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I'm Out of the Box! (A safe place for gaymers)

I think if The Witcher had a character creation aspect from game 1, that would have been better, but that was ages ago and it was often still a novel aspect to gaming back then. Also, It’s a game based on a book series, so, yeah, I can see how their hands are tied. I think they’re kind of stuck with him for now.

It’s been a pretty common complaint about how you’re stuck with Geralt, though. In a future game, Projekt RED may still change it up to being a more actually open world game, set in the same universe with the familiar mechanics. At least one can only hope.

I have no idea how much influence Andrzej Sapkowski has over the games. I can’t read or speak Polish so those details have been a little hard to come by.

Hi folks! Wow there’s been a lot of discussion in this thread and i’m not gonna try to respond to everything in here so I’ll just introduce myself

I am Sophie (changed my name from Hannah which is what it was when i registered here). And i’m a gay trans woman. I recently moved to Chicago from Austin. I came out as trans about 2.5 years ago.

here’s me! (this is a link to my twitter which you are free to follow if you like bad posts)

Playing table games has been really important to me, even long before I knew I was trans. Playing pen and paper RPGs like Deadlands or Dungeons & Dragons gave chances to explore fantasies of being a girl in social situations.

People in board gaming communities were generally accepting of me before coming out as trans. For a long time I had identified as a gay or bi man, and the worst I would get would be weird looks if I mentioned something about a boyfriend.

Now, though, there have been a few spaces where I felt completely unwelcome or even unsafe because of how people treated the presence of a trans woman. This occurred both in Austin, TX, and in Chicago (I moved to Chicago a year ago). However, I was very grateful to find spaces where people being welcoming and stopping harassment were priorities. I’ve gone to a few game nights here that were hosted by my friends Drew and Courtney in which I’ve been misgendered or had stares or comments thrown my way, but Drew and Courtney and other people playing and attending were quick to put a stop to it. They made it clear that it was unacceptable. And that’s made me feel really good about the community of players I’ve found here in Chicago.

I also recently convinced a group of trans people I’m friends with to start a D&D game, which should be amazing.

anyway hi


Hello Sophie!

Glad your gaming community is stepping up! :slight_smile:

I’d love to hear any tales your trans D&D group comes up with, that sounds highly excellent.

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Yaaay! Sophiebee!

thanks! yeah, Drew and Courtney are opening up a game cafe here in Chicago and they’re really committed to making it a welcoming space, so they’ve been great.

Honestly, the thing that happens most is just being misgendered. which isn’t the worst thing, but does often make me feel like trash for the rest of the day. but politely but firmly asserting my pronouns (she/her) when it happens usually puts a stop to it. And often I have to be the one to do that, but Drew and/or Courtney, or other players who know me have also jumped in. and basically that’s the best way to deal with it. no one’s ever made a big deal about being corrected, either.

mainly, it’s about setting the right tone. if you are firm about stuff like that, then that really sets the tone and lets people understand what the expectations are, I think. Honestly, the last bit in the “Problem Gamers” video really captures that for me. Just set a hard line and be firm about it, and whether that’s communicated at the point someone steps over that line or at the beginning of a night or event or, if you’re store or cafe, having signage or a clear harassment policy, once the tone is set, i feel like that cuts down on a lot. people will still mess up, but making it clear that bigotry or harassment or anything like that is unacceptable will cut down on people who would make it an issue in that space


OK, so @brian just linked to this recent NYT Crossword that included “GENDERFLUID.”

So, I’m cross-linking these threads.

I mean, that’s pretty neat.

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hey there, look what I found. haven’t seen them yet, but I thought they might be of interest:
gender an sexuality in games
don’t have anything to contribute right now except for this: LOVE


i have a lot of mixed feelings about that video, to be honest. it’s definitely a very well intentioned video that does examine a real phenomenon but - and i admit that this may be asking too much of a 5 minute youtube video - the analysis of gender is a little bit outdated. for example, the sex = physical / gender = internal conception of gender has kind of long since been shown to be inadequate and inaccurate (in short, biological sexual dimorphism is far too simplistic a model to apply to human sexual development with it’s many, many variables). however, it does raise an interesting question: why do we choose the avatars we do in games?

