I've seen a lot of blog posts around lately that seem to be hitting on sort of the same note; that is to say, the idea of playing a gender different than your own (the subject may or may not involve roleplaying).
I've been responding to a lot of these posts and I noticed that a lot of my responses were coming out pretty much the same so I figured I would turn it into a full-fledged blog post.
On Roleplaying: Roleplaying and things related to roleplaying (coming up with new characters, giving them stories and backgrounds, imaging their life in Azeroth, etc.) is pretty much 90% of what draws me to WoW. The other 10% or so is the mechanics of playing my hunter. And I'm sure you all know how much I love playing my hunter, so you can definitely see just how important roleplaying is to me. That's just my personality and how I am-- I like imagining things. I definitely understand why roleplaying isn't everyone's thing, in fact, I don't think it's most people's thing. But, it is my thing. It is a huge, huge part of what makes WoW interesting to me. (Yes, I'm a geek, I know. =D) If you were to take away Tawyn, Night Elf Hunter who I've invented this huge story for... and replace her with an equally-leveled but different character that I did not invent, it would be very, very hard for me to keep playing the game.
And where is this leading to?
On Playing as a Character That is the Opposite Gender:
For a long time, I've been just a little confused on why so many people play as the opposite gender. It wasn't that I had a problem with it, it was just hard for me to understand why someone would play as a character that they couldn't identify with on that base level. Yes, you could make the argument that the opposite gender looks more attractive to you, but for me that wasn't nearly as important as being able to play as a character that you could really identify with. (And I say this as a very, very tomboyish female. My characters are tomboys, but they are still female. Like me.)
And then, thanks largely to an excellent article at Big Bear Butt Blogger, it hit me. I'm looking at the game a lot differently than most people are.
That is to say, I am a roleplayer and a daydreamer and I imagine my characters as extensions of myself, and... avatars of myself in a parallel universe, so to speak.
The majority of you guys, I imagine, are a bit more normal than me, heehee =P And you play the game as just a game, or as a movie. Big Bear Butt said that he liked playing female characters because he likes watching female characters kick butt, like in a movie or TV show, for example. It has nothing to do with creating a character that is an expression of yourself. And that's a very normal thing, and it makes a lot of sense. I had just sort of forgotten that, and assumed that everybody was like me and into the whole roleplaying thing.
So, thanks Big Bear Butt for hitting me back into reality for a few minutes and helping me understand a lot of my fellow WoW players better. I'll try not to dig myself so deep into the RP-hole next time. (Even if it is a lot of fun down here!)
P.S. A lot of roleplayers actually play the opposite gender too... because good character ideas are not limited by gender. So it's not a roleplayer thing, I think, so much as it's a "Pike" thing. =P