Author Topic: Playing females as EZ Mode  (Read 28635 times)

Case

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Playing females as EZ Mode
« on: May 14, 2013, 02:17:19 AM »
I posted how I felt sad about the sentiments in this thread: http://www.zalanthas.org/gdb/index.php/topic,45486.msg752207.html. When I got home, I hoped on TS and ended up talking to Badskeelz about it and ranting a bit:

Quote from: Chatlog
"Case": it does annoy me though
"Case": typically, only men are suggesting it
"Case": really makes one feel good about being female
"Case": when the representation of your gender in a virtual world is a bargaining chip for interaction
"BadSkeelz": that only counts for female PCs. i can attest that looks mean balls-all on a male Pc
"Case": it's not that, that's not my issue
"Case": the newbie wants to play a cold and aloof PC
"Case": but people warn against this for lack of interaction
"Case": then somebody suggests you make sure it's a female PC then it's easy mode!
"Case": a bunch of male players agree
"BadSkeelz": that is the joke, ive heard.
"Case": normally I don't get caught up in feminist stuff like this
"Case": but it made me feel really shit
"Case": like both I am experiencing it easier for playing women
"Case": and that virtual representations of women are, even on Zalanthas, chattel
"Case": so it's a slight on both my RL sex and my IG sex
"Case": amazing
"BadSkeelz": :(
"Case": hopefully that makes sense to you
"Case": know what's not easy mode playing a female PC?
"BadSkeelz": it does. youre insulted and should be
"Case": playing a female PC that isn't what people expect female PCs exploit for this alleged easy mode

I apologise post hoc for my attitude towards others in the log. I have no grudge or problem with anybody who posted in that thread or especially Kismet who made the suggestion, I was annoyed by the holistic sense of it.

I know the topic's been brought up before across the internet and other games, playing female characters to get free stuff or an easier time of things. We're an RPI. We're all about the RP. Barring tribal biological realities and the Tuluki Templarate, gender and sex are not discriminated against on Zalanthas. Yet, we now have a thread from a newbie about starting off in Armageddon, in which RL roles or even just human sexual politics are exploited as a suggestion to facilitate a personality for the new player's character. That rubs me the wrong way, enough to make a thread about it anyway.

I'm not convinced playing female characters is always easier. Unfortunately, and apparently inescapably, you are treated differently female or male. It's not always positive for female characters though, arguably a negative for leadership PCs or out of the norm women. By out of the norm, I mean female PCs who do not conform to the stereotype that has this alleged easy mode. I have commented on the idea before that when discussing this kind of topic, it's always made as though females are the other, again, highlighted in the thread where the default is a male. It's not men playing hard mode, it's women getting it easy. Badskeelz used the word 'demeaning' to me, and I think he's right.

What do other people think? Am I just getting way bent out of shape over something innocuous or immutable? Are we really incapable as a player base of trying to excise this kind of culture?

James de Monet

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 03:07:30 AM »
I definitely don't think playing a female PC is "easy mode". In fact, I think playing a female char WELL is more "hard mode" than doing the same with a male.  Do people give you stuff and try to "protect" your char? Sometimes, yeah. But that just means you have to work all the harder if you want to reinforce IG norms. React to it like its weird or like they want something from you.

There's also the sexual dominance issue. IG, as IRL, males do 90% of the pursuing. Being the change you want to see as a female PC in that area would be a huge, probably unfun task, especially if you as a player are female, and have to overcome RL social training as well as try to "flirt like a guy" (ie share in sexual dominance) and yet somehow manage the (I imagine) overwhelming response that would elicit.

I guess I'm saying if you think playing a female PC is easy, you are likely doing it wrong. It's like playing a privileged role, to a degree. Is a lot of stuff (notice, assets, interaction) handed to you? Maybe. But now you're expected to go out there and make the gameworld more alive, enjoyable, and accurate to the docs with it.
You know I think if James simply retitled his thread "Cheese" and apologized for his first post being off-topic, all problems would be solved.

