Given the option, would you prefer to play characters of your own identified gender?
As I discuss at greater length in the video, I identify as a girl, and prefer to play female characters. This probably shows little more than a distinct lack of imagination on my part, but I find it makes it easier for me to immerse myself in a game if I can draw more parallels between myself and the bundle of pixels running around on the screen! And, for me, one big element of that is being able to play a female character.
It should be noted at this point that there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It’s not weird or wrong if you identify as a girl and play male characters, nor is there any problem with the opposite. It’s simply a matter of preference, and mine is for characters whose assumed gender allies with my own. I mentioned this in an earlier chat bubble, when I was talking about what makes a good trailer, where I noted that one thing I’m looking for in a game is the potential for a female protagonist. Not because I would refuse to play a game without one, but because I enjoy games more when the option exists.
That being said, I know several players who identify as female and prefer to play male characters, and even more who identify as male and prefer to play male characters. The interesting question for me is motivation: what do you think leads players to pick one or the other? Like I’ve said, my choices come from identification with the avatar I’m playing being an important part of my gaming immersion, which, in turn, is key to my enjoyment of a game.
What about you? Do you prefer to play characters of your own identified gender? Do you prefer to play characters of a different gender to your own? Does it vary from game to game? Of course there are some games where there’s not that choice – is that a problem for you? Or do you simply prefer to play whatever looks cool, and gender is irrelevant?