for me, a transgender woman, when given the choice in video games, i always choose women. i did this long before I realized I was trans, basically since the first time I was able to make a custom character in a video game as a kid. What’s more, in tabletop RPGs, while I did play characters that were men, i was always far more invested in playing the women characters i created. and now that many board games have characters and player avatars that have genders or gender options, that follows into my board gaming too.

now, does someone playing as mostly women characters in games mean that person is trans? well, no, not necessarily (though if a person is wondering whether they are trans, the website amitransgender.com might provide some insight). however, it is definitely something (among a whole, massive, uncountable list of things) that made WAY more sense the moment i realized that i was trans.

games definitely provide a great opportunity to examine these questions in ourselves. though many (most) people might not ever interrogate their relationship with their in-game avatars, it’s something that is nonetheless ever-present, and it’s worth exploring. i wonder if there are games that really do make us think about that kind of thing.

it should be noted that one reason i’ve never played Ladies & Gentlemen is because it seems like a game in which it is encouraged, however implicitly, for men to dress up as/act like women and joke around would just be a very very bad time for a girl like me.


as I said, I haven’t seen any of the playlist’s video, but I can allready understand some (if not all) of your concers. I just thought they would be good things to talk about. Apperantly they are… :unamused:

Being a cis male gay guy, I always have been a male heterosexual in Pen and Paper RPGs but just recently ventured for the first time to be a heterosexual woman. In the System we’re at it’s not a big deal be homo, hetero or bi, but being transgender never came up to be occuring. hmm, makes me thinking. :neutral_face:

In video games though I always tend to chose the hot guy I might be in to… not the gay guy I am. :heart_eyes:


I’ve been thinking more about what @hannahbee was saying about our relationships with our avatars.

In video games I almost always choose a female avatar if given the option, partially because it’s what I relate to more, and partially because that’s who I’d rather experience stories about. I think this preference is very heavily influenced by the comparative lack of female (or more specifically, non-implicitly-male) video game protagonists.

In the pen and paper world, I’m much more likely to create and explore other genders of characters, I think because the more hands-on nature of the storytelling feels like I’m actually exploring what it’s like to be that character, as opposed to observing them as an outsider.

I haven’t played a ton of pen & paper RPGs, so I’m wondering if there any games out there where the choice of avatar representation actually affects gameplay outside of story choices? Or to be more specific: are there games where the choice of your avatar’s gender or orientation makes certain things more difficult? Or easier? Games that more realistically represent the life experiences of different people? (Although upon further reflection, that could lead to some terrible scenarios of biological reductivism.)

Jumping back to avatars, though: I think one way to get players to be more aware of their relationship to the avatar is to actually cycle through several avatars within the same game, illustrating how the game world responds differently to each.

The game I keep thinking back to is Broken Age. I didn’t feel particularly attached to either character, but I did appreciate that Double Fine presented a world that emphasized the hypocrisy in the cultural assumptions around what life for a black female should be compared to a white male. Vella, as well as the other village girls, are literally expected to sacrifice themselves to benefit the rest of society, while Shay’s world revolves around propping him up to be a hero. Being able to switch between avatars highlights that shift in how the world sees these characters. I actually wish Double Fine had gone further with this, as the two characters both interact with the same people at different points in the story, which could have explored this even further.

they are good things to talk about! i’m very invested in this subject obviously. It’s just a relationship that i think it’s interesting to interrogate. Like, it’s kinda gross to me when straight cis boys talk about choosing a woman avatar because they wanna see a hot ass while they’re playing the game. like what is that actually saying?

video game and board game avatars are characters that we’re roleplaying. That quote about “all board games are roleplaying games” is so true and fitting and in a way that’s true for video games as well. for example, in video games with moral choices, it’s so so so hard for me to choose the “evil” path because my character is, for all intents and purposes, me. I identify with them, i am embodying them.

it should be noted that i’ve never played a trans person in a tabletop RPG. This is mostly due to ignorance of trans people (and of my own gender identity) the last time i played a tabletop RPG. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. but when creating or identifying with characters and avatars, playing as a trans person would 100% require that character’s actions being informed by their experiences as a trans person. this doesn’t mean that their PRIMARY motivator is being trans, but to be honest, i have never known a single queer person of any stripe who “just happened” to be queer. that identity informs every aspect of our lives in numerous ways. so playing as a trans woman would be different from playing as a cis woman.