LauraMars

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 03:17:13 AM »
The suggestion in the other thread, while a joke, wasn't well thought out, if only because it isn't a great thing to say to an impressionable new player about our supposdly gender-bias free game - not to mention that it also had the effect of making a female player feel belittled. I respect your opinion on the matter, and can tell it really upset you. I wasn't thrilled with it either. I'm not sure you will be satisfied with the results of throwing this debate into the hate cycle, though.  I say this not to silence you or make you feel as though what you have to say isn't important, I just have my doubts that a full thread of gender debate in a mostly anonymous space will be that helpful for you. I've seen gender debate threads in Armageddon enough times to know that they usually end with a lock, after many nasty things have been said, despite the best intentions of the OP.
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hyzhenhok

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 04:01:13 AM »
The solution is to force gender bending. Require every player's new PC to be the opposite sex of the previous.

Kismetic

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 04:17:56 AM »
Oh, wow.  I only meant it was easy mode for getting interaction.  And it was a joke.  :o

Hey, ladies, no disrespect

 ???
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Case

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 04:19:43 AM »
Oh, wow.  I only meant it was easy mode for getting interaction.  And it was a joke.  :o

Hey, ladies, no disrespect

 ???
Not blaming you or hating on you Kismetic :D I said!

Kismetic

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 04:23:42 AM »
"Well, Gary, if that even is your real name ...  somebody stole my computer.  Now, if you're a criminal--  Look at me! ... You have to tell me, legally, or else it's considered entrapment."  -- Andy Dwyer

Scarecrow

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 05:27:09 AM »
this topic will not be settled until IsFriday speaks his mind since he always plays as women
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Harmless

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 05:39:22 AM »
It isn't a very meaningful suggestion Case. When new I blew through PCs pretty fast. The new player just needs people to talk to them or around them. A lot of males feel ignored in this game if they aren't clearly badass.

I do my part when I can, finding salting noobs and interacting. Or offering to at least talk to them in the Gaj, though sometimes I end up beating their asses in a brawl as a means of interacting, but a lot of players don't. They'll usually have a choice of PCs to talk to, and will likely pick a PC who is nicely dressed or has a nice long desc (usually that is a female).

Male PCs sometimes get discriminated against for having pretty looks or effortful descriptions. Some GDBers here say otherwise, but I disagree. That's probably me being bicurious or overly sensitive, but I feel like a male PC who invests time in looks should be getting swept up and proper kanked by you brawny female PCs, but I have -never- seen that.

Guys. Be more bicurious. You play as a female, then at least talk to some hopelessly noobish guys, today. You can always FTB if things get steamy and protect your hetero honor.  ;)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 05:55:50 AM by Harmless »
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Inks

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 05:54:48 AM »
Dunno, the only female PCs that I see as chattel and weaker (albeit potentially fatally) are f mes and whores and such, but that is perfectly IC. That said, if there were more male f mes and whores I would totally treat them the same way. Itz in tha docs gais!
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Harmless

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 05:56:02 AM »
Dunno, the only female PCs that I see as chattel and weaker (albeit potentially fatally) are f mes and whores and such, but that is perfectly IC. That said, if there were more male f mes and whores I would totally treat them the same way. Itz in tha docs gais!

Yay!
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Erythil

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 06:09:30 AM »
People were afraid of my female PC and were much more willing to approach my male PC

I'm a horrible woman  :(

Harmless

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 06:24:15 AM »
People were afraid of my female PC and were much more willing to approach my male PC

I'm a horrible woman  :(

Then you should have done the approaching as the female! Right?
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Inks

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 06:33:37 AM »
People were afraid of my female PC and were much more willing to approach my male PC

I'm a horrible woman  :(

Well stop playing gemmers then :P
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musashi

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 06:48:23 AM »
I think, if you play a soft, curvy, flirtatious female PC who acts the maiden, there are more than enough males around who will eat that up. I think it can make game play easier in that regard, in terms of getting support, resolving conflict in your favor, etc.

