When you play
video games and
have the option of
playing a male or
which one do you
A lot of video games these days give you a fair amount of choice when it comes to who you spend your 40-100 hours playing with. Many of them–such as Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age, Dark Souls and Skyrim (to just name a bunch I’ve actually played)–actually allow you to decide whether or not you’re going to play with a male or female character and I always find it fascinating to learn which of the two gamers are more likely to choose.
It’s would seem to be a matter of identification more than anything else, but I suspect there are other options at play. In a recent episode of the popular video game podcast, The Indoor Kids, Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani and Devin Faraci all admitted to choosing the male version of the Shepard character for Mass Effect 3–even though they had heard that the female version was performed better by voice talent Jennifer Hale–for no other reason than because he was the one on the cover of the game.
I must admit, I don’t get this, since I picked the female Shepard without even thinking about it and do so every time a game gives me such a choice. I personally find these narratives more exciting and empowering with a female character at the lead and–I’m not gonna lie–I’d rather stare at the woman in the picture above for 40 hours than her muscle boy meathead equivalent.
What’s your preference? Do you prefer to play as your own gender? Do you mix it up? Or are you like me and always go for the reversal?