I know that feeling. I could never be one of these people who try to explore every route in a game like that, because I’d try it the first time and someone would get sad and I’d feel like a monster. (Unless I know from previous playthroughs that the character will betray me or something, then I’ll be a dick.)

Although, that doesn’t go so much for a game like Dishonored where the “good” way to do things requires me to be better at the game. If mankind’s survival depended on my gaming skills, we would not last a day.


Idea Channel’s little sibling doing that kind of legitimatizes and brings focus to an issue that people chat about when they talk about games, but rarely talk seriously about.

The first game I ever was forced to play as a gender other than my own (excluding Metroid, because honestly it was a really well-kept secret that Samus was a woman because Metroid was hard. You kids have no idea) was Tomb Raider. The original Tomb Raider is one of the greatest games ever made, and one of the few games I had to put down for a while because it was too distressing when the main character inevitably died when I messed up, and one of the very, very few games I got 110% in (all the collectables, all the secrets, plus going back for all the glitches and exploits).

I don’t think Ms. Pac-Man counts. In fact, any other earlier game with a single main protagonist who was feminine would have taken that aspect as a gimmick to get people’s interest and nothing else.

I hadn’t really thought about protagonist/player gender disparity until then. It hit me about halfway through TR. My entire life, most of the video games my little sister played with my little brother and me, she had to play as a man. My mind exploded.

I very much am a cis male, but in any computer RPG where you get to create a character I almost always (4 hours later) come up with a woman. My Khajiit, my Wastelander, my Shepard… if there is a detailed character creator, I chose to create a woman about 90% of the time. I want her to be my avatar.

Whoops, text is lacking in emphasis:

I want her to be my avatar. Her, this exact person. This woman who just popped out of my head, using sliders for cheekbones and nose arches and hair length, and color charts for eye color and skin color and scars.

My Shepard is an incredibly pale African American with a scrawny neck, bug eyes, buzzcut ginger hair and a bad complexion and SHE IS THE MOST BADASS ENTITY IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE.

Kit the Unexpected would be the most feared person in all of Tamriel, if anyone ever actually knew she existed outside of a shadow.

Somewhere there is a kind stranger who helps orphans, stranded by radiation…

…whatever, you get the idea.

I get connected with my avatar in games, emotionally. It’s part of how I tell the story of the game to myself. It’s part of why I play single player RPGs.

I’ve played female avatars online as well, and I’ve notice a marked difference to how other players treat you. Actually, now I realized I lied before, I played as a woman on MUDs.

The first thing I noticed is that it’s a lot easier to get laid (if only in words). MUDsex honed many a promising erotic writer’s skills, back when the internet was all text. (I swear I’m not the oldest person here, someone else here has surely MUDded).

I also noticed people were a lot more willing to cooperate with you, and be part of a team. Grouping was a lot more coordinated when I was playing as a feminine character.

I also found that the other players listened to my advice less.

I am not a team player. I like to go off and do my own thing, generally, or work with a select team of oddballs. But when I had all these boys paying attention to me, I admit I liked the popularity upgrade.

That doesn’t explain why I usually create a female avatar for single player RPGs, or why I usually create a male character for tabletop RPS.

This is something to mull over, to be sure. I’m going to have to think about this.

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Using a MUD was actually part of the first year of my degree. Though that was 2004, so it wasn’t cutting edge technology then. And my character was female - or at least presented as female, from what I vaguely remember of the bio I gave her.

Also, Character Creation Screen is my favourite genre of video game.


I just come over from this room with a question or maybe something to think about.
Storytime first:
Easter two years back i had a couple of friends over for the weekend and we went to the easter morning service at my church. There were also a man and a woman of african descend in the congregation.
Later that day, way after lunch and a few drinks we talked about the service and the minister and the supposed stiffness of the protestant/lutheran way of celebrating god (so to speak).
My friend’s girlfriend said she felt it was to stiff und not joyous enough for her liking (which I can understand, contemplating rather than celebrating isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I get that) but she went on with the “observation” that the two aforementioned parishioners certainly felt the same way. :fearful:
Drinks were had so the following discussion was quite heated.
She didn’t want to be called a racist, but insisted, that all people of african descend have good singing voices and “rythm runs in their blood”. I feel uncomfortable writing this. :sweat:

My point is me and two of my friends a cis female lesbian and a cis female of Brazilian (italian and russian) descent discussed what had happened a day later and came to the conclusion that beeing confronted with positive racism (Sofia, why don’t you show us ho to do the Samba?) or other positive prejudices for the better part of our lives really made us all very sensitive to the whole thing.