But it would be incorrect I think, to assume all female characters, and female players are playing in that fashion. I see lots of female PC's who don't fit that mold, and don't profit from its built in support base.

And while I might make a snarky jab at the f-mes of the game on the boards from time to time, I don't actually bear that style of play any disapproval. I just joke about it like I joke about emo breeds, dorfs who can't spell, and worthless shitty elves.

Emotional manipulators exist. That aspect of the world needs representation just as much as the world needs stone hard badass sell swords to be manipulated.

It would be cool to see the reverse more often (flirty men manipulating butch women warriors or whatever) but there just doesn't seem to be a market for it among what people like to play so ... meh.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 06:49:56 AM by musashi »
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lordcooper

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2013, 06:53:20 AM »
I've always had an easier time obtaining both interaction and free shit while playing a female character in every online game in which I have done so, regardless of looks or personality.  Unfortunate, especially considering that I probably suck at RPing women.
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Barzalene

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2013, 07:33:04 AM »
Case. Case. You have to wind me up first thing in the am on the way to work?

I happen to agree with you.

I also find that my female pcs are often ignored unless I inititaite the rp. I wonder if I'm doing my female pcs wrong!

My male pcs (a grand total of two, well maybe there were more but I think they died or were stored with the car smell still on them) got hit on a great deal. One of them was sexually harrassed by his employer, taken home by a woman, and then picked up by a third in about 2 rl hours. I never had that happen with a female pc. Instead I get that horrible (and much ranted about experience) where my 6'7 200 pound voulge wielding pc sits at a bar and has seven people jumping down her throat that she's not immediately running out to be a whore. (Why no? There's nothing wrong with it you know. Haven't you read the docs? What if I give you 500 sid right now? What's the matter with you? Are you a newbie?) That didn't happen with any of my male pcs. They were immediately recruited by people who just took them seriously.

One of the facets of the idea of the fm pc as the only pc that makes me sad, is the idea that people, male and worse, female believe that they need to play women as sexual manipulators. I hate that cliche of the woman behind the power, whose strength is between her legs and whose intelligence is  sneaky and guileful.

The other part though, that I think is interesting is that women and men often, and surely not always, seem to function differently. Their brains are different. Their hormones are different. And it's possible that we, both men and women see women as more approachable. I wonder if female pcs are more often approached for help or comfort by other females than male. If in a group of people a female pc would turn first to another female pc for interaction. It's not something I've thought to make a point of observing.
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AreteX

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2013, 07:34:01 AM »
I am not so sure the "free stuff cause you are a girl" mentality exists as much here as it does in other gaming worlds.  This is also being toned down over time as the culture of gaming changes.  In 2000 or so people really thought there were "no girl gamers".  The girl gamer was some unicorn that you could never find, but even that wasn't the truth and it isn't the truth now more than ever as gaming has transcended gender AND age at this point.

I have received quite a bit of free stuff in my time on Armageddon from other players.  This free stuff was not given to me because I was playing a female character, but because I had developed a relationship with the person giving me the free stuff.  This free stuff was earned through friendship and the trials of said friendship.  It was earned by manipulation or deceit.  It was earned by doing small things like making someone laugh, or convincing someone it was in their best interest to keep my character pleased.  I do not think it had anything to do with the sex of my characters at the time, and I believe both male and female characters can be successful in gathering attention and free stuff from other characters.

The real problem with all of this for me was the fact it was mentioned casually and jokingly in a new player thread and that is not the way to go about making a joke.  People have already reviewed Armageddon's boards as a festering dung-heap and construed Administrative staff's intentions or words to fit some horrible meaning and left that review on TMC or whatever other sites offer mud reviews.  At least in the new player forum we should respond seriously and not really joke around with inside jokes that people might not understand.  A lot of new players are going to read that thread and those forums.

