I’m a female gamer and have always created female characters. I’ve played male characters only when I’ve inherited or swapped with one the kids for a change of pace. In my early days of gaming, I played with a close group and guild. There was no preferential treatment I ever noticed based on gender – in game one or out of game reality, it was based on being a member of the family guild.
While bopping about in other games, I’ve never really noticed any difference either. People appeared to be nice or rude based on their own in game behavior that had nothing to do with the gender of my character. Conversely, I’ve recently had three encounters in Runes of Magic where the fact that I was a female playing a female character, altered someone’s behavior toward me.
The first occurrence which I took to be a fluke was the gift of the Ventis Robe. I was complaining in Zone chat that I’d been given a pair of leggings that had no crotch as the match to my new robe, which was only waist high. I was going on about how only a guy could create that combination and think it was fine. Seriously, my ass was hanging out and I don’t care if it’s only a game, I wasn’t happy about it. I couldn’t find a robe on the AH for my level, which I was willing to swap into regardless of stats. From my complaint it was clear that I was a female having an issue with an aesthetic on my female character.
Low and behold, someone whispers me that they can make me a nice shawl for now. When he arrived with the shawl, he also had the Ventis Robe as a second gift, along with a few minutes of conversation about “liking to encourage female gamers.” At the time I had no idea of the value of the gift that had been bestowed upon me. I did gather it was given specifically because I was a woman but the thought didn’t linger much past the conversation.
A few days later, I’m stuck unable to complete a quest where it wasn’t clear that I needed a group. In Zone chat, I mentioned in passing that I’d come all way to wherever it was all prepared and now I’d have to go back and do something else. Someone who’d chatted with me before side-by-side so saw my character and knew I was also a female in real life, whispered that he’d run me through it. Not too odd since high level players offer help quite a bit. Yet out of place because someone else was asking for help with something nearby and got no response. Hmm. I accepted the help of course and was grateful to get my quest completed.
Last night I joined a party completing Dreamlord. This is another one of those swarms of mobs, mass confusion fight, do whatever to stay alive routines and I was healing. DOH! The waves of mobs come, I heal people, they kill mobs and it’s all over except that I didn’t get the quest completion. I don’t know what gender the other players were in real life but I was the only female character. We did it another two times and my quest didn’t complete. Someone mounted up as if to leave, and the party leader said, “No, we’re doing it again so Suri (me) can’t get it done too.” I don’t know if I was doing something wrong or it was just bugged. I got it on the next try.
Given the other occurrences of help because I was a woman, I’m wondering now if the party leader saying, “Chill we ain’t leavin’ til she gets hers too,” was because he’s a nice guy or because I was a female character in a very short robe, legs bared and red high heels? And no, we won’t go there on why there are high heels for footwear in this game. If I’d been a strapping Warrior or some other buff looking avatar, would the reaction have been, “WTF noob we ain’t got all day?” Was the kind treatment and patience because I’d healed them through getting their quest done, so it was only fair to wait and help me out? What do you think?
Some armor was hidden for the image just to illustrate a point. There are in fact, sets that look about that naked on a female character. I just don't happen to own any of them as they tend to be for other classes.