up in Brawl!
Is this hypocritical considering my cheesecake comment last paragraph? No – as this is more for the MMO crowd. If you are going to be grinding for seventy, eighty levels, you need some sort of visual hook to stop your eyes revolting from doing the same thing over and over again. So if you are a typical guy, then what would you prefer to stare at for over eighty hours? The back of a big, muscular Orc? Or the back of the female elf?
The defense rests – Oh, and the reverse can hold true for the typical girl, ogling is unisex after all. If you need to grind a level out, you are gonna get bored and frustrated without that carrot at the end of a stick – it works for animals, to strive for the goal, it works for MMO players who want that sweet, sweet loot.
This isn’t a funny reason, nor an entertaining one, but it’s true and possibly one of the bigger ones. Members of the Quiltbag community will sometimes play a character that allows them the freedom to play as something that can let them feed the part of them that have to hide in real life. While they will primarily hang out in roleplaying servers, they will venture into the PvP and supposed “hardcore” servers to test the waters and feel less like they are playing a character, and playing themselves.
If outed, then they may return to the two above reasons as cover for their true intentions, or answer “Just for funsies” – while this can lead to some awkward moments where people they befriended with that character begin to fall in love with the entity behind the keyboard, it can still give the person confidence and a bit of happiness in dealing with the situation they are in.
There are a couple more reasons, but these are the top three in what I’ve encountered in my years as a gamer. While as ever, the minority will ruin the reputation for the majority. Simply be vigilant in suspicious people – male or female – and treat everyone as how they wish to be seen. A little respect given by everyone makes the online world a bit less rage-inducing.