Also, if every female is playing in EZMode then why isn't it actually HARDmode?  I mean the level of competition to get all of this free stuff rises with every new female character!  They stare at each other with looks of contempt and angst and then there is a pillow-fight and hair pulling!  ::)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 07:36:26 AM by AreteX »

Harmless

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2013, 07:44:26 AM »
Hoo boy....

In an attempt to make this thread lighthearted, I am quite certain I get roughly the same or maybe more free shit from female PCs when playing a male on average than vice versa. Attractive or not.
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DustMight

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2013, 07:48:50 AM »
I alternate the genders of my characters.  I don't find one easier than another.  They all die in the end.
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Patuk

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2013, 08:48:01 AM »
Mm. If men and women are equal in Zalanthas, there is no 'wrong' way to play either sex.

That said, when my first and only female warrior in heavy armor and armed with swords got called a pretty little thing in all seriousness and was hit on to the point where I had to punch someone in the face.. I did facepalm. A little.
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greasygemo

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2013, 08:58:02 AM »
Mm. If men and women are equal in Zalanthas, there is no 'wrong' way to play either sex.

That said, when my first and only female warrior in heavy armor and armed with swords got called a pretty little thing in all seriousness and was hit on to the point where I had to punch someone in the face.. I did facepalm. A little.

^ I've had this facepalm, or something exceptionally similar.
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hatchets

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2013, 08:59:43 AM »
Sexism is real, get over it. While Zalanthas is not meant to be sexist, it still pretty much is. Why? Because we are human, and its the natural society that exists. We all want to pretend we are politically correct, and that we treat each other like equals, but we don't.

I am sexist, I only play straight males on Zalanthas, and while I try to advoid the sexism running into the game, it happens occaisionally. I am more likely to give free stuff to a female then a male. And all those other little sexist tidbits we aren't supposed to do. I agree, female is the an easier mode. And from my experience, watching others play, it holds true.

When you all see a man playing the slutty type, you think "hes just tryna get laid" when you see a woman playing the slutty type you think "What a whore".  But pretend how you want, I just thought I would atleast throw it out there, that the whole "its totally wrong of anyone to think or act that way" band wagon needed some derailing.
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Barzalene

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2013, 09:12:59 AM »
Sexism is real, get over it. While Zalanthas is not meant to be sexist, it still pretty much is. Why? Because we are human, and its the natural society that exists. We all want to pretend we are politically correct, and that we treat each other like equals, but we don't.

I am sexist, I only play straight males on Zalanthas, and while I try to advoid the sexism running into the game, it happens occaisionally. I am more likely to give free stuff to a female then a male. And all those other little sexist tidbits we aren't supposed to do. I agree, female is the an easier mode. And from my experience, watching others play, it holds true.

When you all see a man playing the slutty type, you think "hes just tryna get laid" when you see a woman playing the slutty type you think "What a whore".  But pretend how you want, I just thought I would atleast throw it out there, that the whole "its totally wrong of anyone to think or act that way" band wagon needed some derailing.

Um...
I understand what you're saying. I'll avoid the immediate emotional response and I stead simply ask why you won't at least give playing by the docs a shot. After all, the idea of rp is not to rp your real life, but rather an imagined one. Why would playing an egalitarian for a few hours be bad?
Varak:You tell the mangy, pointy-eared gortok, in sirihish: "What, girl? You say the sorceror-king has fallen down the well?"
Ghardoan:A pitiful voice rises from the well below, "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

evil_erdlu

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Re: Playing females as EZ Mode
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2013, 09:15:54 AM »
Heh.. I'm sexist IRL, too.. I, personally believe men are better than women. That's why I hold the door for the women or pull the chair for them to sit. I offer my place to women in public transportation. I open stuck jars for my wife.

But we try to get over it, don't we? And many other things. When I see a professional whore, I try my best to act like I'm speaking to just another artisan. When a templar is unfair, I don't think there's anything wrong. I see a pile of corpses drying under the sun and I do not hurl. A warrior female speaks to my merchant male and I do my best to show that my character is emasculated during the conversation.

So, yes. We may be sexist. But we'll try not to carry it over to the game.
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