She didn’t even realize that positive racism was a thing. I’m not going to tell you that she’s a teacher and herself of Romanian descent, because that worries me even more.

As I said, it’s more something to think about.

On a completely different note: A friend of mine has to write an essay about voiceacting and dubbing and I suggested she should look at gender perception and expectations in dubbing: Did you know that the wonderful Laverne Cox is actually dubbed by a man in the german version of Orange is the new Black? :frowning:

You really have no idea how much I appreciate all you wonderful pearple and it’s good to hear your perspectives on these things guys, galls, dragons and other :kissing_heart:


Not particularly surprising, considering we live in a world where a man can get nominated for an Oscar for playing a trans woman :unamused:

Race seems to be a particular problem with voice acting. As people seem to decide it doesn’t matter when you can’t see the actors. So you get a film like Kubo and the Two Strings where it’s based on Asian mythology and features Asian characters, but the majority of the cast is white.

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i heard about this and it’s not surprising at all. gross but not surprising. transmisogyny is much more prevalent toward trans women of color, ESPECIALLY black trans women. It’s really gross when you start seeing it. as a white trans woman, i’m actually pretty shielded from a lot of the effects of transmisogyny. when you read reports (at least here in the states) about trans people being killed, most of the victims are black trans women, often sex workers.

I wouldn’t call it transmisogyny when they probably chose the closest approximation to her actual voice, which happens to be a man.

Just so everyone knows, in regards to my starter-yeast post waayyy at the top, it’s just “he” and “she” so far, I’ve only thrown out the ix’s and hir’s for unidentifiable non-anthropomorphic creatures that have personality, and I threw them out pretty casually, there was barely an eye batt’d.

They both have characters that match their genders, so that made things easier. I’m starting to think that I’d overthought that.

However, playing a character is different. I never went into my sexuality with my current group of mostly co-workers. It just never came up. So when my character, who has not set off anyone’s gaydar, who has largely seemed interested in feminine NPCs, started showing some interest in a masculine NPC, the other players were thrown off.

(This is one of the few characteristics my character has in common with me. He is a big, cheerful, happy paladin, who can barely speak common. “Hello! Yes! I am Ayardo! Is yes, is good! Hi! I am Ayardo. Hello!” The rolls were way too good during cha gen, so I chose to cripple his high Int. and Wis. by making him smart only in his native language and painfully naive in wherever the hell land we are in. I love him to pieces, I’m going to make him an NPC).

Once they got what was going on, everyone was cool, but I think they still feel someone who has a more opportunistic attitude to friendship and intimacy is equivalent to being… idunno, an AC/DC slut? “Metrosexual?”

And that caused me to explain myself, as I don’t generally set off most people’s gaydar, either. That was specifically mentioned. I said, “well, that’s because I’m not gay. But I’m not straight, either. I could say ‘I’m straight, but I’m not narrow,’ but that would be disingenuous.” (One person then looked up “disingenuous” on his phone, not because he’s dumb or anything, but because he wanted to be sure. I have oodles of respect for that.)

And again, everyone was cool. I guess? But this has been the first time this has come up with white-collar (ok, gray-collar) nerds. Most of my blue-collar nerds barely even take note of someone’s orientation, unless they’re trying to play matchmaker.

What do you guys think?

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Have you ever heard Laverne’s voice?
And on another note, not diving too deep into dubbing, but compare the expectation of what British upper class Ladies should sound like and their dubbed versions.
The truth is, the Ladies living in Downton Abbey or Buckingham Palace (as a RL reference) actually have a voice range (unlike their commoners counterpart) of a very profound variety which is partly due to upbringing and the usage of Queen’s or Posh English if you will. (which is btw NOT the same thing)
Obviously Germans expect high pitched girlish talk from women of Dame Judy Dench’s calibre, but alas that will never be the case.
So [quote=“webs, post:98, topic:1978”]
closest approximation
seems almost never to be a major concern in dubbing what so ever.

Please understand, that as avoice teacher I’m quite sensitive to these sorts of things. In all the good and bad ways which these entail.

And wheeeeee for the 100th post. :grin:

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