Video Game Study Says That Your Character’s Gender Doesn’t Matter

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world-of-warcraft

Games like World of Warcraft and other MMORPGs give you a vast array of characters and classes to choose from before you take to the battlefield. That means guys can play as girls and girls can play as guys. However, a new study found that it can’t hide who you really are from your fellow players.

The study conducted by researchers at several universities including Concordia, Hofstra, Syracuse, Colorado State University and the University of Toronto found that the gender of your character doesn’t do a good job of masking your gender in the real world. That’s because the way you play the game and interact with your fellow players is a reflection of your true gender. The study had some gamers play a custom-constructed quest in a round of World of Warcraft and the study’s monitors watched the players to see if they could identify the true gender of the avatars in the game.

They also let the players choose their own characters and nearly a quarter of male players picked a female character while only 7 percent of female players did the opposite. The investigators found that male players controlling female characters still exhibited male characteristics, even when the other characters didn’t know who they were. They would back away from groups of players that had actual females. They would jump a lot in order to attract attention. They even picked female characters that were more physically attractive because, well, they may be orcs on the outside but they’re still human on the inside.

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